Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Myers, George Sprague (United States 1905-1985)
ichthyology, zoogeography


Who's Who in America 1974-1975 described George Myers' research interests as follows: "Writer of papers and monographs on ichthyology, herpetology. Contributions on evolution and classification of fishes, leading to better understanding of historical distribution patterns of fish groups through geological time, establishing fact that dispersal patterns of modern groups of fresh-water fishes are older and more conservative than those of mammals; also contributions on fish habits and behavior, amphibian taxonomy and zoogeography." Myers was fortunate enough to count two of the century's leading ichthyologists as his mentors (Eigenmann and Jordan); under their influence he developed interests in collecting, describing, curating, teaching, writing, and theorizing. He was especially known for his zoogeographic treatments of fish distribution, and related ideas (for example, his classification of fish families into fresh- and salt-water groups). He spent sizable periods in the field, especially in South America. The quality of Myers' analytical skills is well exhibited in his classic 1938 paper "Fresh-water Fishes and West Indian Zoogeography."

Life Chronology

--born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on 2 February 1905.
--1922-1924: volunteer assistant, American Museum of Natural History
--1924-1926: curatorial assistant, Indiana University (under Carl Eigenmann)
--1930: B.A., Stanford University
--1931: M.A., Stanford University
--1932-1960: associate editor, The Aquarium
--1933: Ph.D., Stanford University
--1933-1936: assistant curator, division of fishes, U.S. National Museum
--1936-1938: associate professor of biology, Stanford University
--1938: ichthyologist on the Velero III Hancock expedition
--1938: publishes "Fresh-water Fishes and West Indian Zoogeography" in the Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution
--1938-1970: professor of biology, Stanford University
--1938-1967: editor, Stanford Ichthyological Bulletin
--1942-1944: special professor of ichthyology, Museo National, Rio de Janeiro
--1949-1951: president, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
--1966: publishes "Derivation of the Freshwater Fish Fauna of Central America" in Copeia
--1970: retires from Stanford University
--1970-1972: visiting professor of ichthyology and zoology at Harvard University
--dies on 4 November 1985.

For Additional Information, See:

--Copeia, (3) (1986): 851-853.
--George Sprague Myers Papers
, Smithsonian Institution Archives [website].
--Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Vol. 38(1) (1970): 1-18.

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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