A man with broad zoological interests, Corrington began working on the then little-known herpetology (study of amphibians and reptiles) of the Columbia region, an area of considerable biological importance as a result of its location on the fall line between the Piedmont and the coastal plain.
Biologist, educator. Corrington was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on December 22, 1887, the son of Joe W. Corrington and his wife, Jesse W. Knox. He graduated from Cornell University (A.B., 1913; Ph.D., 1925). In 1915 he married Veronica Elisabeth Flicke, with whom he had a son and a daughter. Corrington worked as an assistant in zoology and later as museum curator at Cornell, and he served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War I.
In 1921 Corrington arrived in Columbia to join the biology faculty at the University of South Carolina (USC). A man with broad zoological interests, Corrington began working on the then little-known herpetology (study of amphibians and reptiles) of the Columbia region, an area of considerable biological importance as a result of its location on the fall line between the Piedmont and the coastal plain. The fauna of that area has a mixture of animals occurring in those two geomorphic provinces, and crosses between subspecies occurring on opposite sides of the fall line are commonly found in the Columbia region. Corrington’s studies of the amphibians and reptiles of the environs of Columbia emphasized the ecology of the forms encountered. He built a small, but important, collection of amphibians and reptiles at USC and published two papers based on his research on the local fauna. One of these, “Herpetology of the Columbia, South Carolina, Region” (1929), was a particularly significant contribution, being the first publication in many years to deal in detail with amphibians and reptiles of South Carolina. In addition to his own research, Corrington supervised the preparation of two master’s theses on animals of the Columbia area–one on salamanders, the other on frogs and toads. Corrington also published on invertebrates, shark morphology, and birds; was especially interested in microscopy (writing Adventures with the Microscope ; Working with the Microscope ; and Exploring with Your Microscope ); and did editorial work for Nature Magazine, Bios, and Natural History.
Corrington departed Columbia for Syracuse University in 1926 and remained there for four years, subsequently holding positions at Drew University, University of Rochester, and Washington College. He joined the faculty of the University of Miami (Florida) as an assistant professor of zoology in 1944, became a full professor in 1947, and chaired the department from 1953 to 1957. Corrington died in Coral Gables, Florida, on November 29, 1979.
Corrington, Julian D. “Herpetology of the Columbia, South Carolina, Region.” Copeia 172 (November 15, 1929): 58–83.
Sanders, Albert E., and William D. Anderson, Jr. Natural History Investigations in South Carolina from Colonial Times to the Present. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999.