This Day In History: 1916-07-24


Isabel Pérez Farfante (1916 – 2009) was born on this day.
She was a Cuban zoologist (married name Canet), known for her work on penaeid shrimp. Farfante was the first Cuban woman to receive her Ph.D. from an Ivy League school. Associate Curator of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology (1946 – 48). In the 1950’s she was responsible for the discovery of large shrimp populations in the Golfo de Batabanó, situated between the southwestern end of Cuba and La Isla de Juventud, and for its development as a commercial shrimp fishery. Associate in Invertebrate Zoology at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology (1961 – 69), during which time she headed a study on commercial shrimp in American waters for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1961 – 62). In 1966, she joined the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as Systematic Zoologist at the NMFS Systematic Laboratory in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Carcinologist Emeritus with the NMFS (1986 – 90), and Research Associate in the NMNH Division of Crustacea (1987 – 97).

Farfante described around 89 taxa and is honoured in the names of a genus of penaeid shrimps, Farfantepenaeus
(no longer valid), and in the species name perezfarfanteae.