Jean Henri Fabre

   Jean Henri Fabre (1823-1915) was a French entomologist, was born in Saint-Leons. The son of an unsuccessful innkeeper, Fabre worked at odd jobs in order to support himself during his student days at the Normal College of Vaucluse. After receiving his diploma in 1842 he taught school at Carpentras and later at Ajaccio, Corsica. However, ill health forced him to leave the island and return to France. In 1852 he became a professor of science at the lycée of Avignon, a position he held for 18 years.
   During this period he devoted much of his leisure to entomological research. He was primarily interested in the social aspects of insect life. He wrote studies on the nature of instinct that even today are considered basic to the fields of insect behavior, comparative psychology, and experimental biology.
   He left his position in 1870 and for the next ten years supported his family by writing textbooks on science. In 1879 he took up residence in the village of Sérignan, in southern France, where he spent the remainder of his life in research and writing.