Protégé of Linnaeus. Traveled to England (1760), where he popularized the Linnaean system of classification. Assistant librarian of the British Museum (1763); catalogued the natural history collections. Fellow of the Royal Society (1764). Botanist on Captain Cook’s voyages in the Endeavour (1768-72). Keeper of the natural history department at the British Museum (1773). Friend of Franklin and Sir Joseph Banks.
Born in Norrland, Sweden. Probably educated at Upsala (M.D.).