For almost a century and a half, biologists have gone to the seashore to study life. The oceans contain rich biodiversity, and organisms at the intersection of sea and shore provide a plentiful sampling for research into a variety of questions at the laboratory bench: How does life develop and how does it function? How are organisms that look different related, and what role does the environment play?
From the Stazione Zoologica in Naples to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, the Amoy Station in China, or the Misaki Station in Japan, students and researchers at seaside research stations have long visited the ocean to investigate life at all stages of development and to convene discussions of biological discoveries. Exploring the history and current reasons for study by the sea, this book examines key people, institutions, research projects, organisms selected for study, and competing theories and interpretations of discoveries, and it considers different ways of understanding research, such as through research repertoires. A celebration of coastal marine research, Why Study Biology by the Sea? reveals why scientists have moved from the beach to the lab bench and back.
Foreword / Nipam H. Patel
Introduction / Karl S. Matlin, Jane Maienschein, and Rachel A. Ankeny
Part One. Marine Places
1. Why Have Biologists Studied at the Seashore? The Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory / Jane Maienschein
2. Marine Biology Studies at Naples: The Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn / Christiane Groeben
3. The First Marine Biological Station in Modern China: Amoy University and Amphioxus / Christine Yi Lai Luk
4. The Misaki Marine Biological Station’s Dual Roles for Zoology and Fisheries, 1880s–1930s / Kjell David Ericson
Part Two. Marine Practice
5. Illuminating Animal Behavior: The Impact of Laboratory Structure on Tropism Research at Marine Stations / Samantha Muka
6. The Scientific Fishery: Sampling, Dissecting, and Drawing in the Gulf of Naples / Katharina Steiner
7. A Dual Mission: Research and Education as Critical Factors for the Scientific Integrity of the Marine Biological Laboratory / Kate MacCord
8. Francis O. Schmitt: At the Intersection of Neuroscience and Squid / Kathryn Maxson Jones
9. Microscopes and Moving Molecules: The Discovery of Kinesin at the Marine Biological Laboratory / Karl S. Matlin
10. Using Repertoires to Explore Changing Practices in Recent Coral Research / Rachel A. Ankeny and Sabina Leonelli
11. Why Study Sex by the Sea? Marine Organisms and the Problems of Fertilization and Cell Cleavage / Michael R. Dietrich, Nathan Crowe, and Rachel A. Ankeny
12. Hagfish and Vascular Biology: Why the Marine Model Matters / Marianne A. Grant and William C. Aird
Epilogue: The Future of Biological Research Will Be Found in the Oceans / Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado
List of Contributors
Karl S. Matlin is a cell biologist and professor in the Department of Surgery and a member of the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science at the University of Chicago. He is coeditor, most recently, of Visions of Cell Biology: Reflections Inspired by Cowdry's "General Cytology", also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Jane Maienschein is University Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University and fellow and director of the History and Philosophy of Science Project at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. She is coeditor, most recently, of The Ark and Beyond: The Evolution of Zoo and Aquarium Conservation, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Rachel Ankeny is professor of history at the University of Adelaide, Australia, and honorary visiting professor in the College of Social Science and International Studies (Philosophy) at the University of Exeter, UK.
"In dozens of coastal communities across the world, just down the shore from where vacationers enjoy seaside nature, scientists at marine biological stations are investigating fundamental aspects of life. This first-rate collection brings historians and biologists together to present fresh analyses of the institutions, people, ideas, and practices of this seaside enterprise as it has grown up over the past 150 years. Its chapters collectively demonstrate how the combination of lab and field studies at seaside stations, starting at Naples and Woods Hole and then spreading across the globe, have made major contributions to our understanding of life, especially its cellular and subcellular workings. Ultimately, by showing, over and over again, the importance of obscure sea creatures for building basic biological knowledge, this book offers a powerful argument for sustaining the institutions that allow scientists to study them."
– Lynn K. Nyhart, University of Wisconsin–Madison
"Marine biology and marine science in general are increasingly relevant in an age of global climate change. This book is unique in also dealing with these subjects from a historical and philosophical perspective, which provides new insights and approaches to the various epistemic issues that arise regarding the scientific work itself. The authors are all outstanding and well-recognized scholars, and the volume is not only interesting reading but also an important contribution to preserving the marine environment and the institutions (marine biological stations) devoted to studying it."
– Garland E. Allen, Washington University in St. Louis