Until the late 18th century, not much attention was paid to marine biology. Although Aristotle provided the foundation of research into sea life around an Island called Lesbos in the early times, it was until around 1872 that marine biology, as a field of study in the sciences, started in full course (Leroi, 2014).
The person regarded to be the founder of this field of inquiry is Edward Forbes (from 1815 to 1854), a British naturalist who made a lot of observations and discoveries which formed the foundation of modern marine biology today.
Although, Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin had also made some of his observations in the field on marine algae. And, it was these, coupled with some other investigations at that time that fueled peoples' thirst for exploration and discovery in the 17th century about sea life.
However, the world of marine biology has now moved so far away from the days of Gottlieb and Forbes. Marine biology is now a field many people currently recognize in different places around the world, thanks to several contributors who were willing to continue carrying out empirical research in the field to ensure our knowledge base is invariably expanded about life underwater (Ward, no date).
So, in this article, we are going to be examining some famous marine biologists of all time; the individuals who have contributed and are still contributing immensely to the study of marine biology all over the world. Please note that they are not listed in any order.
Rachael Carson (born May 27, 1907) was a widely-known biologist and writer. She was largely famous for her books and the foremost role she played in birthing 20th-century environmentalism.
Rachael was a trained zoologist and geneticist. In the early years of her career, she initially worked as an aquatic biologist with the United States' Bureau of Fisheries. She later resigned in 1951, a little while after her book, an award-winning bestseller, "The Sea Around Us", was published, to become a full-time writer.
After the wide acclaim she received for her first two books, Carson decided to focus on conservation, paying special attention to synthetic pesticides and the environmental problems they cause.
She's fondly respected by environmentalists around the world as one of the greatest pioneers of the movement for environmentalism worldwide.
Carson wrote several books, scripts, and essays on the environment, most of which significantly contributed to and changed the course of marine biology in the world over (Paull, 2013).
She died on April 14, 1964, at the age of 57.
Eugenie Clark was born in New York City on the 4th of May, 1922. At a young age, Clark had developed an interest in marine science as a lot of her high school and college essays and reports were usually based on different topics in marine biology.
Clark started her career after the Second World War and was able to make a lot of scientific contributions that were critical in forming the foundation of marine biology. She's an authority on shark matters. She conducted a lot of research on the shark species and was even globally referred to as The Shark Lady, mainly because of her active role in eliminating the fear the public had against the mammals (Balon, 1994).
She made several discoveries about the behavior of shark species and the Testraodontiformes order of fish. Clark was the person that successfully performed artificial insemination in fish. She also discovered the Red Sea Moses Sole, a species that secretes a chemical to keep sharks away (Clark, 1990).
Clark was also a foremost pioneer of the study of scuba diving for research. She was famous for her conservatism too.
Clark founded the More Marine Laboratory, which is concerned with fighting for the protection of the shark species, and the conservation of the ecosystems of coral reef, and so on.
She died on the 25th of February, 2015.
Hans Hass (1919-2012) was an Austrian undersea researcher, diving pioneer, movie producer, and actor. This great biologist made a few innovative inventions during his lifetime. He was able to successfully build several diving devices and collect several notable awards for many of his works in marine biology.
In this field, Hass was the first person to carry scientific research using the rebreather, a device that absorbs the exhaled breath of the user and then recycles (or rebreathes) it as oxygen. Most of his expeditions underwater were done with a camera to show people the life.
Among scientists, Hans is mainly known for being one of the first biologists to make coral reefs, stingrays and sharks popular aquatic animals.
Hass also published about 30 picture-featuring works on sea life. Even most of the movies produced by this biologist have been effective in promoting conservation and capture the public’s interest in the life underwater (Vitello, 2013).
Ayana is a vibrant marine biologist as well as a conservation strategist. This popular environmental scientist has been described as the most influential marine biologist of the century. She’s is currently an adjunct professor at NYU, and also the person who founded Ocean Colllectiv. Ocean Collectiv is an agency that provides consultancy in maritime conservation, mainly for the advancement of ocean sustainability and social justice.
Ayana graduated from Harvard University with a degree in environmental science and public policy. She also obtained a Ph.D. in maritime biology from the University of California, San Diego. Over the years, she has continued to agitate for the conservation of our water habitats.
In 2017, Ayana was a co-director of one of the largest scientists’ coalition in the history of the world, March for Science. The March for Science was able to gain the attention of more than about 300 organizations.
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