E is for Tilly Edinger – Paleoneurologist #AtoZChallenge

E is for Tilly Edinger – Paleoneurologist

++ A to Z of Notable Women in STEM ++

Tilly Edinger (1897 – 1967) created the subdiscipline of paleontology called paleoneurology. Paleoneurology is the study of the brains of fossil organisms by observing the shape of the inside of the braincase.

Tyrannosaurus endocast showing the shape and size of the brain. The big structures on the left are olfactory lobes for the sense of smell. Credit: Matt Martyniuk CC 4.0 BY SA

Tyrannosaurus endocast showing the shape and size of the brain. The big structures on the left are olfactory lobes for the sense of smell.
Credit: Matt Martyniuk CC 4.0 BY SA

Dr Edinger earned her Ph.D. in zoology in 1921 studying the brain of Nothosaurus a marine reptile from the University of Frankfurt. She later moved to the Senckenberg Museum and wrote her seminal book Die Fossilen Gehirne (Fossil Brains), by which she founded the discipline of paleoneurology.

Dr. Edinger’s position was threatened when the Nazi Party rose to power in 1933. In 1940, she moved to the United States to work at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.
She was highly regarded in the discipline of vertebrate paleontology and was elected president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in 1963.

See more notable women of STEM in my contribution to the April A to Z blogging challenge for 2016.

Add your own “E”-named women to the list in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *