Roger A. Young

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Roger Arliner Young
Born1899
Clifton Forge, Virginia, US
DiedNovember 9, 1964(1964-11-09) (aged 64–65)
New Orleans, Louisiana
NationalityAmerican
Alma materHoward University
University of Chicago
University of Pennsylvania
Scientific career
Fieldszoology, biology, marine biology
Institutionsmarine biological laboratory

Roger Arliner Young (August 20, 1899-November 9, 1964[1][2]) was a zoologist, biologist, and marine biologist.[3] She was the first Black American woman to get a Ph.D. in zoology.[2][1][4] She is best known for her groundbreaking research in fertilization and her revolutionary article published in Science in 1924, “On the Excretory Apparatus in Paramecium.”[1] She was the first Black woman to publish in Science magazine or any other biology publication.[4][3] She was the first Black woman to do research at Woods Hole, in Massachusetts.[5] In fact, in 2005, a Congressional Resolution said she had “broken through many barriers to achieve greatness in science."[4][2] She also was a co-founder of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.[4]

Early life and education[change | change source]

Young was born in Clifton Forge, Virginia.[1] She grew up in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.[1] Young had to take care of her mother. Her mother could not work. Young also had health problems.[4]

Young attended Howard University. She began when she was twenty-seven years old.[5] She planned to study music.[5] In 1921, she met Ernest Everett Just.[1] She took a biology class from him.[5] He became her mentor.[4][1] She decided to study zoology.[5] It took Young from 1916-1923 to complete college.[1]

Young started studying for her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1924.[4][1] The same year, she published her article in Science magazine.[1] She completed her Master's degree. Her advisor was Frank Lillie.[1] She was invited to join Sigma Xi, an honors research society, a group that honors good work in science.[6][3] Usually, Sigma Xi did not offer membership to people with only Master's degrees.[6] She did not pass her exams for her doctoral degree.[4] In January of 1930 she left the university.[1] She felt embarrassed and did not continue trying.[4] In 1937, she began studying under L. V. Heilbrunn at the University of Pennsylvania.[4][1] In 1940, she finally completed her Ph.D.[1]

Research[change | change source]

Young's research focused on ocean life. Usually she focused on reproduction. She studied how radiation affected sea urchin eggs.[3][2] She researched salt and water in paramecia.[3] She studied fertilization in paramecia.[1]

Career[change | change source]

Young worked in Just's lab at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in the summer of 1926.[6][1] She taught as head of the Howard University zoology department when Just worked on research in Europe.[2]

After Young left the University of Chicago, she still did research at Woods Hole.[1] She taught at Howard University until 1937.[4]

Between 1935 and 1938, Young published four articles.[5]

Young became an assistant professor at the North Carolina College for Negroes in Raleigh after she got her Ph.D.[1] She was the head of the Biology department at Shaw University.[5] She then taught for a while in Texas and at Jackson State College in Mississippi.[1] In 1962 she taught at Southern University.[1]

Personal life[change | change source]

Young suffered from mental health problems her whole life.[4][6][1] That is why she changed jobs a lot.[1] She died in New Orleans on November 9, 1964.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 "Roger A. Young, Zoologist born". African American Registry. Retrieved 2021-12-19.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Felder, D. G. (2020). "Roger Arliner Young (1889-1964): Biologist, Zoologist." The American Women's Almanac: 500 Years of Making History. United States: Visible Ink Press. Via Google Books.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "About | RAY Diversity Fellowship". rayfellowship.org. Retrieved 2022-01-30.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Lee, DN "Roger Arliner Young, Zoologist" The Urban Scientist, Scientific American blog. 2012-14-2 Retrieved 2021-12-15
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 "Roger Arliner Young (1889-1964)". 2007-03-07. BlackPast. Retrieved 2022-01-30.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Roo News (2018-02-01). "Celebrating Women in STEM: Dr. Roger Arliner Young". info.umkc.edu. Retrieved 2022-01-30.