Parenti, Lynne R. (Active)
United States National Museum of Natural History
Lynne was born on August 6, 1954, in New York Hospital, Manhattan, New York. When Lynne was two years old, she and her family moved to Staten Island, the rural borough of New York City. They lived on Arthur Kill Road, which ran down the southwestern coast of the island along the Arthur Kill, the waterway separating Staten Island from New Jersey. It was while exploring the salt marshes and decaying docks along that river that Lynne encountered her first killifishes, later to become the subject of her PhD dissertation. Lynne spent her undergraduate years at the State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island, which offered more opportunities for exploring salt marshes. She received her BS in 1975 and was awarded her PhD in 1980 from the joint graduate training program in systematic biology between the American Museum of Natural History and the City University of New York. Lynne is a specialist on the systematics and historical biogeography of atherinomorph fishes, killifishes and relatives, and insular stream gobies. Her publications include monographs on relationships among killifish genera, phylogeny of the Andean killifish genus Orestias, comparative anatomy and systematics of the phallostethid fishes and sicydiine gobies, and the theory and methods of cladistic biogeography. For the past 20 years, she has specialized on freshwater fishes of the Indo-Pacific, in particular tropical insular stream gobies, and has collected fishes in Papua New Guinea, the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, China, Sulawesi, Hawaii, Tasmania, and New Zealand, as well as the neotropics. Her work on the higher classification of fishes has included co-editing the recently published Interrelationships of Fishes for Academic Press (1996) in which she and a colleague have explored the use of nerve characters in fish systematics. She also co-wrote Cladistic Biogeography for the Oxford University Press (1986), the second edition of which was published in 1999, and co-edited Ecology of the Marine Fishes of Cuba, which was published by Smithsonian Institution Press in 2002. While at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, she taught fish biology in that museum's adult education program, and undergraduate courses in ichthyology and systematics as an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University. At the Smithsonian Institution, where she has been a curator in the Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History since 1990, she has lectured to the docents and public on fishes and includes museum education and exhibit development among her professional interests. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biology, George Washington University. Lynne was one of the first three women members admitted into the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1995. She enjoyed her first assignment as member of the food committee for the 1995 oyster roast. Lynne lives in upper Northwest Washington, D.C., with her partner Tina Ramoy, and their Spanish water dog, Ella.