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Pedro Joaquín Bermúdez


Paleontologist Pedro Joaquín Bermúdez was born in Vega Alta, Cuba in 1905. In 1936, a year after graduating from the University of Havana with a doctorate in pharmacy, Dr. Bermúdez received a two year scholarship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation of New York. During this time Bermúdez studied foraminifera intensely while being advised by Dr. Joseph A. Cushman of the Laboratory for Foraminiferal Research.

The various geological expeditions conducted by Bermudez allowed him to become familiar with the stratigraphy and general geology of Cuba, as well as to collect an enormous number of paleontological specimens. This was the beginning of his valuable collection of foraminifera. In his collection are topotypes of the many species, new to science, that were originally described by him and his staff.

In 1935, Dr. Bermudez published his work on the foraminifera on the North Coast of Cuba. It was a valuable update of Alcides D'Orbigny’s 1839 book on the foraminifera of Cuba.

In 1938, Dr. Bermudez participated in a scientific campaign aboard the oceanographic vessel ATLANTIS, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, enriching its collection with samples from the deep seas surrounding Cuba. He was then hired by the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey to work as micropaleontologist in the Dominican Republic, and subsequently publishing work on its foraminifera.

In 1950 he published "Contribution to the Study of the Cenozoic Cuba” where, for the first time in Cuba, its tertiary stratigraphy is mainly based on microfossils. Two years later, in 1952, he published “Contribution to the Study of foraminifera Rotaliformes”.

He was transferred to the Creole Petroleum Corporation in Venezuela (a subsidiary of Standard Oil of New Jersey), where he continued to prepare "Geological Formations of Cuba" for publication.

For several years Dr. Bermudez worked professionally for the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons in Caracas while at the same time was a professor of micropaleontology at the Central University of Venezuela.

Dr. Pedro Joaquín Bermúdez was a member of numerous scientific societies among which are:

  • Honorary member of the Cuban Institute of Petroleum
  • Life member of the Cuban Society of Natural History
  • Fellow of the Geological Society of America
  • Fellow of the Paleontological Society of America
  • Member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • Member of the Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research
  • Member of the Society of Economical Paleontologists and Mineralogists of the Society of Natural History in La Salle, Caracas
  • Member of the Mexican Society of Petroleum Geologists
  • Member of the Societe Suisse Paléontologique
  • Member of the Societe de France

In addition to his studies on foraminifera and his early work on mollusks Dr. Bermudez was an expert in other fields of zoology and botany, such as in the birds of eastern Venezuela and the orchids and Heliconias. Some of his notes published in newspapers had wide dissemination. Dr. Bermudez had other interests besides the natural sciences, as demonstrated by the publications: “The path of Humboldt and Bonpland in eastern Venezuela” (1962) and “The Chinchorro of curagua” (1959).

Adapted using Google translations from:




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