Ernest Everett Just, zoologist, biologist, physiologist, and research scientist, was the son of Charles and Mary Matthews Just.
Just was born in a house located on Inspection Street in Charleston. The house no longer exists, but a historic plaque is located near that site.
Following the death of her husband Charles in 1887, Mary Just moved her family off the peninsula and acquired several hundred acres of land known as "the Hillsborough Plantation". She founded the town of Maryville, one of the first purely black town governments in the state and a model for blacks throughout the United States. The town was subsequently absorbed by the city of Charleston.
A student in the school run by his mother, Ernest at the age of thirteen enrolled at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC, in the spring of 1896. He completed the normal course in three years and returned to Maryville in 1899, licensed to teach in the black public schools of South Carolina. After a fire burned his mother's school to the ground, his mother decided he should obtain more education and secured his enrollment at Kimball Hall Academy, New Hampshire.
Just graduated from Dartmouth College (1907) with special honors in botany and history, and received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago in experimental embryology.
He taught at Howard University and conducted research during the summer months at Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
In 1920, Just was named a Julius Rosenwald Fellow in Biology of the National Research Council and an adjunct researcher at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology, Berlin-Dahlam, Germany.
Just's research work focused on fertilization, experimental parthenogenesis, hydration, cell division, dehydration in living cells, the effect of ultra violet rays in increasing chromosome numbers in animals and in altering the organization of the egg with reference to polarity. Just was the author of Basic Methods for Experiments in Eggs of Marine Animals and Biology of the Cell Surface.
Just Landmark near where the Just family lived on Inspection Street