Oceanographers

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

Oceanographers are the scientists who explore the oceans and study their physical and biological aspects and related phenomena. Know about famous oceanographers, such as Sylvia Earle, Matthew Fontaine Maury, Marie Tharp, Stepan Makarov, Charles Wilkes and many more.
Vote for Your Favourite Oceanographers
 1 
Jacques Cousteau
(Co-Inventor of the First Open-Circuit, Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus 'Aqua-Lung')
Jacques Cousteau
6
Birthdate: June 11, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint-André-de-Cubzac, France
Died: June 25, 1997

Jacques Cousteau was a French explorer, naval officer, filmmaker, conservationist, scientist, photographer, researcher, and author. Renowned for his exploration of various forms of life in water, Jacques Cousteau is credited with pioneering marine conservation and co-developing the Aqua-Lung, the first underwater breathing apparatus to achieve popularity and commercial success.

 2 
Sylvia Earle
(The First Female Chief Scientist of the ‘U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’)
Sylvia Earle
8
Birthdate: August 30, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gibbstown, Greenwich Township, New Jersey, United States
Sylvia Earle is known for her research on marine algae and she was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earle held the world record for the deepest untethered dive and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet, in 1998. She also featured in Netflix Original documentary Seaspiracy.
 3 
Philippe Cousteau Jr.
(Oceanographer and Environmental Activist)
Philippe Cousteau Jr.
8
Birthdate: January 20, 1980
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

Known for the documentary Ocean's Deadliest, which he co-hosted with Steve Irwin, oceanographer Philippe Cousteau Jr. also earned an Emmy nomination for his work in Awesome Planet. The grandson of naval officer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Philippe had lost his father, sailor and filmmaker Philippe Cousteau, 6 months before his birth.

 4 
Matthew Fontaine Maury
(American Astronomer, Oceanographer, Meteorologist, Geologist and Naval Officer)
Matthew Fontaine Maury
6
Birthdate: January 14, 1806
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Spotsylvania County, Virginia, United States
Died: February 1, 1873

American astronomer, naval officer, oceanographer and author Matthew Fontaine Maury, who first served the United States Navy and then the Confederacy States Navy, made significant contributions in oceanography. His book Physical Geography of the Sea is counted among the first comprehensive books on oceanography. Navies and merchant marines across the world adopted his uniform system of recording oceanographic data.

Recommended Lists:
 5 
Kathryn D. Sullivan
(US Oceanographer, Geologist, and Astronaut, Who Was the First American Woman to Walk in Space)
Kathryn D. Sullivan
5
Birthdate: October 3, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey, United States

US oceanographer, geologist, and former US Navy officer and NASA astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan scripted history in 1984 when she became the first woman from the US to walk in space. Apart from being part of 3 Space Shuttle missions, she also worked in various administrative posts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 6 
Marie Tharp
(US Geologist and Oceanographer Known for Her Pioneering Work on 'Oceanographic Cartography')
Marie Tharp
7
Birthdate: July 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States
Died: August 23, 2006

US geologist and oceanographer Marie Tharp is remembered for her pioneering work on oceanographic cartography. She contributed to the development of the first scientific map of the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. She was associated with the Columbia University’s Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory and was one of the first women to work for it.

Recommended Lists:
 7 
Charles Wilkes
(Naval Officer)
Charles Wilkes
7
Birthdate: April 3, 1798
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 8, 1877
 8 
Charles David Keeling
3
Birthdate: April 20, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 20, 2005
Recommended Lists:
 9 
Stepan Makarov
(Russian Naval Commander, Naval Architect, and Oceanographer)
Stepan Makarov
3
Birthdate: January 8, 1849
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mykolaiv, Ukraine
Died: April 13, 1904

Russian naval commander Stepan Makarov led the Pacific fleet at the start of the 1904 Russo-Japanese War. A talented naval architect and ship designer, he was also a pioneering oceanographer. At 41, he became the youngest admiral of Russia. He was killed when his flagship, Petropavlovsk, collided with a mine and sank.

 10 
Marcia McNutt
(US Geophysicist and the First Female Director of the US Geological Survey)
Marcia McNutt
5
Birthdate: February 19, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

US geophysicist Marcia McNutt scripted history as the first female director of the US Geological Survey. She has also been the president of the National Academy of Sciences. She has also taught marine geophysics at Stanford and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her countless awards include the Maurice Ewing Medal.

Recommended Lists:
 11 
James Rennell
(British Geographer, Historian and a Pioneer of Oceanography)
James Rennell
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1742
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chudleigh, Devon, England
Died: March 29, 1830

James Rennell was an English historian and geographer. A pioneer of oceanography, Rennell is often referred to as the Father of Oceanography. Rennell, who served as a Surveyor General of Bengal, India, is credited with producing some of the earliest accurate maps of Bengal. James Rennell is also credited with co-founding the Royal Geographical Society in London in 1830.

 12 
Walter Munk
(US Geophysicist and Physical Oceanographer Known for his Pioneering Research on Ocean Currents)
Walter Munk
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 8, 2019

US geophysicist and physical oceanographer Walter Munk is remembered for his path-breaking research on ocean currents and wave propagation. He had been part of the faculty of geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He was also a member of the elite panel of scientists, JASON.

 13 
Charles J. Moore
(Oceanographer)
Charles J. Moore
5
Birthplace: United States
 14 
Maurice Ewing
(US Geophysicist Who Made Pioneering Use of Seismic Methods to Study Ocean Floors)
Maurice Ewing
2
Birthdate: May 12, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lockney, Texas, United States
Died: May 4, 1974

US geophysicist Maurice Ewing conducted path-breaking research on ocean basins and sediments, using seismic methods. Apart from teaching geology at Columbia University, he also served as the director of the Lamont Geological Observatory. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he also received the National Medal of Science, among other awards.

