This Day In History: 2000-04-30


Ruth Turner (1914 – 2000) died on this day.
She was a US
marine biologist, primarily malacologist, specialising in Teredinidae or shipworms, the wood-boring bivalves which severely damage wooden marine installations. One of Harvard’s first tenured women professors, Turner held the Alexander Agassiz Professorship at Harvard University and was a Curator of Malacology in the University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. She was also the first female scientist to dive in the deep ocean research submarine DSV Alvin as part of her research.

Turner published more than 200 scientific articles and described over 500 molluscan taxa, almost 70 of them jointly with William J. Clench (1897 – 1984). She is honoured in the names of a number of species under ruthturnerae, turnerae, and (unusually) turneri.