Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 41, Issue 1–4, pp 89–114 | Cite as

The life and work of Eugenie Clark: devoted to diving and science

  • Eugene K. Balon
Article

Synopsis

Eugenie Clark is an ichthyologist with a talent for communicating about marine life. Her life had three principal periods, (1) studies under Charles Breder, Carl Hubbs, Lester Aronson and Myron Gordon, (2) directorship of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory sponsored by the Vanderbilts, and (3) professorship and inspired teaching at the University of Maryland. Genie proved that sharks have surprising learning abilities and that, contrary to popular opinion, none are vicious killers. During her studies on reproductive behavior, territoriality, and ecology of tropical marine sand-dwelling fishes of the Caribbean and Red seas, among many other phenomena, she discovered the cross-fertilizing hermaphroditeSerranus subligarius, the Moses and peacock soles producing toxins that repel sharks and other predators, and sharks ‘sleeping’ in underwater caves in Mexico and Japan. She combined a love for swimming and diving with the study of marine fishes - from hard-hat diving and snorkeling to using SCUBA and submersibles. Professor emerita since 1992, she has ridden whale sharks and participated in dives using submersibles to 3 600 m depths. She is a recipient of over 25 honors and awards, participated in 24 television specials, and the current IMAX film on sharks. She is the author of theLady with a Spear andThe Lady and the Sharks which are of considerable popular fame.

Key words

Biography Marine biology Ichthyology Diving Coral reefs Cape Haze Marine Laboratory Mote Marine Laboratory Florida Poeciliids Plectognaths Red Sea University of Maryland Shark repellent Sleeping sharks Submersible dives 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene K. Balon
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Ichthyology and Department of ZoologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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