S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Maury, Miss Carlotta Joaquina (geology, palaeontology)

Born: 6 January 1874, Hastings-upon-Hudson, New York, United States of America.
Died: 3 January 1938, Yonkers, New York, United States of America.

Carlotta Joaquina Maury, palaeontologist, was the daughter of Reverend Mytton Maury and his wife Virginia, born Draper. She studied geology and zoology, first at Radcliffe College for a year and then at Cornell University, receiving the degree Bachelor of Philosophy (PhB) in 1896. With the help of a scholarship she continued her studies at the University of Paris, France, and was awarded the degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by Cornell University in 1902, with a thesis titled A comparison of the Oligocene of Western Europe and the southern United States. During 1904-1906 she worked for some periods as assistant in palaeontology for special work at Columbia University, New York, and from 1907 to 1909 as geologist at the Geological Survey of the State of Louisiana. In 1909 she was appointed as lecturer in geology at Barnard College for Women, New York, a post she held for three years. During that time she also served as palaeontologist of the Venezuelan geological expedition led by A.C. Veatch in 1910-1911.

In 1912 Maury was appointed professor of geology and zoology at Huguenot College, Wellington, in the Western Cape, a post she held for three years. In 1913 she presented 50 named fossil shells from the United States to the Albany Museum, in exchange for fossils from the farm Redhouse, near Port Elizabeth (which had been collected by Mrs F.M. Paterson*). Also in 1913 she presented a paper at the annual congress of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, on 'The bearing of recent discoveries of early tertiary shells near Trinidad Island and in Brazil on hypothetical land routes between South America and Africa'. The paper was published in the Association's Report for that year. A few years later she reported on 'A calcium carbonate concretionary growth in Cape Province' (American Journal of Science, 1917).

From about 1918 Maury was an official palaeontologist to the Geological and Mineralogical Survey of Brazil. In that position she specialised in the stratigraphy and fossil fauna of Brazil, Venezuela and the West Indies. In her numerous papers and reports she described new genera and species of fossil fauna from Brazil, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and other territories in the region. She was also a consulting and research palaeontologist and stratigrapher for the Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum Company, Venezuelan Division, from 1910 to 1937. In 1916 she undertook her own palaeontological expedition to the Dominican Republic.

Maury was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the American Geographical Society. She was not married, had a pleasing personality, and made enduring friends wherever she went.

List of sources:

Albany Museum. Annual Report for 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1913.

Google Scholar. http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by C.J. Maury.

National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 28, 1967.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Oakes, E. Encyclopaedia of world scientists. Infobase Publishing, rev. ed., 2007.

Reeds, C.A. Memorial to Carlotta Joaquina Maury. Proceedings of the Geological Society of America, 1938, pp. 157-168. Retrieved from http://www.geosociety.org/documents/gsa/memorials/proceedings_1938/Maury-CJ.pdf on 2018-9-26.

Report of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, 1913, paper by Maury.

University of the Cape of Good Hope. Calendar, 1913/4-1915/6, Colleges.

Compiled by: C. Plug