Addison Emery Verrill

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Addison Emery Verrill
Addison Emery Verrill.jpg
Born(1839-02-09)February 9, 1839
DiedDecember 10, 1926(1926-12-10) (aged 87)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materHarvard University
Scientific career
Fieldszoology
InstitutionsYale University

Addison Emery Verrill (February 9, 1839, Greenwood, Maine – December 10, 1926, Santa Barbara, California) was an American zoologist.

Life

Verrill was a student of Louis Agassiz at Harvard University and graduated in 1862. He went on scientific collecting trips with Alpheus Hyatt and Nathaniel Shaler in the summer of 1860 to Trenton Point, Maine and Mount Desert Island[1] and in the summer of 1861 to Anticosti Island and Labrador.[2] In 1864 Verrill made reports on mining, or prospective mining, properties in New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania.[3] Two years after graduation from Harvard, he accepted a position as Yale University's Sheffield Scientific School first Professor of Zoology,[4]:8 and taught there from 1864 until his retirement in 1907.

In 1861 while under the guidance of Louis Agassiz at Harvard he was sent to Washington D.C. to obtain specimens from the Smithsonian institution and promote friendly relations and interest between the scientific men of Washington and those of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology [5]. Under the direction of Professor Spencer Fullerton Baird, Verrill spent almost three months working on the coral collections of the Smithsonian. The process of overhauling the collection required identifying various species, selecting type specimens and making up a set of duplicates to be sent back north to Harvard [5]. While in Washington he became acquainted and formed life long friendships with a number of both distinguished and up and coming scientists [6]. The friendship that Verrill and Professor Baird developed, lead to the appointment of Verrill as assistant to the Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries in 1871 [7]. In this role, which he held till 1887, Verrill was responsible for marine investigations and all invertebrate collections [8]. The estimated several hundred thousand specimens collected between 1871 and 1887 were sent to New Haven for Verrill to sort, identify, catalogue and label [8]. As partial compensation for his work, after the first set of type specimens was sent to the Smithsonian, he was allowed to keep the first set of duplicates as personal property. Upon retirement he sold this personal collection to the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, where they now form part of the Invertebrate Zoology collection [8].

Between 1868–70 he was professor of comparative anatomy and entomology in the University of Wisconsin. From 1860 Verrill investigated the invertebrate fauna of the Atlantic coast, with special reference to the corals, annelids, echinoderms, and mollusks, and became the chief authority on the living cephalopods, especially the giant squid of the North Atlantic.

His Report upon the Invertebrate Animals of Vineyard Sound (1874), with Sidney Irving Smith, whose sister he married, is a standard manual of the marine zoology of southern New England.

In later life he explored with his students the geology and marine animals of the Bermuda Islands. Besides many memoirs and articles on the subjects mentioned above, he published The Bermuda Islands (1903; second edition, 1907).[9]

Verrill published more than 350 papers and monographs, and described more than 1,000 species of animals in virtually every major taxonomy group. He was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 1959, Yale's Peabody Museum established the Addison Emery Verrill Medal, awarded for achievement in the natural sciences.

Family

His son, Alpheus Hyatt Verrill, known as Hyatt Verrill, (1871–1954) was an American archaeologist, explorer, inventor, illustrator and author.

References

  1. ^ Verrill, George Elliot (1958). The ancestry, life and work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. Santa Barbara, CA: Pacific Coast Publishing. p. 42. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  2. ^ Verrill, George Elliot (1958). The ancestry, life and work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. Santa Barbara, CA: Pacific Coast Publishing. p. 55. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  3. ^ Verrill, George Elliot (1958). The ancestry, life and work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. Santa Barbara, CA: Pacific Coast Publishing. p. 57. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  4. ^ Dingus, Lowell (2018). King of the Dinosaur Hunters : the life of John Bell Hatcher and the discoveries that shaped paleontology. Pegasus Books. ISBN 9781681778655.
  5. ^ a b Verrill, George E. (1958). The Ancestry, Life and Work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. Santa Barbara, California: Pacific Coast Publishing. p. 43.
  6. ^ Verrill, George E. (1958). The ancestry, life and work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. Pacific Coast Pub. Co. p. 45. OCLC 427636826.
  7. ^ Verrill, George E. (1958). The ancestry, life and work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. Pacific Coast Pub. Co. p. 65. OCLC 427636826.
  8. ^ a b c Verrill, George E. (1958). The ancestry, life and work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. Pacific Coast Pub. Co. p. 68. OCLC 427636826.
  9. ^ Verrill, Addison Emery (1902). "The Bermuda Islands: Their Scenery, Climate, Productions, Physiography, Natural History and Geology: With Sketches of Their Early History and the Changes Due to Man". Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. Vol. 11. The author published a reprint with some changes in 1903 and a 2nd edition in 1907.

Additional references

  • Coe, Wesley R. (1927). "Addison Emery Verrill: Pioneer Zoologist". Science. 66 (1697): 28–9.
  • Coe, Wesley R. (1932). "Addison Emery Verrill (1839-1926)" (PDF). Biographical Memoirs. National Academy of Sciences. 14 (2).
  • Sterling, Keir B., ed. (1997). "Verrill, Addison Emery". Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and Environmentalists. Greenwood Press.
  • Verrill, George Elliot (1958). The Ancestry, Life and Work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Pacific Coast Pub. Co.

External links