Recommended Lists:
 15 
John Murray
(Oceanographer)
John Murray
4
Birthdate: March 3, 1841
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cobourg, Canada
Died: March 16, 1914

Born to Scottish migrants in Canada, John Murray later went back to Scotland to study medicine but quit without graduating. He later studied geology and became one of the pioneers of oceanography. He was also associated with the Challenger Expedition and was knighted for his work as a marine biologist.

 16 
Henry Stommel
(Oceanographer)
Henry Stommel
2
Birthdate: September 27, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Died: January 17, 1992
Recommended Lists:
 17 
Robert S. Dietz
(American Marine Geologist Who Conducted Pioneering Research Concerning Seafloor Spreading)
Robert S. Dietz
4
Birthdate: September 14, 1914
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westfield, New Jersey, United States
Died: May 19, 1995

Robert S. Dietz was an American scientist, marine geologist, oceanographer, and geophysicist. He is best remembered for conducting pioneering research concerning seafloor spreading along with Harry Hammond Hess. Robert S. Dietz was also interested in meteorite impacts and is credited with discovering numerous impact craters, including the Sudbury Basin. 

 18 
Vagn Walfrid Ekman
(Swedish Oceanographer)
Vagn Walfrid Ekman
2
Birthdate: May 3, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: March 9, 1954

Vagn Walfrid Ekman was a Swedish oceanographer. He is credited with developing instruments like the Ekman water bottle and Ekman current meter. He also served as a professor of mathematical physics and mechanics at the University of Lund. In 1935, Vagn Walfrid Ekman was inducted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Ekman was also an amateur singer and pianist.

 19 
Bruce C. Heezen
(American Geologist Who Worked With Oceanographic Cartographer Marie Tharp to Map the Mid-Atlantic Ridge)
Bruce C. Heezen
2
Birthdate: April 11, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vinton, Iowa, United States
Died: June 21, 1977

Bruce C. Heezen was an American geologist best remembered for his work at Columbia University, where he joined forces with oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp to map the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In 1964, he was honored by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with the Henry Bryant Bigelow Medal in Oceanography. In 1973, Bruce C. Heezen was awarded the prestigious Cullum Geographical Medal.

 20 
Harald Sverdrup
(Oceanographer)
Harald Sverdrup
4
Birthdate: November 15, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sogndal Municipality, Norway
Died: August 21, 1957

Harald Sverdrup was a Norwegian oceanographer and meteorologist who served as president of the International Association of Physical Oceanography. He was also director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He was the author of many books, including his magnum opus The Oceans: Their Physics, Chemistry, and General Biology. He was a recipient of the William Bowie Medal. 

 21 
Carl-Gustaf Rossby
(American Meteorologist Who First Explained the Large-Scale Motions of the Atmosphere in Terms of Fluid Mechanicsgist)
Carl-Gustaf Rossby
4
Birthdate: December 28, 1898
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: August 19, 1957

Carl-Gustaf Rossby was a Swedish-born American meteorologist. He played an important role during the Second World War, organizing the training of military meteorologists. Over the course of his career, Carl-Gustaf Rossby was honored with many prestigious awards such as the Applied Meteorology Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1959.

 22 
Athelstan Spilhaus
(South African-American Geophysicist, Oceanographer, and Meteorologist)
Athelstan Spilhaus
3
Birthdate: November 25, 1911
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa
Died: March 30, 1998

South African-American geophysicist, oceanographer, and meteorologist invented the bathythermograph to measure temperatures and depths of the sea. He also proposed the founding of the Sea Grant Colleges. Associated with the University of Minnesota, he planned the futuristic Minnesota Experimental City, though it never materialized.

Recommended Lists:
 23 
Victor Hensen
(Zoologist)
Victor Hensen
1
Birthdate: February 10, 1835
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Schleswig, Germany
Died: April 5, 1924
 24 
Joseph Proudman
(Mathematician)
Joseph Proudman
1
Birthdate: December 30, 1888
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Unsworth, England
Died: June 26, 1975
 25 
Georg Wüst
(Oceanographer)
Georg Wüst
3
Birthdate: June 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Poznań, Poland
Died: November 8, 1977
 26 
Alexander Buchan
(Meteorologist)
Alexander Buchan
5
Birthdate: April 11, 1829
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: May 13, 1907
Recommended Lists:
 27 
William Abbott Herdman
(Oceanographer)
William Abbott Herdman
3
Birthdate: September 5, 1858
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: July 21, 1924
 28 
Bjørn Helland-Hansen
(Oceanographer)
Bjørn Helland-Hansen
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: September 7, 1957

Bjørn Helland-Hansen was a Norwegian oceanographer considered a pioneer in the field of modern oceanography. He studied both medicine and physics at the University of Christiania before beginning his multi-faceted career. He developed the "Helland-Hansen Photometer." He had a brilliant academic career and was made president of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). 

Recommended Lists:
 29 
Columbus O'Donnell Iselin
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Rochelle, New York, United States
Died: January 5, 1971
 30 
Peter A. Rona
(Oceanographer)
Peter A. Rona
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Died: February 20, 2014
Recommended Lists:
 31 
Dean Bumpus
(Oceanographer)
Dean Bumpus
2
Birthdate: May 11, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Newburyport, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 14, 2002
 32 
Richard H. Fleming
(Oceanographer)
Richard H. Fleming
6
Birthdate: September 21, 1909
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Victoria, Canada
Died: October 25, 1989