John Paul Visscher (1895-1950) was born in Holland, Michigan. He received his A.B. degree from Hope College, Holland, Michigan, 1917, and his A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University, 1920 and 1924. Visscher served with the United States Army during World War I, as Lieutenant in the Chemical Warfare Service. His first teaching position was at Washington University, St. Louis, where he served as Instructor of Zoology from 1920 to 1922. In 1924, he joined the staff of Western Reserve University as Assistant Professor of Biology. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1926, Professor in 1931, and Head of the Biology Department in 1937. Visscher remained at Western Reserve University until his death in 1950.
Visscher's primary interest was protozoology. He also did extensive research on marine fouling of ships' bottoms. From 1922 to 1925, Visscher spent his summers as a special investigator for the United States Bureau of Fisheries, examining marine fouling on United States Navy and commercial ships. This research led to the publication of The Nature and Extent of Fouling of Ships' Bottoms in 1928. During 1935 and 1936, Visscher served as special investigator for the United States Navy's Division of Construction and Repair. In 1945 and 1946, he acted as a consultant at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7239, Visscher, John Paul, 1895-1950, John Paul Visscher Papers
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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