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Helen Niña Tappan Loeblich

Helen Niña Tappan Loeblich (October 12, 1917 – August 18, 2004) was a leading micropaleontologist, a professor of geology at the University of California, Los Angeles, a United States Geological Survey (USGS) biostratigrapher, and a scientific illustrator whose micropaleontology specialty was research on Cretaceous foraminifera.[2][3]

Helen Niña Tappan Loeblich
Born(1917-10-12)October 12, 1917
DiedAugust 18, 2004(2004-08-18) (aged 86)
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma, University of Chicago
Known forfossil Foraminfera classification
Spouse(s)Alfred R. Loeblich Jr.
Scientific career
FieldsMicropaleontology, Biostratigraphy
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Doctoral advisorCarey G. Croneis[1]
Doctoral studentsJere H. Lipps, Tim Patterson,[1]

Tappan Loeblich earned her BS in 1937 and her Master's in 1939, both in geology from the University of Oklahoma. Her master's thesis was on mid-Cretaceous foraminifera of Oklahoma and Texas. At the University of Oklahoma, she met her future husband and long time scientific collaborator, in chemistry class, where they fell in love in 1939. Shortly thereafter they married and spent their honeymoon doing field work with their graduate advisor, in south-central Oklahoma [4], Alfred R. Loeblich Jr.,

She received her Ph.D. in 1942 from the University of Chicago, and her dissertation continued her master's work. When her husband was drafted in 1942, Tappan Loeblich became the first female professor at Tulane University's College of Arts and Sciences. In 1953 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to allow her to take a sabbatical from her USGS appointment and travel to Europe to collect foraminifera with her husband.[2]

With her husband, Tappan Loeblich is the author of two major works on foraminiferal classification, two volumes in the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology Part C. Protista 2 (Sarcodina, Chiefly "Thecamoebians" and Foraminiferida), Volumes 1 and 2 (1964)[2][5] by USGS and the University of Kansas and their two-volume work, Foraminiferal Genera and Their Classification, published in 1988 by Springer.[6] The Treatise classified foraminifera genera by the morphology of their external tests or shells, and Foraminferal Genera revised and refined the classification of forams by adding test internal characteristics and reviewing type specimens.[2]


  1. ^ a b Finger, Kenneth. L. (2013). "California foraminiferal micropalaeontology" (PDF). In A.J. Bowden, F.J. Gregory, A.S. Henderson (eds.). Landmarks in Foraminiferal Micropalaeontology: History and Development. Geological Society of London. pp. 125–144.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d Reed Wicander. "In Memoriam: Helen Nina Tappan Loeblich".
  3. ^ Lipps, Jere H. (2006). "Helen Tappan and Alfred R. Loeblich, Jr. Micropaleontologists". Anuário do Instituto de Geociências. 29 (1): 178–181.
  4. ^ In Memoriam: Dr. Helen Nina Tappan Loeblich. Journal of Foraminifera Research. January 1, 2005. doi.10.2113/35.1.86.
  5. ^ "Treatise Volumes Published and Forthcoming".
  6. ^ Loeblich, A. R., & Tappan, H. (1988). Foraminiferal genera and their classification (Vol. 2, p. 970). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
  7. ^ IPNI.  Tappan.