This Day In History: 1874-08-01


Francis Bertody Sumner (1874 – 1945) was born on this day.
He was a US ichthyologist and zoologist, associated with Scripps for much of his career. Director of the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Laboratory at Woods Hole (1904 – 10) and then served as Naturalist on R/V Albatross (1911). He joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1913 as Professor of Biology. Sumner has been described as a true naturalist with broad interests but aquatic research remained his leading field of activity, investigating subjects such as adaptive coloration and related studies on changes in the pigmentation of fishes subjected to different conditions of lighting.

Sumner described a small number of taxa from Woods Hole and is honoured in the name of a pyramillid snail, Turbonilla sumneri Bartsch, 1909, from the same area.