Rosa Smith Eigenmann
Rosa Smith Eigenmann was the first notable female ichthyologist; first publishing in her own right, she later collaborated with her husband Carl H. Eigenmann
Carl H. Eigenmann
Carl H. Eigenmann was an ichthyologist who, along with his wife Rosa Smith Eigenmann, described many of the fishes of North America and South America for the first time....

, and some 150 species of fish are today credited "Eigenmann & Eigenmann" as a result.

She was born in Monmouth, Illinois
Monmouth, Illinois
Monmouth is a city in and the county seat of Warren County in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the home of Monmouth College and contains Monmouth Park, Harmon Park, North Park, Warfield Park, West Park, South Park, Garwood Park, Buster White Park and the Citizens Lake & Campground. It is the host...

, the last of nine children. While her family was originally from California, they had moved to Illinois to start a newspaper, but Rosa was frail and in poor health, so they returned to California, living in San Diego
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

. She was interested in the local natural history from an early age, and joined the San Diego Society of Natural History.

David Starr Jordan
David Starr Jordan
David Starr Jordan, Ph.D., LL.D. was a leading eugenicist, ichthyologist, educator and peace activist. He was president of Indiana University and Stanford University.-Early life and education:...

 visited San Diego in 1879, and met Rosa Smith then, either at a Society meeting, or because he rented a horse and buggy from her father. At about this time, she had discovered the blind goby Othonops eos living in caves underneath Point Loma Peninsula. Jordan was impressed and encouraged her to study with him at Indiana University
Indiana University
Indiana University is a multi-campus public university system in the state of Indiana, United States. Indiana University has a combined student body of more than 100,000 students, including approximately 42,000 students enrolled at the Indiana University Bloomington campus and approximately 37,000...

; she spent two years there, but had to return home due to an illness in the family. While there, she met fellow student Carl, and continued corresponding with him after returning to San Diego, as well as publishing formal descriptions of the blind goby and other fish.

Carl came out to California after receiving his bachelor's degree, and they married on August 20, 1887. They then visited Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, where they studied its collections, and Rosa became the first woman allowed to attend graduate-level classes at Harvard. They also published the first of many collaborative works.

After several more years in San Diego, Carl became a professor at Indiana University in Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 80,405 at the 2010 census....

. Rosa continued to collaborate with him, but less frequently; of their five children, one daughter was disabled and a son was eventually institutionalized, a burden that was mostly borne by Rosa. When Carl suffered a stroke in 1927, the family returned to San Diego; after he died in April of that year, she remained there, but was no longer scientifically active.
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