Jean Senebier

Jean Senebier

Jean Senebier
Born May 6, 1742
Died July 22, 1809 (1809-07-23) (aged 67)
Citizenship swiss
Nationality Swiss
Fields plant physiology, photosynthesis
Influenced Nicolas Théodore de Saussure

Jean Senebier (May 6, 1742 – July 22, 1809) was a Swiss pastor who wrote many works on vegetable physiology.

He was born at Geneva, and is remembered for his contributions to the understanding of the influence of light on vegetation.

Though Marcello Malpighi and Stephen Hales had shown that much of the substance of plants must be obtained from the atmosphere, no progress was made until Charles Bonnet observed on leaves plunged in aerated water bubbles of gas, which Joseph Priestley recognized as oxygen. Jan Ingenhousz proved the simultaneous disappearance of carbonic acid; but it was Senebier who clearly showed that this activity was confined to the green parts, and to these only in sunlight, and first gave a connected view of the whole process of vegetable nutrition in strictly chemical terms. He was assisted in his work by François Huber. He proved that plants use carbon dioxide to grow.

In April 1809 he became correspondent of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[1]

The standard botanical author abbreviation Seneb. is applied to species he described.


  1. "J. Senebier (1742 - 1809)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
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