John Treadwell Nichols

Not to be confused with John Nichols (writer) (b. 1940) who is sometimes credited as John Treadwell Nichols.
John Treadwell Nichols
Born (1883-06-11)June 11, 1883
Boston, Massachusetts
Died November 10, 1958(1958-11-10) (aged 75)
Garden City, New York
Nationality American
Fields Ichthyology, Ornithology
Institutions American Museum of Natural History
Alma mater Harvard College

John Treadwell Nichols (June 11, 1883 – November 10, 1958) was an American ichthyologist and ornithologist.

Life and career

Nichols was born in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Mary Blake (Slocum) and John White Treadwell Nichols.[1] In 1906 he studied vertebrate zoology at Harvard College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (AB). In 1907 he joined the American Museum of Natural History as assistant in the department of mammalogy. In 1913 he founded Copeia, the official journal of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.[2] In 1916 he described the long lost Bermuda petrel together with Louis Leon Arthur Mowbray who first sighted this bird within a flock of other petrels in 1906 on Castle Island, Bermuda 45 years before it was officially rediscovered by Mowbray's son Louis.[3] He also described the fish genus Bajacalifornia. He also worked with a team of scientists from the American Museum of Natural History during the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916. From 1913 to 1952 he was first assistant curator, then associate curator in charge, and finally curator in the Department of Ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History.

Nichols wrote 1,000 articles and several books (mostly about fish but also about birds), and he made many expeditions around the world.

He was married to Cornelia duBois Floyd.

Nichols died in Garden City, New York.[4] His grandchildren are novelist John Nichols and politician William Weld.[5][6]


Nichols is honored in the scientific names of two species of reptiles: Dipsas nicholsi and Sphaerodactylus nicholsi.[7]

Works (selected)


  1. Charles Foster Batchelder. An account of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, 1873 to 1919. Nuttall Ornithological Club, 1937. p. 99
  2. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists – Beginnings
  3. Louis Leon Arthur Mowbray
  4. Dean Amadon. "John Treadwell Nichols". The Auk, Vol. 88, No. 2 (April 1971), pp. 477–480
  5. Biography John Nichols
  6. Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. iii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Nichols", p. 190).


External links

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