Irene Bernasconi was a talented echinoderm specialist or marine biologist who has been commemorated by Google Doodle this Monday, November 7. It honours her work and commitment to biology as she can be seen surrounded by starfish - one of her favourite specimens of research.
But who is Irene Bernasconi and why is she so famous? Here’s what you should know.
Who is Irene Bernasconi?
Irene Bernasconi was born on September 29, 1896, in La Plata, Argentina. By 1918, she started her career as a teacher and specialised in natural science studies before she earned a position at the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences in the early 1920s.
This gave her the opportunity to refine her academic career which led to her publishing a scientific work on molluscs and marine invertebrates in 1925 - over her entire career, however, she spent over 50 years studying such creatures.
Why is Irene Bernasconi famous?
Back in 1968, Irene Bernasconi - at 72 years of age - marked a milestone in biological history by becoming the first woman from her country to lead a marine expedition to Antarctica. Along with her team of three other scientists they investigated the biodiversity near the South Pole despite the dangerous climate.
Their expedition saw them collect over 2,000 echinoderm specimens and plant life from Antarctica. As a result, in 1969 the Women’s Embassy in America awarded her team a commemorative medal.
Where is Bernasconi Cove?
In 2018, the ceremony for International Women’s Day also coincided with the 50th anniversary of Bernasconi’s marine expedition, therefore the National Directorate for Antarctica, the Argentine Antarctic Institute and the Naval Hydrographic Service recognised the marine biologist and her team for their success.
In commemoration, her name was incorporated into the Argentine maps of Antarctica with the location entitled Bernasconi Cove. Bernasconi Cove is located on the Southeast area of the Jason Peninsula in Antarctica.
When did Irene Bernasconi die?
Following a prolific career that spanned over 50 years, Irene Bernasconi died on 7 July, 1989 in Buenos Aires, the capital city of her country of birth, Argentina.