Women scientists in New Zealand

Today, 15 October, is Ada Lovelace Day. Its aim is “Celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths”.

Here is a set of images of New Zealand women in science, including this nice shot of Lucy Moore.

Lucy Beatrice Moore, botanist, looking at a plant specimen with a microscope. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1959/2018-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23502635

Cover of Flora of New ZealandBotanist and ecologist Lucy Moore is remembered especially for her botanical work on Flora of New Zealand (1961). She has a local connection – in 1960 she moved to Lincoln with the Botany Division. Volume Two of Flora of New Zealand was published in 1970, and was co-written with Elizabeth Edgar.

She received many awards and honours for her work. Lucy played her part in Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury botanical societies and was known to be “unstintingly helpful to all who were interested in botany, and was especially good with children”.

The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography encapsulates her work:

Lucy Moore was sometimes called ‘the mother of New Zealand botany’ and few botanists may ever again equal her range of expertise. She once recalled, ‘we were jacks, or jills, of many trades’. Much more than this, hers was a many-sided expertise, inspired by a vision, and practised with dedication.

For interesting reading on New Zealand women scientists, try:

There are some excellent biographies in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand including:

A modern science success story is Professor Christine Winterbourn. In 2011, she became the first woman to win the Rutherford Medal. Her citation read:

To Christine Coe Winterbourn for seminal discoveries in free radical biology, promotion of rigorous standards in research, and fostering excellent scientific education.

Her Rutherford Lecture in 2012 was: Life with Oxygen – a Battle against Free Radicals. Watch online or read it [425KB PDF].

Viva New Zealand women in science, one and all.

12 thoughts on “Women scientists in New Zealand

  1. Sarndra 15 October 2013 / 6:58 pm

    Lovely post – Lucy was also a personal friend of someone that I know who is also a scientist.

    Here’s another amazing woman… Amy Castle, museum worker, the first female entomologist to be employed by a NZ Museum and one of the first female scientists in the New Zealand public service.
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/4c14/castle-amy

    Amy is also a probable connection to my family tree via a second marriage of my GGG grandmother
    http://invokinglibitina.blogspot.co.nz/2009/07/mary-anne-castle-formerly-pawson-nee.html

    • Donna 16 October 2013 / 11:24 am

      Thanks Sarndra, another amazing woman of science! And how cool you have a family connection. ^Donna

  2. Gallivanta 16 October 2013 / 2:21 am

    How sad of me 😦 The only name I recognise is Beatrice Tinsley. Avice Hill of the Avice Hill Reserve was a scientist and renowned for her work with lavender.

    • Donna 16 October 2013 / 11:23 am

      Thanks Gallivanta. I didn’t know about Avice Hill. Might have to do some more exploring. ^Donna

      • Gallivanta 16 October 2013 / 11:44 am

        I couldn’t find any references to her, just now, but I know when I did my blog post on her I found a lot of information (somewhere!) . Her story is well recorded on the information boards at the Reserve, which is a lovely restful place if you are ever up that way.

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