Dr Winifred CurtisThe grand lady of Tasmanian botany

Honoured Scientist & Educator

Renowned for her contributions not only to botanical research but to teaching in general and to the advancement of women in education. 

Gintaras Kantvilas tribute to Winifred Curtis,  2005 exhibition notes

Dr Winifred Mary Curtis (1905 - 2005) is recognised as one of the most important women in the University's history

Appointed as Lecturer in the Biology Department at the University of Tasmania in 1942.  Winfred Curtis was the second woman to be appointed to a staff position at the University, the first being Edith Rita Lowenstern

As an educator, Winifred made an impact on a generation of Australian high school students with the 1948 publication of Biology for Australian Students.   As a researcher, she made a significant contribution to our understanding of Tasmania flora through her publications, Students Flora of Tasmania and The Endemic Flora of Tasmania


Throughout her life Winifred has been deeply aware of the privileges of the educational opportunities she received. In turn, she has tried to pass on this awareness to others and has striven for fairness and equal opportunity.

Gintaras Kantvilas tribute to Winifred Curtis,  2005 exhibition notes


Amongst many honours, The Royal Society of Tasmania's 1991 symposium paid tribute to Winifred Curtis work, including  the paper Winifred May Curtis: A biographical sketch by Gintaras Kantivilas.  In 1983, Winifred was  interviewed for the University of Tasmania Oral History Project.  Dr Winifred Curtis's interview is freely accesible in the University's Open Access Repository.

This exhibit honours Winifred Curtis's - life, career and achievements. Content on this site is drawn from the original 2005, static and online, exhibition which celebrated her 100th birthday:  Dr Winifred Mary Curtis: - 100 years of botanical research, teaching and travelling curated by the Tasmanian Herbarium and  University of Tasmania


See, Acknowledgements for further details.