Blackwood, Margaret (1909–1986)

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Blackwood, Margaret (1909–1986)

Australian botanist and geneticist. Born Margaret Blackwood, April 26, 1909; died of cancer in 1986; youngest dau. of Robert Leslie (sub-Warden of Trinity College, Melbourne University) and Muriel Pearl Blackwood; attended Melbourne Church of England Girls Grammar School, University of Melbourne; Cambridge University, PhD, 1951.

Pioneer in cytogenetics in Australia, taught herself techniques of cytogenetics and began developing reputation as scientist; was the Caroline Kay Research Scholar at University of Melbourne (1939–41); left scientific community to serve in Women's Australian Auxiliary Airforce (1941); after discharge, did doctoral work on B chromosomes of maize at Cambridge; served as dean of Women at Mildura campus of Melbourne University (1947); at University of Melbourne (1952–74), worked as lecturer, senior lecturer, and reader in botany department and grew her research collection of 1,000 maize plants; was appointed 1st female deputy chancellor at University of Melbourne (1980); elected fellow of Trinity College and fellow of Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science. Named MBE; named DBE (1981).