The Google Doodle today (October 3) celebrates the 105th birthday of Spanish-American professor and marine research biologist MarÃa de los Ãngeles AlvariÃ±o GonzÃ¡lez, who is considered one of the most important Spanish scientists of all time.
Born in 1916, her love for natural history began with her father’s library and deepened as she continued her research in coastal oceanography.
Although the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) only accepted men at the time, her academic work so impressed the organization that they appointed her a marine biologist in 1952.
Based in Vigo, she began her pioneering research on zooplankton, tiny organisms that serve as the foundation of the oceanic food chain, and identified certain species as the best indicators of ocean health.
In 1953, the British Council awarded Ãngeles AlvariÃ±o a scholarship which enabled her to become the first woman to work as a scientist aboard a British research vessel.
After several expeditions, she continued her education in the United States where she retired as one of the world’s most prestigious marine biologists in 1987.
During her career, she discovered 22 new species of zooplankton and published over 100 scientific papers. Even today, she is the only Spanish scientist out of 1,000 to appear in the “Encyclopedia of the World’s Scientists”, and a modern research vessel in the IEO fleet bears her name.
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