Giovanni Antonio Scopoli

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Giovanni Antonio Scopoli
Giovanni Antonio Scopoli (June 3, 1723 - May 8, 1788) was an Italian-Austrian physician and naturalist.

Scopoli was born at Cavalese in the Val di Fiemme, the son of a lawyer. He obtained a degree in medicine at University of Innsbruck, and practiced as a doctor in Cavalese and Venice. Much of his time was spent collecting plants and insects in the Alps. He spent two years as private secretary to the Count of Seckan, and then was appointed as physician of the mercury mines in Idrija, a small town in W Slovenia, remaining there for sixteen years. In 1761 he published De Hydroargyro Idriensi Tentamina on the symptoms of mercury poisoning among miners.

Scopoli spent time studying the local natural history, publishing Flora Carniolica (1760) as well as a major work on entomology. He also published Anni Historico-Naturales (1769-72), which included descriptions of new birds from various collections.

In 1769 Scopoli was appointed a senior lecturer at Mining Academy at Chemnitz, and in 1777 transferred to the University of Pavia. His last work was Deliciae Flora et Fauna Insubricae (1786-88), which included scientific names for birds and mammals described by Pierre Sonnerat in the accounts of his voyages.

The drug Scopolamine is named after him. The standard botanical author abbreviation Scop. is applied to species he described.

Reference

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