Google celebrates marine biologist María de los Ángeles Alvariño González with the latest Doodle


By Theresa Waldrop

Google honored María de los Ángeles Alvariño González with a Doodle on Sunday, the 105th birthday of the marine research biologist “widely regarded as one of the most important Spanish scientists of all time,” Google said.

Alvariño discovered 22 new species of zooplankton and published more than 100 scientific papers, according to Google and the scientist’s biographies.

The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) appointed her as a marine biologist in 1952, although only men were accepted into the institute at the time, due to her impressive work at the university, Google said.

Born in Serntes on the Spanish coast, Alvariño developed a love for natural history early on, encouraged by her parents to read her doctor’s books on zoology, according to Encyclopedia of World Biography.

Her father did not support her wish to become a doctor herself, and Ángeles Alvariño continued to study natural sciences at the University of Madrid, according to the biography.

A scholarship from the British Council took her to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Plymouth, England, to study zooplankton, including jellyfish.

The scholarship “enabled her to become the first woman to work as a scientist aboard a British research vessel,” Google wrote.

She continued her research with a Fulbright Fellowship in the United States and became a United States citizen in 1966, according to the encyclopedia’s biography.

“Today, Ángeles Alvariño is the only Spanish scientist in 1,000 in the Encyclopedia of Scientists of the World,” Google wrote, “and a modern research vessel in the IEO fleet bears his name.”

Alvariño died in 2005.

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