Famous Marine Biologists

Marine biology deals with the various species of plant and animal life that live in the oceans, seas or in any water body. The classification of the plant and animal species are not based upon taxonomy but on the environment. The modern-day marine biologists have taken up the task of mapping the marine species of animals and plants with the help of latest technologies. Marine biologists believe they would be able to explore the deep oceanic depressions to find new species of plant and animal life. Here are some of the world-famous marine biologists.

Adolf Appellöf

Jakob Johan Adolf Appellöf (November 2, 1857 – January 5, 1921) popularly known as Adolf Appellöf was Swedish a marine zoologist. In 1877, Adolf Appellöf graduated from the famous University of Uppsala and went on to get his doctorate in zoology in 1886. In 1887, he took up a temporary position as a lecturer in zoology at the same university. Later on, he took up a position of a conservator at the Museum of Bergen, Norway. With the help of a Bunsow, a sawmill magnate, Adolf Appellöf founded Klubban Biological Station of University of Uppsala. This institute specialized in the study of marine biology and was situated on the western coast of Sweden. He was the member of both the Royal Swedish Academy and the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala. His research on cephalopods (mollusks) was a significant contribution to the field of marine biology.

Samuel Stillman Berry

Samuel Stillman (1887 – 1984) was a U.S. marine zoologist. Samuel Stillman Berry graduated from the University of Stanford in the year 1909 and the next year he did his M.S. from Harvard. He specialized in the study of cephalopods and received his doctorate on the same subject from the University of Stanford in the year 1913. For the next five years he worked as a research assistant at the Scripps Institution for Biological Research, California. Later, he continued his research in malacology as an independent researcher. The aspirants of marine biology currently use his research works as a basis of their study. He has written over 200 articles on malacology and has discovered 401 mollusc taxa. His works provide insight into various features of chitons, cephalopods and snails.

Carl Chun

Carl Chun (October 1, 1852 – April 11, 1914) was a renowned German marine biologist. He graduated in zoology from the University of Leipzig. In 1892, he was appointed a professor in the same university. Carl Chun initiated and headed the German deep-sea expedition on August 1, 1898. He, along with his team members, explored the seas around the continent of Antarctica and also the Bouvetoya and Kerguelen islands. His research subjects were cephalopods and plankton. Carl Chun discovered, and also named, a species of squid, the Vampire Squid.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Jacques-Yves Cousteau (June 11, 1910 – June 25, 1997) was a French researcher and an ecologist who studied the lives of underwater animals and plants. He was basically a French naval officer, who was also a popular filmmaker, author and researcher. He is popularly known as Captain Cousteau or Jacques Cousteau. He, along with Emily Gagnan (French engineer), developed the first open-circuit scuba diving equipment known as “Aqua-Lung”. He was a pioneer of marine conservation and a member of L’Academie francaise. Captain Cousteau founded the Underseas Research Group at Toulon and the French office of Underseas Research at Marseille. He was also the director of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

Anton Dohrn

Anton Dohrn (September 29, 1840 – September 26, 1909) was a German marine biologist. He had mastered not only medicine but also zoology. He received his doctorate in 1865. In 1874, he founded “Stazione Zoologica” in Naples. He was the director of this organization until his death. A thesis which proposed the theory of the origin of vertebrates known as Der Ursprung der Wirbelthiere und das Princip des Functionswechsels: Genealogische Skizzen was submitted by Anton Dohrn in 1875.

Sylvia Alice Earle

Sylvia Alice Earle (August 30, 1935 – present) is an American oceanographer and a renowned marine biologist. Sylvia graduated from the University of Florida in 1955 and went on to achieve her master’s degree from the same university. She received her doctorate from Duke University in 1966. She was a curator of phycology at the Academy of sciences, California, a research associate at University of Berkeley, Harvard University, and also a Radcliffe Institute scholar. In 1970, she headed the first women’s team of aquanauts for a project known as the Tektite Project. She was the chief scientist for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US. Currently, she is a deep sea explorer-in-residence of National Geographic channel. Sylvia Earle has authored over 125 books on marine science including “Exploring the Deep Frontier”, “The Atlas of the Ocean” and so on.

Bruno Hofer

Bruno Hofer (1861 – 1916) was a German marine scientist and an environmentalist who was born in East Prussia. He completed his studies in Natural Sciences in Konigsberg and worked as a lecturer in the Zoological Institute of Munich. He carried out research and studies in limnology. Bruno studied about the different fish types and their habitation. During his lifetime he was the director of the Royal Bavarian Research Station for Fisheries. Hofer also served as the vice-president of the Bavarian Association of Fishermen and also as the editor of the magazine “Allgemeine Fischereizeitung”. Hofer specialized in fish parasitology and pathology.

