Famous American Zoologists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Zoologists

 1 Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey
10
Famous As: Zoologist, Conservationist
Birthdate: January 16, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: December 26, 1985
Zoologist, primatologist, and conservationist Dian Fossey conducted research on mountain gorillas in Rwanda from 1966 until she was murdered in 1985. She was part of the Trimates assigned to study apes by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey. She wrote Gorillas in the Mist, which was later turned into a film.

 2 James Watson

James Watson
6
Famous As: Molecular Biologist Who Co-discovered the Double Helix Structure of DNA With Francis Crick
Birthdate: April 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

James Watson is a geneticist, molecular biologist, and zoologist. He is credited with co-authoring the academic paper that propounded the double helix structure of nucleic acids such as DNA for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962. In 1977, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1997, he was awarded the National Medal of Science.

 3 Terri Irwin

Terri Irwin
10
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: July 20, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Eugene, Oregon, United States

American–Australian naturalist Terri Irwin is best known as the co-host of The Crocodile Hunter, along with her husband, the late animal expert Steve Irwin. She has also been part of shows such as Croc Files and Crikey! It's the Irwins, and helped in the development of Australia Zoo.

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 4 Thomas Hunt Morgan

Thomas Hunt Morgan
4
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: September 25, 1866
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lexington
Died: December 4, 1945

Thomas Hunt Morgan was an evolutionary biologist, geneticist, and embryologist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933. He worked extensively on the role that the chromosome plays in heredity and demonstrated that genes are carried on chromosomes. In his later career, he established the division of biology at the California Institute of Technology. 

 5 Louis Agassiz

Louis Agassiz
4
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: May 28, 1807
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montier
Died: December 14, 1873

Louis Agassiz was a biologist and geologist. He was famous as a scholar of Earth's natural history. Born in Switzerland, he completed his education in Europe and emigrated to USA. He was appointed a professor of zoology and geology at Harvard University. He later founded the Museum of Comparative Zoology at the Lawrence Scientific School.  

 6 Walter Reed

Walter Reed
6
Famous As: Military physician, Zoologist, Entomologist
Birthdate: September 13, 1851
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belroi
Died: November 22, 1902

 7 Paul R. Ehrlich

Paul R. Ehrlich
4
Famous As: Entomologist, Zoologist, University teacher
Birthdate: May 29, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia

Paul R. Ehrlich is a biologist best known for the 1968 book The Population Bomb, which he co-authored with his wife, Anne. He kindled controversy for his views on the consequences of population growth in a world with limited resources. He has been called an "irrepressible doomster” by his critics, while his supporters credit him for spreading concern about overpopulation. 

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 8 Jim Fowler

Jim Fowler
4
Famous As: Former zoologist and host of the acclaimed wildlife documentary television show Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
Birthdate: April 9, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Albany, Georgia, United States
Died: May 8, 2019

 9 Ernest Everett Just

Ernest Everett Just
3
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: August 14, 1883
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Died: October 27, 1941

Ernest Everett Just was an African-American biologist and academic. He is credited with recognizing the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms. As a black boy growing up in the late 19th century, he had to face enormous challenges before he could establish himself in his career. He co-founded the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  

 10 David Starr Jordan

David Starr Jordan
3
Famous As: Botanist, Peace activist, Zoologist, Autobiographer, Ichthyologist
Birthdate: January 19, 1851
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gainesville (village), New York
Died: September 19, 1931

Remembered as the first president of the Leland Stanford Junior University, now known as Stanford University, David Starr Jordan was a reputed ichthyologist. An anti-war activist, too, who opposed America’s participation in World War I, he spent his later years as the chief director of the World Peace Foundation.

 11 Mary J Rathbun

Mary J Rathbun
5
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: June 11, 1860
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States
Died: April 4, 1943

 12 Karl Patterson Schmidt

Karl Patterson Schmidt
3
Famous As: American zoologist
Birthdate: June 19, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lake Forest, Illinois, United States
Died: September 26, 1957

Karl Patterson Schmidt was a herpetologist. He studied biology and geology at Cornell University and realized his keen interest in herpetology. He later worked as a scientific assistant in herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History. He undertook many collecting expeditions for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. He died after being bitten by a boomslang snake. 

