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Lester D. Stephens and Dale R. Calder fill the gaps in the historical record about Mayor with this first book-length account of his life and work. They detail Mayor’s passion for biology, association with Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, and rise to international prominence in the scientific community. Few field naturalists could claim to have visited as many truly exotic locales as Mayor, who traveled throughout the South Pacific and indeed around the world before returning to the United States to establish a research station at Dry Tortugas in 1904.
Illustrated with twenty-four black-and-white photographs as well as four diagrams and eight color illustrations drawn by Mayor, who was also a gifted artist, Seafaring Scientist describes Mayor’s determination to develop the Tortugas Laboratory despite daunting operational problems related to the remoteness of the site and its vulnerability to hurricanes. Stephens and Calder enumerate the contributions made by Mayor and other investigators at the outpost and discuss Mayor’s monumental three-volume opus, Medusae of the World.
Written to appeal to the armchair explorer as well as the professional researcher, Seafaring Scientist captures the thrills of scientific quest and discovery as well as the trials of seeking support and recognition that defined the life of this extraordinary marine biologist.