Lynne R. Parenti

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Lynne R. Parenti
Manhattan, New York
Alma materState University of New York at Stony Brook,
City University of New York
Known forIchthyology
Scientific career
InstitutionsSmithsonian Institution

Lynne R. Parenti (born 1954) is an American ichthyologist. She serves as a Research Scientist and Curator of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.[1][2] Her specialty is the systematics and historical biogeography of freshwater and coastal fishes, and she has conducted research in this area for about thirty years.

Early life and education[edit]

Parenti was born in Manhattan, New York, grew up in Staten Island. She earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1975 and her Ph.D in Biology through a joint program between the City University of New York and the American Museum of Natural History in 1980.[3]


Parenti has written, spoken and conducted research in the areas of systematics, phylogeny[4] and biogeography of tropical freshwater and coastal marine fishes,[5] comparative teleost anatomy, development and reproduction, and theory and methods of historical biogeography.[6] She has led expeditions in Papua New Guinea, the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, China, Taiwan, Sulawesi, Hawaii, Tasmania, and New Zealand. She has been the principal investigator of several National Science Foundation (NSF) grants. Among other work, her research has led to biological reclassification of Killfish.[7][5]

In 1995, Parenti became a member of the Washington Biologists’ Field Club.[3] In 2005, she was the first woman ichthyologist to be President of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.


Parenti has written more than 100 peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals including Science. Many of her articles are highly cited.[8] She has also written four books, including Cladistic Biogeography — Interpreting Patterns of Plant and Animal Distributions, for which a second edition was published in 1999.[9] Her most recent book, Comparative Biogeography: Discovering and Classifying Biogeographical Patterns of a Dynamic Earth (2009, University of California Press), was recognized in 2010 as the Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Prize Winner.[10]

Honors and awards[edit]

She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Honorary Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and Honorary member of the Indonesian Ichthyological Society. In 2005, she was a Distinguished Lecturer in the Petrus Artedi Tricentennial Symposium on Ichthyology.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tropical Fish Hobbyist. Vol. 43, Issues 9-10. T.F.H. Publications. 1995. p. 198.
  2. ^ Joel Shurkin, "Science and Culture: How fish innards inspire art". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences vol. 113 no. 15 3906–3907, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1603286113
  3. ^ a b Perry, M.C.; Bond, C.S.; Lohnes, E.J.R. "Lynne R. Parenti". Washington Biologists' Field Club. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  4. ^ David Alderton (15 May 2012). Livebearers: Understanding Guppies, Mollies, Swordtails and Others. i-5 Publishing LLC. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-1-62008-006-1.
  5. ^ a b John A. Dawes (1 May 1988). A practical guide to keeping freshwater aquarium fishes. Exeter Books. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-671-09309-9.
  6. ^ Dennis McCarthy (9 June 2011). Here Be Dragons: How the study of animal and plant distributions revolutionized our views of life and Earth. OUP Oxford. pp. 111–. ISBN 978-0-19-161973-1.
  7. ^ John Dawes (2001). Complete Encyclopedia of the Freshwater Aquarium. Firefly Books. pp. 262–. ISBN 978-1-55297-544-2.
  8. ^ "Google Scholar Report"
  9. ^ "Book Review:Cladistic Biogeography — Interpreting Patterns of Plant and Animal Distributions (2nd edn)". Heredity (1999) 83, 501–501; doi:10.1038/sj.hdy.6886243
  10. ^ "Smithsonian Women Scientists: Dr. Lynne Parenti, Ichthyologist (NMNH)". Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Retrieved 13 April 2015.