 13 PZ Myers

PZ Myers
3
Famous As: Biologist, Zoologist, Blogger, University teacher
Birthdate: March 9, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kent

PZ Myers is a biologist known for founding the Pharyngula science blog. His blog is one of the top-ranked blogs by a scientist. A "science geek" from an early age, he obtained a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Oregon. As an academician, he has taught at the University of Oregon, the University of Utah, and Temple University.  

 14 Jim Cronin

Jim Cronin
3
Famous As: Former Zookeeper who was co-founder in 1987 of Monkey World in Dorset, England, a sanctuary for abused and neglected primates
Birthdate: November 15, 1951
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Yonkers, New York, United States
Died: March 17, 2007

 15 Dixie Lee Ray

Dixie Lee Ray
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 3, 1914
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington, United States
Died: January 2, 1994

 16 Martin William Kratt

Martin William Kratt
0
Famous As: Zoologist, Actor
Birthdate: December 23, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warren, New Jersey, United States

 17 Robert T. Paine

Robert T. Paine
3
Famous As: Ecologist
Birthdate: April 13, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: June 13, 2016

 18 Charles Henry Turner

Charles Henry Turner
3
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: February 3, 1867
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: February 14, 1923

 19 Roger Tory Peterson

Roger Tory Peterson
3
Famous As: Zoologist, Ornithologist
Birthdate: August 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jamestown, New York, United States
Died: July 28, 1996

 20 Edmund Beecher Wilson

Edmund Beecher Wilson
3
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: October 19, 1856
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Geneva, Illinois, United States
Died: March 3, 1939

Edmund Beecher Wilson was an American geneticist and zoologist. He is credited with writing a textbook titled The Cell which is widely regarded as one of the most influential and important books in modern biology. Regarded as America's first cell biologist, Wilson is also credited with discovering the XY sex-determination system which is used to classify several mammals, including humans.

 21 James Dwight Dana

James Dwight Dana
2
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: February 12, 1813
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Utica, New York, United States
Died: April 14, 1895

 22 Spencer Fullerton Baird

Spencer Fullerton Baird
2
Famous As: Ornithologist
Birthdate: February 3, 1823
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 19, 1887

 23 Clinton Hart Merriam

Clinton Hart Merriam
2
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: December 5, 1855
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: March 19, 1942

 24 Willy Burgdorfer

Willy Burgdorfer
2
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: June 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: November 17, 2014

 25 Thomas Say

Thomas Say
2
Famous As: Entomologist
Birthdate: June 27, 1787
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 10, 1834

 26 Elliott Coues

Elliott Coues
2
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: September 9, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States
Died: December 25, 1899

Renowned ornithologist Elliott Coues, known for his pathbreaking written works such as Key to North American Birds, had established the American Ornithological Union. He had also previously worked as an army surgeon and later taught anatomy. He was also briefly part of the Theosophical Society, though he later lost interest.

 27 Libbie Hyman

Libbie Hyman
2
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: December 6, 1888
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Died: August 3, 1969

 28 Ross Granville Harrison

Ross Granville Harrison
2
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: January 13, 1870
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 30, 1959

 29 Victor Ernest Shelford

Victor Ernest Shelford
1
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: September 22, 1877
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chemung, New York, United States
Died: December 27, 1968

 30 Theophilus Painter

Theophilus Painter
2
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: August 22, 1889
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salem, Virginia, United States
Died: October 5, 1969

Zoologist Theophilus Painter made some groundbreaking studies on chromosomes, with special focus on the X and Y chromosomes and chromosomes of the salivary glands of the Drosophila fly. The Yale alumnus was associated with the University of Texas, where he eventually became the president.

 31 Warder Clyde Allee

Warder Clyde Allee
1
Famous As: Ecologist
Birthdate: June 5, 1885
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bloomingdale, Indiana, United States
Died: March 18, 1955

 32 Frank Rattray Lillie

Frank Rattray Lillie
1
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: June 27, 1870
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
Died: November 5, 1947

 33 James Hall

James Hall
0
Famous As: Geologist, Paleontologist
Birthdate: September 12, 1811
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hingham, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 7, 1898

Best known for his contribution to the geosynclinal theory of mountain building, paleontologist and geologist James Hall had also taught at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and worked at the Geological Survey of New York. The National Academy of Sciences member had also penned works such as The Paleontology of New York.

