Jacques Deprat

Portrait of Jacques   Deprat

Jacques Deprat (1880, Fontenay aux Roses, France -7 March 1935, Ansó, Spain, in a mountaineering accident) was a biologist and paleontologist working in Indochina (Hanoi) in the 1910s, who was apparently wrongly accused of fraud and left Southeast Asia in 1919 after a few promising years.

Hired for the Geological Survey of Indochina (GSI) in 1908, Deprat worked,under the direction of Henri Mansuy (1857-1937), Honoré Lantenois (1863-1840) and later on Madeleine Colani (1866-1945), part of the French colonial project forthe railway line linking Yunnan-fou (now Kumning) to Hanoi, Vietnam.

Elected vice-president for Indochina by the World Congress of Geology, author of several scientific papers, Deprat was suddenly disgraced after being accused of fraud around some trilobites fossils recovered in Tonkin. Author Lia Genovese has contributed a paper on that murky affair ("Madeleine Colani and the Deprat Scandal at the Geological Survey of Indochina", Journal of the Siam Society, Vol. 99, 2011, pp 272-92).