William Elford Leach

William Leach (February 2, 1790 – August 26, 1836) was an English marine biologist and a renowned zoologist. He was a qualified medical practitioner who was passionate about marine life and zoology. He worked as a research assistant and a librarian in the Zoological Department at the British Museum. During his tenure at the British Museum he was in charge of the natural history department. William Leach researched widely on crustaceans and mollusks. Insects, birds and mammals also comprised his field of study. Zoological Miscellany, Synopsis of Mollusca of Great Britain and a systematic catalog of the Specimens of the Indigenous Mammalia and Birds that are preserved at the British Museum are some of his popular works.

Nicholai Nicholaevich Miklukho-Maklai

Nicholai Maklai (1846 – 1888) was a notable Russian anthropologist, ethnologist and a marine biologist who graduated from St. Petersburg University. He traveled throughout the European continent. In Italy, he met Anton Dohrn who instilled the idea of starting a research station. Maklai shifted his base from Russia to Australia. With the help of the Linnean Society, he founded a zoological center, known as the Marine Biological Station, in Watsons Bay, Sydney. This was the first marine biological research institute in Australia.

John Murray

John Murray (1841 – 1914) was a famous Scottish-Canadian oceanographer and a marine biologist. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh. He is known as the “Father of Modern Oceanography”. Murray coined the term oceanography. John Murray first brought to light the existence of the mid-Atlantic ridge and oceanic trenches. One of his major contributions to marine biology was the “Bathymetric” survey of 562 freshwater lochs of Scotland. During his lifetime, he wrote many articles and journals on oceanography.

Harald Rosenthal

Harald Rosenthal (1937 – present) is a noted German hydrobiologist. Rosenthal completed his education from Freie Universitat Berlin. He later studied hydrobiology and fishery in Hamburg. Rosenthal presented a thesis on mass rearing of larval herring. He is acknowledged for his research in fish farming and ecology. Harald Rosenthal focused on aquaculture and ballast water. He is the founder and president of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society and is also an active member of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Georg Sars

Georg Sars (April 20, 1837 – April 9, 1927) was a Norwegian marine taxonomist. Sars discovered a new species of mysids and ostracods. His fileds of research included various branches of fishery.

Ruth Turner

Ruth Dixon Turner (1915 – 2000) was a renowned marine biologist who researched widely on teredos, a species of mollusk, that creates havoc on docks and boats. She graduated from Bridgewater State College and went on to take a doctorate from Harvard. Ruth has published over 200 scientific articles and a book. Turner specialized in shipworm research. Ruth Dixon Turner was the first female marine biologist to make use of Alvin, a deep ocean research submarine.

Charles Wyville Thompson

Charles Wyville Thompson (March 5, 1830 – March 10, 1882) was a Scottish marine biologist who was the chief scientist on the Challenger Expedition. Charles Thompson specialized in the field of deep sea biological conditions. His interest in crinoids prompted him to persuade the Royal Navy to allow him the usage of HMS Lightning and HMS Porcupine for deep sea dredging. Charles threw light on such facts as the existence of marine life 1200 m below the ocean surface and presence of marine invertebrates there. Another fact brought to light was the considerable variability of deep-sea temperature. “The Depths of the Sea” was the book written by Charles Wyville Thompson. He was closely associated with John Murray, the oceanographer.

Alister Clavering Hardy

Alister Clavering Hardy (February 10, 1896 – May 22, 1985) was a marine biologist who was an expert on marine ecosystems and zooplankton. Alister Hardy was one of the chief scientists on the RRS Discovery as part of the Discovery Investigations. He specialized in the study of marine mammals such as whales. Alister Hardy designed and build “Continuous Plankton Recorder” (CPR) to collect the plankton samples. His research of plankton is continued by an organization called the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS).

Joseph Ayers

Joseph Ayers (November 14, 1947 – present) is a marine biologist who specializes in neurophysiology of the marine life. He graduated from the University of California, Riverside, and pursued his doctorate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Later, he went on to pursue his postdoctoral degree in neurophysiology from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Marseilles, France and also from the University of California, San Diego. Currently, Joseph Ayers is associated with Biomimetic, an underwater robot program. “Neurotechnology for Biomimetic Robots”, “Biomechanisms of Swimming and Flying”, “Dr. Ayers Cooks with Cognac” and “The C Around Nahant” are some of the research books written by him.

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