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She is considered one of the most important Spanish scholars of all time and is the only Spanish woman who is part of the 1000 names appearing in the “Encyclopedia of World Scientists”.

Alvarino described 22 new species of plankton for science, published more than 100 scientific articles and occupied chairs in Brazil, Mexico and the United States, where he died in 2005 in La Jolla (California).

In 1953, she won a scholarship to continue studying zooplankton in the UK, where she became the first scientist to work on a British research vessel, according to the IEO’s Oceanic website.

But it wasn’t easy, because in the middle of the last century, the IEO only accepted men, but her work led her to join as a marine biologist in 1952.

Story Highlights

  • Born today in 1916 in Cerantes, a small coastal town in northern Galicia, Alvarino’s love for natural history began with his father’s library and deepened as he devoted himself to research in coastal oceanography.

  • To this acknowledgment must be added that a research vessel from the IEO fleet sails the seas in his name.

The Spanish later moved to the United States, where she worked at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California and the National Office of the Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a public agency specializing in the study of ocean and atmospheric conditions.

Alvarino’s “Doodles” can be seen on Sunday in Spain, the United States, Peru, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Bulgaria and Greece.