Addison Emery Verrill

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Addison Emery Verrill
Addison Emery Verrill.jpg
Born(1839-02-09)February 9, 1839
DiedDecember 10, 1926(1926-12-10) (aged 87)
Alma materHarvard University
Scientific career
InstitutionsSmithsonian Institution

Addison Emery Verrill (February 9, 1839, Greenwood, Maine – December 10, 1926, Santa Barbara, California) was an American zoologist.


He was a student of Louis Agassiz at Harvard University and graduated in 1862. He went on scientific collecting trips with Alpheus Hyatt and Nathaniel Shaler in the summer of 1860 to Trenton Point, Maine and Mount Desert Island[1] and in the summer of 1861 to Anticosti Island and Labrador.[2] In 1864 Verrill made reports on mining, or prospective mining, properties in New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania.[3] Two years after graduation from Harvard, he accepted a position as Yale University's Sheffield Scientific School first Professor of Zoology,[4]:8 and taught there from 1864 until his retirement in 1907.

Between 1868–70 he was professor of comparative anatomy and entomology in the University of Wisconsin. From 1860 Verrill investigated the invertebrate fauna of the Atlantic coast, with special reference to the corals, annelids, echinoderms, and mollusks, and became the chief authority on the living cephalopods, especially the giant squid of the North Atlantic.

His Report upon the Invertebrate Animals of Vineyard Sound (1874), with Sidney Irving Smith, whose sister he married, is a standard manual of the marine zoology of southern New England. His collections were deposited in the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University.

In later life he explored with his students the geology and marine animals of the Bermuda Islands. Besides many memoirs and articles on the subjects mentioned above, he published The Bermuda Islands (1903; second edition, 1907).[5]

Verrill published more than 350 papers and monographs, and described more than 1,000 species of animals in virtually every major taxonomy group. He was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 1959, Yale's Peabody Museum established the Addison Emory Verrill Medal, awarded for achievement in the natural sciences.


His son, Alpheus Hyatt Verrill, known as Hyatt Verrill, (1871–1954) was an American archaeologist, explorer, inventor, illustrator and author.


  1. ^ The ancestry, life and work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. p. 42.
  2. ^ The ancestry, life and work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. p. 55.
  3. ^ The ancestry, life and work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. p. 57.
  4. ^ Dingus, Lowell (2018). King of the Dinosaur Hunters : the life of John Bell Hatcher and the discoveries that shaped paleontology. Pegasus Books. ISBN 9781681778655.
  5. ^ Verrill, Addison Emery (1902). "The Bermuda Islands: Their Scenery, Climate, Productions, Physiography, Natural History and Geology: With Sketches of Their Early History and the Changes Due to Man". Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. Vol. 11. The author published a reprint with some changes in 1903 and a 2nd edition in 1907.

Additional references[edit]

  • Coe, Wesley R. (1927). "Addison Emery Verrill: Pioneer Zoologist". Science. 66 (1697): 28–9.
  • Coe, Wesley R. (1932). "Addison Emery Verrill (1839-1926)" (PDF). Biographical Memoirs. National Academy of Sciences. 14 (2).
  • Sterling, Keir B., ed. (1997). "Verrill, Addison Emery". Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and Environmentalists. Greenwood Press.
  • Verrill, George Elliot (1958). The Ancestry, Life and Work of Addison E. Verrill of Yale University. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Pacific Coast Pub. Co.

External links[edit]