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About Joanne Daiber

Joanne Elizabeth Currier Daiber was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, in 1927. She received her bachelor of science degree in biology from Bates College in 1949 and completed a master’s degree in biology from Vassar College in 1951.

  • Joanne Daiber
    In June 2014, a new research vessel was named in honor of the late Joanne Daiber, for the devotion she had for the University of Delaware Marine Program, and the professional sacrifices she made along the way.
  • While Joanne Daiber passed away on February 16, 2007, her memory continues at UD with the research vessel named in her honor.

That same year, she was hired by the University of Delaware as its first female marine biologist for the newly formed marine studies program. During her time on the faculty, Daiber performed research on the zooplankton species in the Delaware Bay and assisted the other researchers with their projects.

In 1953, she married fellow faculty member Franklin Daiber, who later went on to become the director of the marine laboratories and chairman of the University President’s Marine Science Coordinating Committee. Due to the policies of the time, married couples were not allowed to work together professionally and Joanne Daiber left the program. However, she continued to support the research occurring in the labs. As the program expanded into a graduate program and eventually its own separate college, she also assisted with graduate housing and editing her husband’s books.

In the 1970s, Joanne Daiber founded the Delaware Nature Society’s guide program. She helped develop educational programs for children from K-12 and their teachers at the Ashland Nature Center. In addition to all of this, she was a member of the Societte Littoral Hortense Horrand and was the acting president of piscatorial adventurers within that organization. She continued helping with her husband’s research as well, until his retirement in 1987.

In 2000, the memoir “Salty Memoirs: Adventures in Marine Science”, written by Franklin and Joanne Daiber, was published by the University of Delaware. That same year, the Joanne Currier Daiber Scholarship was created with the purpose of supporting female graduate students in marine sciences at the College of Marine Sciences at the University of Delaware.

While Joanne Daiber passed away on February 16, 2007, her memory continues at UD with the research vessel named in her honor.


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Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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