Journal of the History of Biology

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 137–167

The Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole) and the Scientific Advancement of Women in the Early 20th Century: The Example of Mary Jane Hogue (1883–1962)

Historiographic Essay

DOI: 10.1007/s10739-014-9384-1

Cite this article as:
Zottoli, S.J. & Seyfarth, EA. J Hist Biol (2015) 48: 137. doi:10.1007/s10739-014-9384-1


The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA provided opportunities for women to conduct research in the late 19th and early 20th century at a time when many barriers existed to their pursuit of a scientific career. One woman who benefited from the welcoming environment at the MBL was Mary Jane Hogue. Her remarkable career as an experimental biologist spanned over 55 years. Hogue was born into a Quaker family in 1883 and received her undergraduate degree from Goucher College. She went to Germany to obtain an advanced degree, and her research at the University of Würzburg with Theodor Boveri resulted in her Ph.D. (1909). Although her research interests included experimental embryology, and the use of tissue culture to study a variety of cell types, she is considered foremost a protozoologist. Her extraordinary demonstration of chromidia (multiple fission) in the life history of a new species of Flabellula associated with diseased oyster beds is as important as it is ignored. We discuss Hogue’s career path and her science to highlight the importance of an informal network of teachers, research advisors, and other women scientists at the MBL all of whom contributed to her success as a woman scientist.


Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole Goucher College experimental embryology 20th century women in science female pioneers in protozoology history of biology biography 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyWilliams CollegeWilliamstownUSA
  2. 2.Marine Biological LaboratoryWoods HoleUSA
  3. 3.Institut für Zellbiologie und Neurowissenschaft, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am MainFrankfurt am MainGermany

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