Lerner Marine Laboratory

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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

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Lerner Marine Laboratory. Collection, 1947-1977. American Museum of Natural History
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Meister, Walter F., 1901-1975. Papers, 1952-1967. American Museum of Natural History
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History corporateBody
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. Dept. of Fishes and Aquatic Biology. corporateBody
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. Dept. of Ichthyology. corporateBody
associatedWith Goelet, Robert G. 1924- person
associatedWith Lerner, Michael, 1890-1978. person
associatedWith Mathewson, Robert F. person
associatedWith Meister, Walter F., 1901-1975. person
associatedWith Nicholson, Thomas D. person
associatedWith Oliver, James Arthur, 1914- person
associatedWith Parr, Albert Eide, 1900-1991. person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Rozen, Jerome George, 1928- person
associatedWith Smith, C. Lavett, 1927- person
associatedWith Stout, Gardner D. person
associatedWith Tyler, James C., 1935- person
associatedWith United States. Office of Naval Research. Oceanic Biology Branch. corporateBody
associatedWith Wodinsky, Jerome. person
associatedWith Wylie, Philip, 1902-1971. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Bimini Islands (Bahamas)
Bahamas--Bimini Islands
New York (State)--New York
Marine biologists
Marine biology
Marine laboratories
Natural history museums

Corporate Body

Active 1952

Active 1967


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