Rosa Smith Eigenmann, Ichthyologist


In 1879, Rosa Smith was the first woman to become a member of the San Diego Society of Natural History. By the age of 22, she discovered and described the blind goby, a new species of fish in the tide pools of Point Loma. At the age of 25, she was appointed curator of ichthyology (study of fishes) at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco. Her description of a new scaly blenny fish from La Jolla was published in the Proceedings of the U. S. National Museum in 1880, the first instance of such a description by a woman.

Learn more about Rosa Smith Eigenmann and other famous female scientists at Women in Science.

PHOTO CREDIT: Research Library, SDNHM