Born on May 4, 1922, New York, N.Y., U.S. Dr. Eugenie Clark is known as “The Shark Lady” because she studies sharks. Dr. Clark is an ichthyologist, a person who studies marine fish. American ichthyologist noted for her research on poisonous fishes of the tropical seas and on the behaviour of sharks. Clark’s research on the reproduction of species of platys and swordtail fish earned her a Ph.D. degree from New York University in 1950; she was reported as being the first person in the United States to carry out successful artificial insemination experiments on fish. In the West Indies she studied the vision of fish, particularly their ability to transfer images from one eye to the other. Clark was a member of the staff of the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, from 1948 to 1966, and from 1955 to 1967 she was executive director of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. She then joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, becoming full professor in 1973.
In 1949 the U.S. Office of Naval Research sent her to the South Seas to collect and identify species of poisonous fish. As a Fulbright scholar (1950) at Fuad University, Egypt, she collected specimens of poisonous blowfish. In the early 1960s Clark undertook research on shark behavior. She wrote Lady with a Spear (1953) and The Lady and the Sharks (1969).