Oscar Harger’s (b. 1843, d. 1887) scientific career was brief,
for he died at the relatively young age of 43. Harger studied botany
and zoology at Yale under the tutelage of Addison E. Verrill, who later recommended him to O.C. Marsh,
Yale’s renowned paleontologist, for employment. As the first permanent
Assistant in Paleontology, Harger participated in several important
expeditions to the American West led by Marsh.
Although perhaps best known for his paleontological contributions, Harger’s endeavors in the field of crustacean taxonomy cannot be overlooked. In fact, his most enduring contributions to science, apart from the fossil vertebrates he collected for Marsh, are his publications on isopod crustaceans. Even today, Harger’s 1878 monograph on the marine isopods of New England is still an invaluable reference for scientists studying the taxonomy and distribution of these organisms in the Western Atlantic.