Stazione Zoologica di Napoli

The world's first and foremost marine research station during the 19th century, located in Naples. Founded 1872 by Anton Dohrn and formally opened in 1875, although its public aquarium opened in 1874 and research began in the first completed building in 1873. Unlike similar marine stations in other countries, the Stazione was not affiliated with an academic institution and instead hosted visiting researchers who paid fees to rent research "tables" or "benches." The Stazione also published monograph series and journals, operated collecting boats, and sold biological specimens. The research departments included zoology (founded 1873), physiology (1882), bacteriology (1887). Most of the research concerned the embryology, physiology, and morphology of marine organisms that were collected locally; this research was of substantial importance in evolutionary biology during Anton Dohrn's lifespan. Directed after Dohrn's death in 1909 by his son Reinhard, who was forced out of the position in 1915 by the Italian government, but returned to it in 1924 and continued until 1954, when his son Peter in turn became director. The station's web site includes a very informative historical essay.

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