Libbie Hyman

Born December 6th, 1888
› Died August 3rd, 1969 (after the Hippies)
Received a B.A. in 1910
Ph.D. in 1915
Research assistant to Prof. Charles Manning
› Studed under him earlier
› Worked with him for SIXTEEN (16) years on his studies
of lower invertebrates
› Published over FORTY research articles.
Wrote two laboratory manuals
› Laboratory Manual for Elementary Zoology (1919,
› Laboratory Manual for Comparative Vertebrate
Anatomy (1922, 1942)
 Professional
› 1931 - Hyman’s position at the University of
› Developed Parkinson’s
Chicago ended
disease during the 1950s
 Department chair retired
but continued her long
 No longer had a supporter in the department
work days
› According to Margaret W Rossiter
 Was in a wheelchair, under
 Other department members found her abrasive
the care of a nurse, when
› May (probably) have been ostracized for her
she completed the sixth
Jewish heritage
volume of The Invertebrates
› Abandonment occurred at the beginning of
the depression
› Dun dun DUN!!!!!! 
 Increasing difficulty for woman to find jobs in
 Spent the next six years unaffiliated with any
Continued her research independently at the
American Museum of Natural History
Recognizing need & worthiness of her
research, the museum offered office space &
laboratory in 1937 – UNPAID!
Despite obstacles, she persisted in preparation
of the manuscripts for The Invertebrates.
› In 1967, suffering from Parkinson's Disease and
forced to discontinue work
1916 - An analysis of the process of regeneration in certain microdrilous oligochaetes. J. Exp. Zool. 20:99-163.
1917 - Metabolic gradients in amoeba and their relation to the mechanism of amoeboid motion. J. Exp. ZooL 24:55-99.
1919 - A laboratory manual for elementary zoology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1919 - Physiological studies on planaria. III. Oxygen consumption in relation to age (size) differences. Biol. Bull. 37:388-403.
1919 - With C. M. Child. The axial gradients in hydrozoa. 1. Hydra. Biol. Bull. 36:183-223.
1920 - The axial gradients in hydrozoa. III. Experiments on the gradient of tubularia. Biol. Bull. 38:353-403.
1922 - A laboratory manual for comparative vertebrate anatomy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1924 - With B. H. Willier and S. A. Rifenburgh. Physiological studies on planaria. VI. A respiratory and histochemical study of the
source of the increased metabolism after feeding. J. Exp. Zool. 40:473-94.
1925 - Respiratory differences along the axis of the sponge Grantia. Biol. Bull. 48:379-88.
1926 - The metabolic gradients of vertebrate embryos. II. The brook lamprey. J. Morphol. 42:111- 41.
1927 - The metabolic gradients of vertebrate embryos. III. The chick. Biol. Bull. 52:1-38.
1929 - A laboratory manual for elementary zoology. 2d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1931 - Studies on the morphology, taxonomy, and distribution of North American triclad turbellaria. IV Recent European
revisions of the triclads and their application to the American forms, with a key to the latter and new notes on distribution.
Trans. Am. Micros. Soc. 50:316-35.
1931 - Taxonomic studies on the hydras of North America. IV Description of three new species with a key to the known
species. Trans. Am. Micros. Soc. 50:302-15.
1932 - Relation of oxygen tension to oxygen consumption in Nereis virens. J. Exp. Zool. 61:209-2 1.
› Critical approach:
refuted overgeneralized theories
› Advocated an
approach that did
not just rely on older
› Elegant writer
› Often
 changed her mind
 some contradictory
statements in her
› Major Biological
Theories have
changed over time
1920s!!! (and later)
 Great Depression!!
 Intellectual Zeitgeist
Pathway to Methods used in Psychology
› Her Lab Manual!!!
MOST influential comparative invertebrate zoologist
› Of the 20th century
› In the English-speaking world
Conducted experimental research on the metabolic and
developmental physiology of a host of invertebrates and
vertebrate embryos
› During the first part of her career
Views on invertebrate evolution and phylogeny have
become widely incorporated into textbooks
› Until very recently her ideas had been equated with ‘traditional’
or ‘classical’ views on animal evolution.
Enduring fame and significance for modern evo-devo is
primarily based upon her magisterial six-volume series
› The Invertebrates
› Most encompassing single-author synthesis of invertebrate
structure and development of the 20th century.
Had a lasting influence on teaching
Widely used laboratory manuals for elementary zoology &
comparative vertebrate anatomy.
Physiological approach to understanding the
development of organisms
The Invertebrates: summarized some of the
most important questions regarding
comparative zoology
Synthesized a HUGE amount of information for
zoologists: some of her works are still vital to
research today
Barely mentioned in most of historiography of
modern evolutionary development
Her award from 1969
 Scholarship info
› Go get that money!
(McConnell 1967, p. viii)
Hast, Adele. "Libbie Henrietta Hyman." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1
March 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. April 18, 2011
Hyman, L. H. (1940). A laboratory manual for comparative vertebrate anatomy . Chicago:
University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1922)
Hyman, L. H., & Hutchinson, G. E. (1999, February 9). Libbie Henrietta Hyman. Retrieved April 18,
2011, from website:
Jenner, R. A. (2004, September 15). Libbie Henrietta Hyman (1888–1969): From developmental
mechanics to the evolution of animal body plans. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B:
Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 302B(5), 413-423. doi:10.1002/jez.b.21019
McConnell, J. V. (1967). A manual of psychological experimentation on planarians. Ann Arbor:
Journal of Biological Psychology.
 (2010, September 30). (1888-1969) American Zoologist. In Libbie Hyman’s
Biography, life and Career Facts, Invented. Retrieved April 18, 2011, from website: libbie-hymansbiography-life-and-career-facts-invented/
 (2011). Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship. Retrieved April 18, 2011, from website:
Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2004). A History of Modern Psychology (8th ed.). Belmont: Thomson
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