This year in honor of Black History Month we are highlighting a few of our favorite historical and modern black scientists. In this blog you will find full bios and additional resources related to each scientist and science field mentioned.
Marie Clark Taylor
Marie Clark Taylor was the first woman to earn a science doctorate from Fordham University, and later went on to become the head of the botany department at Howard. Her primary area of study was photomorphogenesis, or the way that light impacts plant growth. In addition to her research, Taylor was a passionate educator who worked to encourage teachers around the world to incorporate her hands-on approach to science education.
Learn more about Marie Clark Taylor: https://www.womeninhorticulture.com/post/woman-of-firsts-marie-clark-taylor
Professional Organization for botanists- https://cms.botany.org/home.html
Black Botanist week: https://blackbotanistsweek.weebly.com/
Tyler Thrasher is a botanist and artist most known for his crystalized insects and plants, as well as the new plant species he has created. over the summer he started the #DoGoodGang and has been able to donate over $60,000 to various nonprofits including donating STEM Kits to Black children in Tulsa during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Follow him on twitter and Instagram: @TylerThrasher
Ernest Everett Just
Ernest Everett Just was a biologist best known for his study or marine invertebrate eggs and breeding. He was known and widely respected in his field for his expertise and understanding of invertebrate eggs, and how to properly handle and study them. He was not only a professor at Howard, but also worked with some of the most renowned international research organizations of his time.
More about Ernest Everett Just: https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/ernest-everett-just-1883-1941
Professional Organization: https://nabt.org/Professional-Organizations
Dr. Danielle N. Lee
Dr. Danielle N. Lee is a Mammologist studying how ecology and evolution impact animal behavior. She currently teaches Biology at Southern Illinois University and her outreach efforts are focused on sharing the power of science and nature for all. In 2015 she was a TED fellow, and in 2017 she was selected to be a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.
Learn more about Dr. Danielle N. Lee https://www.siue.edu/artsandsciences/biologicalsciences/faculty-staff/faculty-pages/lee.shtml
Follow on Twitter and Instagram: @DNLee5
Black mammologist week: https://blackmammalogists.com/
Mary Jackson was a NASA engineer with a passion for serving others. She was the first black female aeronautical engineer and spent the bulk of her career studying the layer of air around planes. She got her start as a math teacher in 1942 and from there worked in a variety of positions and fields until starting in the Langley Memorial Aeronautical at NASA.
More about Mary Jackson: https://www.nasa.gov/content/mary-jackson-biography
Professional Organizations: https://blackinengineering.org/
Carl Denard, Ph.D.
Carl Denard, Ph.D. is a bio engineer currently teaching at the University of Florida. His work is primarily focused on cellular and protein engineering, which he and his team use to understand and fight diseases. The Denard lab allows college students of all levels to have the opportunity to study biological engineering more in depth and was launched in 2020.
More about Carl Denard Ph.D: https://www.che.ufl.edu/people/faculty/name/carl-denard/
More about the Denard Lab: https://www.thedenardlab.com/
St. Elmo Brady
St. Elmo Brady was the first African American to get a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Throught his career he worked to build the chemistry departments at numerous universities including Tuskegee University, Howard University, Fisk University and Tougaloo College. He was a talented and brilliant chemist, and chose to return to academics rather than enter the commercial world in order to improve access and quality of chemistry education in the United States
Learn more about St. Elmo Brady: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/st-elmo-brady.html
Professional Organizations: https://www.blackinchem.com/ https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/outreach/ncw.html
Dr. Raychelle Burks
Dr Raychelle Burks is a Chemist and Activist. Her work as a science communicator has helped to make science more approachable and engaging and has received numerous accolades for her work in chemistry. She is currently a professor at American University in Washington DC.
More about Dr Raychelle Burks: https://www.american.edu/cas/faculty/burks.cfm
Follow Dr Raychelle Burks on Instagram and twitter: @DrRubidium
Additional organizations and resources: