Dr. ZoBell's discovery of organisms living at the extreme ocean depths earned him the title of "father of marine microbiology." Professor emeritus of the institution since 1972, he is credited with several major discoveries, including the relationships of micro-organisms to solid surfaces, the role of microorganisms in the formation and transformation of petroleum, the identification of 65 new species of marine bacteria and the recovery of living organisms from some of the greatest ocean depths.
Dr. ZoBell was the first to recover and cultivate living microorganisms from depths greater than 20,000 feet. He had been honored by the Netherlands and the Third World Congress of Petroleum Geologists, for providing new information on petroleum microbiology; was a recipient of the Galathea Medal by King Frederick IX of Denmark in 1952; and numerous other medals and honors.
Dr. ZoBell was born Aug. 22, 1904, in Provo and reared in Idaho's upper Snake River Valley. He attended Southern Idaho College of Education in Albion, now a part of Idaho State University. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from USU, where he was an instructor, and a doctorate in bacteriology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1931.