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Thomas Sterry Hunt was born in Connecticut, America in 1826, the son of Peleg Hunt and Jane Elizabeth Sterry (of the Roger Sterry clan). He spent a number of years in Canada and died in New York in 1892. He was internationally renowned as a chemist, minerologist and geologist. He worked for many years at Laval and McGill Universities and at the Massachusetts Institutute of Technology in Boston.

In 1856 he was made a Chevalier d'Honneur at Paris for his work as a chemist, receiving his membership of the Legion of Honor from Emperor Napoleon 111. He received similar awards from Britain and Italy.

Thomas Sterry Hunt was a prolific author and published some 300 scientific articles and many books, including "Chemical and Geological Surveys", "The Domain of Physiology" and "A New Basis for Chemistry".

He was interested in Sterry genealogy and corresponded with various English Sterrys, including the Rev. Francis Sterry.

For his particular work on the geology of Canada, his name is given to a small (53 hectares) but ecologically significant international reserve on the border of Canada and America called the Thomas-Sterry-Hunt International Ecological Reserve.