Lerner Marine Laboratory

Alternative names
Active 1952
Active 1967

History notes:

The Lerner Marine Laboratory (LML) was established in 1947 by Michael Lerner on North Bimini Island, Bahamas, as a field station of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Bimini Islands, close to the Florida coast, and with the Gulf Stream on the west and a tropical lagoon on the east, make an ideal site for a marine laboratory. Founded with the permission of the government of the Bahamas, the LML was overseen by the AMNH Dept. of Fishes and Aquatic Biology, and was open free of charge to all major scientists and researchers. The LML provided researchers with living accommodations, boats and laboratory equipment, indoor aquaria, and outdoor pens for the study of sharks, sawfish, tarpon and other large fish. During its years of operation, hundreds of new species of marine and island fauna and flora were discovered, and the conch, an important part of the Bahamian diet, was studied in preparation for a conservation program. Much of the research conducted at the LML had potential applications in medical fields such as immunology, virology, transplant rejection and cancer. The LML was closed in 1977 for lack of funding, and a scholarship fund was set up in its place.

Michael Lerner was a businessman and sports fisherman with a strong interest in marine biology.

Lerner led several AMNH expeditions to study marine life, to Chile, Peru, Ecuador, New Zealand and Australia; organized the International Game Fish Association in 1939; and served on the AMNH Board of Trustees for many years, beginning in 1941. He underwrote the initial investment for the LML before presenting it to the AMNH.

From the description of Collection, 1947-1977. (American Museum of Natural History). WorldCat record id: 57137419


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Ark ID:


  • Natural history museums--History--20th century
  • Oceanography--Research
  • Marine biology--Research
  • Marine laboratories
  • Marine biologists


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  • Bimini Islands (Bahamas) (as recorded)
  • Bahamas--Bimini Islands (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)