Conrad Gesner the son of a furrier born in Zurich, Switzerland was an important inventor and Swiss Naturalist. He studied at universities of Strassburg and Bourges before he moved to Zurich to finish his doctorate of medicine. He had a big interest in botney and his most famous work is that of the Historiae Animalium is one of the first know pictorial catalog of animals in the medieval period. This was important because prior to his book the categorizing of animals was cluttered with many mythical creatures as well as distorted recordings of real animals. His works were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church and even put on the banned list of books due to Gesner's being a Protestant.
Gesner's important invention however was that of the graphite pencil encased in wood, which would the be beginnings of what we would today consider a modern pencil. This would have been used in his many trips to the field while Gesner studied zoology in his homeland of Switzerland. Gesner would live out his days studying different categories of science in his homeland.
Worldpress.com/Putting the Lead in your Pencil
Metafilter.com/Conrad Gesner's Historiae Animalium
The New York Times/Gesner's Animals