María de los Ángeles Alvariño González: 5 quick facts

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Smithsonian / Google

María de los Ángeles Alvariño González is celebrated with a Google Doodle on what would have been her 105th birthday.

María de los Ángeles Alvariño González was a pioneering Spanish biologist and oceanographer who was an authority on plankton biology. She is honored with a Google Doodle on October 3, 2021, on what would have been her 105th birthday. Ángeles Alvariño died on May 29, 2005 in La Jolla, California.

“Today’s Doodle celebrates the 105th birthday of Spanish-American professor and marine research biologist María de los Ángeles Alvariño González, who is widely regarded as one of the most important Spanish scientists of all time,” said Google said on its Doodle blog. “In 1953, the British Council awarded Ángeles Alvariño a scholarship which enabled her to become the first woman to work as a scientist aboard a British research vessel.

Google added: “After several expeditions, she continued her education in the United States, where she retired as one of the world’s most prestigious marine biologists in 1987.”

Here’s what you need to know about María de los Ángeles Alvariño González:


1. María de los Ángeles Alvariño González was born on October 3, 1916 in Ferrol, Spain

María de los Ángeles Alvariño González google doodle

GoogleThe Google Doodle celebrating María de los Ángeles Alvariño González.

María de los Ángeles Alvariño González was born on October 3, 1916 in Serantes, a “small coastal town on the Galician coast of northern Spain” which is part of the city of Ferrol, Spain, according to the Google Doodle blog page. . She was the daughter of Dr. Antonio Alvariño Grimaldos, who practiced medicine, and Maria del Carmen Gonzalez Diaz-Saavedra, according to “Notable Hispanic American Women: Book II” by Gale Research.

According to the biography, Ángeles Alvariño was interested in science from an early age and read his father’s research books. The Smithsonian’s Ocean page wrote: “Alvariño grew up wanting to be a doctor like his father, an ambition he discouraged.

She attended the Concepcion Arenal in Ferrol and graduated from the University of Santiago de Compostela in 1933. She studied various subjects, declaring in an interview: “Creativity and imagination are the ingredients of basis for the scientist, as in the arts, because science is an art. “, According to Notable Biographies.

She studied natural sciences at the Complutense University of Madrid, but her work there was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. She married Eugenio Leira Manso in 1940 and they later had a daughter, Maria de los Angeles Leira Alvariño, who would become an architect in the United States, according to a biography from the Galician Culture Council. She graduated from the University of Madrid in 1941, after the Civil War.


2. Ángeles Alvariño was a teacher and worked as a researcher, but he was prohibited by law from boarding Spanish Navy ships

After completing her studies in natural sciences in Madrid, she and her husband returned to her hometown of Ferrol where she became a professor, teaching biology, zoology, botany and geology, according to the Galician Culture Council. Her family returned to Madrid in 1948 so that she could work as a researcher with the. Ministry of Marine Fisheries, but his career was hampered by outdated law.

According to the Smithsonian, “At the time, a law prohibited women from boarding Spanish Navy ships. If that sounds absurd and archaic, it’s because it was decades and decades ago. The law dates back to the 1700s, when Charles III ruled Spain and most people did not have indoor plumbing. But the research vessels of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography were naval vessels. And the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, officially, has not admitted women.

According to the Google Doodle blog, “Ángeles Alvariño’s love for natural history began with her father’s library and deepened as she continued her research in coastal oceanography. Although the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) only accepted men at the time, Ángeles Alvariño’s academic work impressed the organization that appointed her a marine biologist in 1952. ”She then went on to say moved to Great Britain to continue his research.


3. Ángeles Alvariño received a Fulbright scholarship and moved to the United States in 1956 to study on Cape Cod, Massachusetts


Ángeles Alvariño, the great oceanógrafa gallegaAngeles Alvariño, the mujer que da number al buque que lleva semanas en las costas de Tenerife buscando a las niñas, Anna y Olivia, nació in 1916 in a pueblo de Ferrol, Galicia.2021-06-17T15: 16: 03Z

Ángeles Alvariño received a Fulbright Fellowship which enabled her and her family to move to the United States to continue her research, according to Notable Biographies. She worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Cape Cod, Massachusetts alongside another zooplankton researcher, Dr. Mary Sears, who was the president of the United States Oceanographic Congress, according to the biography.

After her work there, she moved to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California at the University of San Diego, according to the Smithsonian. Kalila Morsink wrote in her article on Ángeles Alvariño on the museum’s website: “She discovered which species of zooplankton could serve as indicators of water temperature and studied the distribution of plankton in the oceans as well as the how they were affected by ocean currents. , pollution and ship movements.

Morsink added: “After leaving Scripps, she did research in Antarctica, taught in Mexico and held positions in a multitude of institutions, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States to the University. from San Diego. She didn’t retire until she was 71, and even after her retirement she continued to take research trips.


4. María de los Ángeles Alvariño González has discovered 22 new species of marine biology during her career and has published over 100 books and articles

According to the Google Doodle blog, “In addition to Ángeles Alvariño’s rigorous research, including the discovery of 22 new species of zooplankton and the publication of more than 100 scientific papers, she has held faculty positions in Brazil, the United States. United and Mexico. “

She has two species of plankton that bear her name, Aidanosagitta alvarinoae, a chaetognath, and Lizzia alvarinoae, a hydromedusa. The Smithsonian writes: “During his lifetime, Alvariño discovered 22 new species of plankton. Their names, as Latin names so often do, have stories behind them, ranging from the siphonophore Lensia eugenioi, namesake of Alvariño Eugenio’s husband, to the arrow worm Pseudosagitta scrippsae, which shares its name with the California oceanographic institution where it worked for over a decade. “

The site adds: “As is frowned upon in the scientific world, Alvariño did not give her name to any of the species she discovered. It was up to later scientists to name Aidanosagitta alvarinoae and Lizzia alvarinoae in her honor.


5. Ángeles Alvariño, who died in 2005, is honored as namesake of a vessel of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography


Jornada de Puertas Abiertas en el Buque Oceanográfico Ángeles AlvariñoNoticia by RTVE in Cantabria with the motif of the Jornadas de Puertas Abiertas del Buque Oceanográfico Ángeles Alvariño del Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO) of Santander.2014-06-19T00: 12: 25Z

María de los Ángeles Alvariño González died on May 29, 2005 in La Jolla, California. According to the Smithsonian, “She had just finished writing a book on an oceanographic expedition in the late 1700s when she died in 2005.”

In 2012, a Spanish Institute of Oceanography research vessel was launched and was named “Ángeles Alvariño” in his honor. The ship was launched from the port of Vigo, Spain, with her daughter participating in the ceremony, according to the IEO.

Google added on its Doodle blog: “Today, Ángeles Alvariño is the only Spanish scientist out of 1,000 in the“ Encyclopedia of Scientists of the World ”. Happy birthday, Dr María de los Ángeles Alvariño González! ”




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