Her work was one of the earliest on the metamorphosis of insects
Google is running a doodle honoring Maria Sibylla Merian, a German naturalist and scientific illustrator born on April 2, 1647 who has made great contributions to the early days of entomology.She made detailed drawings of plants and insects, those found locally but also exotic ones imported from the colonies.
She also made a trip to then Suriname in South America, where she spent two years cataloging the local wildlife.
Her greatest scientific contributions though were to the study of insects and their metamorphosis. While the fact that caterpillars metamorphosed into butterflies was known by some scholars, the process was poorly researched.
She was one of the first to study it in detail and publish her findings. The fact that she wrote in German and that she was a woman, mostly that she was a woman, meant that her work was largely ignored by the scientific community of the period.