Alfred Sturtevant

American biologist (1891–1970)

Alfred Henry Sturtevant (November 21, 1891 – April 5, 1970) was an American geneticist. Sturtevant made the first genetic map of a chromosome in 1913.[1] In his career he worked on the fruit-fly Drosophila melanogaster with Thomas Hunt Morgan.

Morgan was both a help and a hindrance to Sturtevant. Morgan supported him through the early part of his career, but took much of the credit for the research. Morgan's Nobel Prize in 1933 was not shared with Sturtevant, who was the lab's main researcher.

Later in his career, Sturtevant had another important relationship, this time with Theodosius Dobzhansky. The research was into the genetics of natural populations of Drosophila. This relationship, too, became uneasy, and they split up after a few years. Sturtevant was one of the most outstanding genetics researchers not to get a Nobel Prize.[2] In 1967, Sturtevant received the National Medal of Science.


  • Lewis E.B. ed. 1961. Genetics and evolution: selected papers of A.H. Sturtevant. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.
  • Sturtevant A.H. 1965. A history of genetics. Harper & Row N.Y.


  1. Lewis E.B. Alfred Henry Sturtevant, National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoirs
  2. Kohler, Robert E. 1994. Lords of the fly: Drosophila genetics and the experimental life. Chicago.