Geologist, Grenoble lawyer.
Dabbled in poetry. Met Buffon (1776). Went to Paris, where Buffon had him named adjoint aux travaux du Jardin du Roi (1778) and royal commissary for mines and quarries (1785).
Author of Notes, Sommaires sur Bernard Palissy and of Recherches sur les volcans étaints du Vivarais et du Velay (1779). Raised funds to aid the Montgolfier brothers (1783). Became a professor at the Muséum (1793).
Maintained a close friendship with Buffon. Upon his death, Buffon willed him his heart, but he received the naturalist’s brain instead.
Born in Montélimar.