Ballona Institute
Los Angeles, California
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Biographical Note on Wesley Roswell Coe:
Nearly Forgotten Marine Zoologist of Yale University
History of Marine Biology in Los Angeles County & City

Robert "Roy" van de Hoek
Biogeographer, Environmental Historian, and Conservation Biologist
Ballona Institute

December 27, 2009

Wesley Roswell Coe was a scientist at Yale University until his retirement in the 1920s. Soon after retirement, Wesley Roswell Coe moved to southern California, becoming a resident in the greater Los Angeles region.

Two decades prior to his retirement, in about 1901, Wesley Roswell Coe came to Los Angeles as a visiting research scholar. Wesley Coe associated with the University of California and the new oceanography institute that was evolving in southern California. Wesley Roswell Coe visited San Pedro, where the summer field station of the University of California had set up for the summer season. In the San Pedro area of Los Angeles County, Wesley Roswell Coe studied marine life, which qualifies him as a Los Angeles marine biologist from over 100 years ago. Wesley Roswell Coe wrote a thank you letter to the University of California, which is archived at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.

Wesley Roswell Coe had a research speciality in marine worms (nermertea), marine seastars (echinoderms), and marine snails and clams (Mollusca). Wesley Roswell Coe wrote a definitive book to the Echinoderms of New England. And Wesley Roswell Coe studied the Pismo Clam, Calfifornia Mussel, and California Oyster in the greater Los Angeles region of southern California. One study on the Pismo Clam was jointly researched between Wesley Roswell Coe and a fisheries scientist named John Fitch at the California Department of Fish and Game. This research on the Pismo Clam was one of the last research articles written by Wesley Roswell Coe

More research on the history of marine biology in the greater Los Angeles region, as it relates to Wesley Roswell Coe will be added in the future, so please stay tuned.