Charles Haskins Townsend

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Charles Haskins Townsend
Charles Haskins Townsend - journal.pone.0034905.g026-cropped.png
Charles Haskins Townsend
BornSeptember 29, 1859
DiedJanuary 28, 1944 (1944-01-29) (aged 84)
Miami, Florida
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materAcademy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Spouse(s)Ella Townsend, nee Bean, (1854–1935)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUnited States Fish Commission
New York Aquarium

Charles Haskins Townsend (September 29, 1859 – January 28, 1944) was an American zoologist.

Early life[edit]

The son of the Reverend Daniel W. Townsend and Elizabeth Townsend, née Kier, he was born in Parnassus, Pennsylvania,[1] and educated in public and private schools.[2]


In 1883, he became assistant United States Fish Commissioner in charge of salmon propagation in California. For a time, he was in charge of deep-sea explorations on the USS Albatross.[3] From 1897 to 1902, he served as chief of the Fish Commission's fisheries division. He then served as director of the New York Aquarium at Castle Garden, from 1902 until his retirement in 1937.[1]

Memberships and honors[edit]

In 1902 Townsend was an expert before the Russo-American fisheries arbitration at The Hague.[1] In 1912-13 he was president of the American Fisheries Society.[1] He was elected a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences.[1]

He is commemorated in the names of Townsend's shearwater and the Guadalupe fur seal (Arctocephalus townsendi).

He is also commemorated in the scientific names of three species of reptiles: Amphisbaena townsendi, Anolis townsendi, and Sphaerodactylus townsendi.[4]


He wrote extensively on fisheries, whaling, fur seals, deep-sea exploration and zoology, including ornithology and herpetology. With Hugh McCormick Smith he wrote The Pacific Salmons section of Trout and Salmon (New York: Macmillan, 1902), a volume of Caspar Whitney's prestigious American Sportsman's Library.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Townsend, Charles Haskins" in Who Was Who in America: Science and Technology. (1976). Marquis Who's Who. p. 610.
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Townsend, Charles Haskins" . Encyclopedia Americana.
  3. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Deep-Sea Exploration" . Encyclopedia Americana.
  4. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Townsend", p. 267).
  5. ^ "The Pacific Salmons by C. H. Townsend and H. M. Smith". In: Salmon and Trout. 1902.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]