The pilot episode calls the Professor a "Research Scientist and well known Scout master" [even gives him a name as Roy Hinkly!]... but it never really spoke about his field of study.

The Professor showed an unbelievably wide range of knowledge from various fields, covering everything from basic physics to chemistry to agriculture and languages. This was cleverly done to give plausible reasons for some of the various creations and misadventures that happened on the show.... but realistically, he must have specialized in one field. Even as a Scout Master, with a wide breadth of knowledge, he couldn't have covered everything we see him do in the series.

So what exactly were his one, two, or possibly three fields of expertise?

I'm open to educated guesses, but canon answers would be preferred.

  • 1
    "He has a B.A. from USC, a B.S. from UCLA, an M.A. from SMU, and received his Ph.D from TCU at the age of 15. He has also spent two years on an Egyptian expedition. He also holds a master's degree in psychology and can speak fluent Marubi"
    – Valorum
    Oct 22, 2019 at 16:52
  • @Valorum Thank you, but 2 things: 1. What's the source for this quote? and... 2. This still offers almost no solid information! We know his number of degrees, but not ONE of their fields, so it could be anything from Physics to aeronautics to chemistry to botany, or literally anything else! The Egyptian expedition would infer he has a learned understanding, at least, of archaeology and history, but both of those are context specific. The degree in psychology and mastery of Marubi are the only two specific areas we know he is a stated expert in.
    – Russ Rainford
    Oct 22, 2019 at 16:58
  • 2
    1. Straight off Wikipedia. I assume googling for the quotes would give you the episodes 2. Hence why I didn't post it as an answer
    – Valorum
    Oct 22, 2019 at 17:20
  • I recall one time he told us his specialty was "the mating cycle of the angleworm".
    – Spencer
    Oct 22, 2019 at 21:59
  • @Spencer so he's an entomologist then? Well, that would explain his background in Biology, if only to a limited degree.... but it gives no context for his scope of knowledge in chemistry, physics, or engineering, All of which he's shown some capacity for throughout the show. Were there any others like that saying what he was researching?
    – Russ Rainford
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


I believe it's botany. Multiple websites (listed below) mention his principle area of expertise as botany. There is actually a fan page, gilligansisle.com, and it says that the whole reason he was even on the SS Minnow was for research for a book he was writing entitled "Fun with Ferns". So while he does hold multiple degrees, it seems he is most likely a professor of botany.

http://www.gilligansisle.com/prof.html mentions his various degrees and then explains that he was on the boat for research on his book "Fun with Ferns"

https://www.charactour.com/hub/characters/view/Roy-Hinkley.Gilligans-Island On this page, the first paragraph mentions his expertise in botany and the second paragraph makes mention of him researching his book.

https://wikivisually.com/wiki/The_Professor_(Gilligan's_Island) In the character summary on this page it mentions his expertise in botany as well as researching for his book.


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