Austin B. Williams

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Austin Beatty Williams (October 17, 1919 – October 27, 1999) was an American carcinologist, "the acknowledged expert on and leader in studies of the systematics of eastern American decapod crustaceans".[1]


Austin B. Williams was born on October 17, 1919 in Plattsburg, Missouri, the eldest of three children to Oliver Perry Williams and Lucy Sell.[1] He was educated at McPherson College and the University of Kansas, gaining his Ph.D. in 1951.[1] He then worked at the University of North Carolina Institute of Fisheries Research, the University of Illinois, before gaining a position in the systematics laboratory of the National Marine Fisheries Service, based at the Smithsonian Institution.[1] He was married and had one son and two grandchildren. He died of cancer at Falls Church, Virginia on October 27, 1999.[1]


Williams' first scientific paper, published in 1952, described six new species of freshwater crayfish from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma;[2] he continued to publish until his death in 1999, accruing 118 publications in that time.[1] His most important works[1] include monographs on the marine decapod crustaceans of the Carolinas,[3] on the decapods of the Atlantic coast of the United States,[4] and on the lobsters of the world's oceans.[5][6] He won several awards, including the Crustacean Society's Excellence in Research Award[7] and the American Fisheries Society's Oscar Elton Sette Award.[1]


Austin B. Williams described or co-described 101 new taxa of decapod crustaceans, from the rank of subspecies to superfamily (obelisks mark fossil taxa):[1]


One genus and several species were named by other scientists in honor of Williams. They include:[1][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rafael Lemaitre & Bruce B. Collette (2000). "Austin Beatty Williams (17 October 1919–27 October 1999). Biographical summary". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 113 (1): 1–12. hdl:10088/7340.
  2. ^ Austin B. Williams (1952). "Six new crayfishes of the genus Orconectes (Decapoda: Astacidae) from Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma". Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 55 (3): 330–351. JSTOR 3626240.
  3. ^ Austin B. Williams (1965). "Marine decapod crustaceans of the Carolinas". Fishery Bulletin. 65 (1): 1–298.
  4. ^ Austin B. Williams (1984). Shrimps, lobsters, and crabs, of the Atlantic coast of the eastern United States, Maine to Florida. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. pp. 1–550.
  5. ^ Austin B. Williams (1987). "Lobsters—identification, world distribution, and U.S. trade". Marine Fisheries Review. 48 (2): 1–36.
  6. ^ Austin B. Williams & Ian Dore (1988). Lobsters of the World. Huntington, NY: Osprey Books. ISBN 978-0-943738-23-9.
  7. ^ Rafael Lemaitre (1998). "Austin Beatty Williams recipient of Award for Excellence in Research". Journal of Crustacean Biology. 18 (3): 619–620. doi:10.1163/193724098x00449. hdl:10088/7320. JSTOR 1549426.
  8. ^ Hans G. Hansson. "Dr. Austin Beatty Williams". Biographical Etymology of Marine Organism Names. Göteborgs universitet. Retrieved December 2, 2012.

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