 34 Addison Emery Verrill

Addison Emery Verrill
1
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: February 9, 1839
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Greenwood, Maine, United States
Died: December 10, 1926

 35 Orator F. Cook

Orator F. Cook
0
Famous As: Botanist, Entomologist
Birthdate: May 28, 1867
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clyde, New York, United States
Died: April 23, 1949

 36 Edwin Conklin

Edwin Conklin
1
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: November 24, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Waldo, Ohio, United States
Died: November 20, 1952

 37 Alpheus Hyatt

Alpheus Hyatt
1
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: April 5, 1838
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: January 15, 1902

Alpheus Hyatt was an American paleontologist and zoologist. He is credited with co-founding a scientific journal named The American Naturalist for which he served as the editor between 1867 and 1870. He also served as the professor of zoology and paleontology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he taught for 18 years.

 38 John Henry Comstock

John Henry Comstock
1
Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: February 24, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Janesville, Wisconsin, United States
Died: March 20, 1931

 39 Clarence Erwin McClung

Clarence Erwin McClung
1
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: April 5, 1870
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clayton, California, United States
Died: January 17, 1946

 40 Herbert Spencer Jennings

Herbert Spencer Jennings
1
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 8, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tonica, Illinois, United States
Died: April 14, 1947

Renowned zoologist and geneticist Herbert Spencer Jennings is best known for his research on microorganisms and the genetic processes in single-celled organisms. The Harvard alumnus had also penned valuable texts such as Behaviour of the Lower Organisms and Life and Death: Heredity and Evolution in Unicellular Organisms.

 41 Cornelia Clapp

Cornelia Clapp
1
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: March 17, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Montague, Massachusetts, United States
Died: December 31, 1934

 42 Marston Bates

Marston Bates
1
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: July 23, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Michigan, United States
Died: April 3, 1974

 43 E. Newton Harvey

E. Newton Harvey
1
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: November 25, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 21, 1959

 44 Oliver Perry Hay

Oliver Perry Hay
0
Famous As: Herpetologist
Birthdate: May 22, 1846
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saluda, Indiana, United States
Died: November 2, 1930

Initially a professor of geology and biology at Butler University, Oliver Perry Hay later contributed immensely to catalogs on North American fossil vertebrates. He had also served as the associate curator of New York’s American Museum of Natural History. His son, too, grew up to be a zoologist.

 45 Peter Marler

Peter Marler
0
Famous As: Brain researcher
Birthdate: February 24, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Slough, England
Died: July 5, 2014

 46 Geoffrey H. Bourne

Geoffrey H. Bourne
0
Famous As: Anatomist
Birthdate: November 17, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Perth, Australia
Died: July 19, 1988

Geoffrey H. Bourne was an Australian-American primatologist and anatomist. He is best remembered for his pioneering work in histochemistry. From 1962 to 1978, Bourne served as the director of Emory University's Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He also taught physiology and histology at Oxford University and the University of London respectively.

 47 John Bachman

John Bachman
2
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: February 4, 1790
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rhinebeck, New York, United States
Died: February 24, 1874

Lutheran minister and naturalist John Bachman is best known for his collaboration with John James Audubon to create a text on North American birds and mammals. His The Unity of the Human Race stated all humas arise from a single species. He preached to all, including African-American slaves.

 48 Elwyn L. Simons

Elwyn L. Simons
0
Famous As: Paleontologist
Birthdate: July 14, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lawrence, Kansas, United States
Died: March 6, 2016

Regarded widely as the father of modern primate paleontology, Elwyn L. Simons, is best remembered for his discovery of the Aegyptopithecus, the earliest common forebear of man, apes, and monkeys. An enthusiastic wildlife conservationist, too, he worked for the preservation of rare primates such as lemurs and lorises.

 49 William Keith Brooks

William Keith Brooks
0
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: March 25, 1848
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: November 12, 1908

 50 Charles Manning Child

Charles Manning Child
0
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: February 2, 1869
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States
Died: December 19, 1954