His works influenced the next two generations of naturalists, including two prominent French scientists Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Georges Cuvier. Buffon published thirty-six quarto volumes of his Histoire Naturelle during his lifetime, with additional volumes based on his notes and further research being published in the two decades following his death.
Ernst Mayr wrote that “Truly, Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the 18th century”. Credited with being one of the first naturalists to recognize ecological succession, he was later forced by the theology committee at the University of Paris to recant his theories about geological history and animal evolution because they contradicted the Biblical narrative of Creation.
Buffon held the position of intendant (director) at the Jardin du Roi, now called the Jardin des Plantes.