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.
Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian polymath who won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his post-war efforts after the First World War. A well-known explorer, humanitarian, and diplomat, Nansen achieved international fame for his attempt to reach the geographical North Pole during his Fram expedition. His techniques and innovations influenced a generation of succeeding Antarctic and Arctic expeditions.
Ernst Haeckel had initially practiced medicine before he gained an interest in Charles Darwin’s theory and began exploring zoology and related fields. He not only coined terms such as ecology, but also named numerous species and created a genealogical tree. He drew numerous figures of animals and sea creatures, too.
Georges Cuvier was a French zoologist and naturalist. A major figure in the early 19th century's research of natural sciences, Cuvier played an important role in establishing the fields of comparative paleontology and anatomy by comparing fossils with living animals, for which he is sometimes regarded as the founding father of paleontology.
Nobel Prize-winning Austrian zoologist Konrad Lorenz is remembered as a pioneer of ethology. The son of a surgeon father and a physician mother, Lorenz was a qualified physician himself. A university degree awarded to him was rescinded posthumously due to his association with the Nazi party
James Robertson Justice was a British actor best remembered for playing pompous authority figures in comedy films. He achieved popularity after playing Sir Lancelot Spratt in each of the seven movies in the Doctor film series.
Walter Reed was a U.S. Army physician best remembered for leading a team which confirmed that yellow fever gets transmitted by a mosquito rather than by direct contact. His work went a long way in the fight against yellow fever.
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.
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.
Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild was a British soldier, politician, zoologist, and banker. He is best remembered for his service as the president of the largest Jewish communal organization in the UK, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, between 1925 and 1926. Walter Rothschild also made immense contributions to the field of zoology.
Celebrated American zoologist Jim Fowler is best remembered for co-hosting Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins. He also appeared multiple times on The Tonight Show and Late Night. A talented baseball player in college, he rejected pro baseball offers to follow a career as a naturalist.
Alfred Kinsey was an American biologist, sexologist, and professor of zoology and entomology. He is credited with founding the Indiana University's Institute for Sex Research in 1947. Kinsey's research on human sexuality and his other works have influenced cultural and social values in the USA as well as internationally. In 2012, Kinsey was inducted into Chicago's Legacy Walk.
Geneticist Anne McLaren is remembered for her pioneering research in embryology that paved the way for further research in fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization. The Royal Society fellow had also appeared as a child actor in the film adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel Things to Come.
Desmond Morris is an English ethologist, zoologist, author, and surrealist painter. He is well-known for his book The Naked Ape and for his TV shows, such as Zoo Time. Desmond Morris is also known for his work as the writer and presenter of the popular BBC documentary The Human Animal.
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.
John Edward Gray was a British zoologist best remembered for his association with the British Museum in London, where he was the keeper of zoology from 1840 to 1874. John Edward Gray is also remembered for publishing several records of the museum collections that included descriptions of new species.
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.
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.
Peter Medawar was a Brazilian-British writer and biologist. His discovery of acquired immune tolerance and his works on graft rejection were foundational to the medical practice of organ and tissue transplants. Peter Medawar is often referred to as the father of transplantation for his scientific works. Peter Medawar is also remembered for his wit.
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.
Nobel Prize-winning ethologist Karl von Frisch is best remembered for his research on communication among bees. He was the first to observe that bees communicate the location of food to other bees by a form of “dance.” He penned down his studies in books such as The Dancing Bees.
Friedrich Ratzel was a German ethnographer and geographer. He was the first person to use the term Lebensraum, which would later become an important and popular word among the National Socialists. Also an influential writer, Friedrich Ratzel's works served as a justification for imperial expansion.
Tim Flannery is an Australian paleontologist, mammalogist, environmentalist, explorer, conservationist, and public scientist. Tim Flannery is credited with discovering over 30 mammal species. He is also credited with co-founding Climate Council, a non-profit organization that aims at providing accurate information on climate change to the Australian public. In 2007, Tim Flannery was named Australian of the Year.
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.
Jim Cronin was an American zookeeper best remembered for co-founding the Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset, England, in 1987. The centre works as a sanctuary for neglected and abused primates. Jim Cronin was celebrated for his expertise in the rescue and rehabilitation process of abused primates.
German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas was born to a professor of surgery and had, by age 15, formulated classifications of several animal groups. He chiefly worked in and around Russia, and is remembered for his 3-volume geological study, Journey Through Various Provinces of the Russian Empire.
Johan Christian Fabricius was a Danish zoologist. He specialized in "Insecta", which at that time included all insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and other anthropoids. He studied under the renowned Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus and went on to become one of the most important entomologists of the 18th century. He is credited to have named nearly 10,000 species of animals.
Dutch naturalist Jan Swammerdam was the first to detect red blood cells. Though a qualified doctor, he never practiced medicine, and took to research instead. Known for his research on anatomy, he also revolutionized the study of insects, proving that the egg, larva, pupa, and adult are all the same organism.
US ornithologist, environmentalist, and wildlife artist Roger Tory Peterson was one of the leading figures of the environmental movement of the 20th century. Known for his iconic books such as Wild America and the Peterson Field Guide Series, he received countless honors and awards, too, such as the US Medal of Freedom.
D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson was a Scottish mathematician, biologist, and classics scholar. A pioneer of mathematical biology, Thompson is best remembered for writing a book titled On Growth and Form, which is widely admired by architects, anthropologists, and biologists among others. Over the course of his illustrious career, D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson received several prestigious awards like the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal.
Popularly known as The Shark Lady, American ichthyologist Eugenie Clark is remembered for her pathbreaking studies on shark behavior and poisonous fishes. A marine conservationist too, she had established the Mote Marine Laboratory. She also taught at the University of Maryland and authored 2 widely-appreciated books.
British banker John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury, better known as Sir John Lubbock, had also been an MP. However, he is best known for his contribution to ethnography and archaeology. He is also credited with coining the terms Paleolithic and Neolithic, and is known for his books on animal behavior.
German-born zoologist and botanist Georg Wilhelm Steller traveled to Russia on a troop ship. He was later part of the Great Northern Expedition, aboard the St. Peter, aimed at locating a sea route from Russia to North America. The Steller’s sea cow, discovered by him, went extinct later.
Carl Peter Thunberg was a Swedish naturalist best remembered as one of the apostles of Carl Linnaeus. Along with other students of Linnaeus, Thunberg spent seven years in Asia and southern Africa, gathering and describing animals and plants new to European science. Thanks to his extensive research on plants, Thunberg is referred to as the father of South African botany.
French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède is best known for his contribution to fellow French naturalist Comte de Buffon's Histoire Naturelle. He enriched the world’s knowledge of fishes and reptiles. Following the rise of Napoleon, Lacépède joined the French Senate and later became a minister of Bourbon state.
Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg was a German zoologist, naturalist, geologist, microscopist, and comparative anatomist. Regarded as one of the most popular and productive scientists of his generation, Ehrenberg was honored with several prestigious awards including the first Leeuwenhoek Medal in 1877.
Copley Medal-winning US geologist and mineralogist James Dwight Dana is remembered for his path-breaking studies on topics such as mountain building, marine life, coral reefs, volcanic activity, and continents. A System of Mineralogy and Manual of Mineralogy are 2 of his iconic works, the latter of which became a standard text.