HYATT, ALPHEUS (1838–1902), American naturalist, was born at Washington, D.C., on the 5th of April 1838. From 1858 to 1862 he studied at Harvard, where he had Louis Agassiz for his master, and in 1863 he served as a volunteer in the Civil War, attaining the rank of captain. In 1867 he was appointed curator of the Essex Institute at Salem, and in 1870 became professor of zoology and palaeontology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (resigned 1888), and custodian of the Boston Society of Natural History (curator in 1881). In 1886 he was appointed assistant for palaeontology in the Cambridge museum of comparative anatomy, and in 1889 was attached to the United States Geological Survey as palaeontologist for the Trias and Jura. He was the chief founder of the American Society of Naturalists, of which he acted as first president in 1883, and he also took a leading part in establishing the marine biological laboratories at Annisquam and Woods Hole, Mass. He died at Cambridge on the 15th of January 1902.
His works include Observations on Fresh-water Polyzoa (1866); Fossil Cephalopods of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (1872); Revision of North American Porifera (1875–1877); Genera of Fossil Cephalopoda (1883); Larval Theory of the Origin of Cellular Tissue (1884); Genesis of the Arietidae (1889); and Phylogeny of an acquired characteristic (1894). He wrote the section on Cephalopoda in Karl von Zittel’s Paläontologie (1900), and his well-known study on the fossil pond snails of Steinheim (“The Genesis of the Tertiary Species of Planorbis at Steinheim”) appeared in the Memoirs of the Boston Natural History Society in 1880. He was one of the founders and editors of the American Naturalist.