Carriker, Melbourne Armstrong, 1879-1965Alternative names
Melbourne Armstrong Carriker, Jr. (1879-1965), was born in Sullivan, Illinois. By the time he graduated from high school, he was collecting bird skins and studying the habits of birds extensively. His interest in bird lice (Mallophaga) began during his freshman year at the University of Nebraska under the guidance of Lawrence Bruner, and Carriker became one of the world's authorities on the neotropical genera. During his career Carriker was responsible for the description of two new families, four new subfamilies, fifty-three new genera and subgenera, and eight hundred sixty-six new species and subspecies. Carriker was prolific in his writing as well. Between 1940 and 1959 he produced thirty-three papers. His papers were published in Spanish as well as English, and he corresponded with Mallophaga systematists all over the world. Carriker collected specimens for some of the most important institutions in the country, including the Carnegie Museum (1902 and 1907-1927); the American Museum of Natural History (1909); the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (1929-1938); the United States National Museum (1940-1952); the Peabody Museum; the Field Museum of Natural History; and the Los Angeles County Museum. He traveled to South America extensively on his collecting trips, covering Costa Rica, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Curacao Island, and canvassing Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia almost entirely. From 1907 to 1909, Carriker held the position of assistant curator of birds at the Carnegie Museum. In 1953, he received the honorary post of collaborator in the Department of Entomology, United States National Museum, and he continued his collecting work until the month before his death in 1965.
Smithsonian Institution Archives Field Book Project: Person : Description : rid_31_pid_EACP30