Charles Manning Child (1869-1954)
Sunderland, Mary E.
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Born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on 2 February 1869, Charles Manning Child was the only surviving child of Mary Elizabeth and Charles Chauncey Child, a prosperous, old New England family. Growing up in Higganum, Connecticut, Child was interested in biology from an early age. He made extensive collections of plants and minerals on his family farm and went on to study biology at Wesleyan University, commuting from his family home. Child received his PhB in 1890 and MS in biology in 1892, and then went on to study in Leipzig after his parents death. He worked for a short time in the psychology laboratory of Wilhelm Wundt, and then pursued studies in zoology under the supervision of Rudolf Leuckhart. His doctoral dissertation investigated morphological aspects of insect sense organs. Leuckhart emphasized the functional purpose of morphological structures and led many of his students to develop and defend the notion of teleology, including Child, who completed his PhD in 1894.