1774 - after service in the mercantile marine, he joined the navy as a cadet. 1786 - promoted to sub-lieutenant. 1792 - took charge of a scientific expedition to the Indian Ocean to collect plants and specimens for the palace of enlightenment at Schönbrunn. 1796 - made a similar scientific voyage to the West Indies, where he collected material for museums in Paris. 1800 - selected to lead an expedition to complete the French cartographic survey of the coast of Australia.