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Bonnevie, Kristine (1872–1948)

Bonnevie, Kristine (1872–1948)

Zoologist and first woman professor in Norway. Born Kristine Elisabeth Heuch Bonnevie in Trondheim, Norway, in 1872; died in 1948; one of nine siblings; sister-in-law of feminist Margarete Bonnevie; awarded doctorate at the University of Oslo (1906); professor of zoology, University of Oslo (1912); director, Institute of Genetics (1916); pursued studies in Zürich, Würzburg, Naples and New York.

Kristine Bonnevie's research into human genetics included the study of twins, as well as the development and genetics of finger prints. Her comparative research into animal and human malformations led to the adoption of the designation "Bonnevie-Ullrich syndrome" for a certain disease in humans. Known as an inspiring lecturer at both popular and academic levels, Bonnevie played a role in local and national politics as a Freethinking liberal. She took the initiative to establish student canteens and dormitories at the University of Oslo and was a supporter of the program for introducing civil confirmation ceremonies. She was awarded the Order of St. Olav in 1945. Her sister-in-law was the feminist Margarete Bonnevie .


Aschehoug & Gyldendal's Store Norske Leksikon. Oslo: Kunnskapsforlag, 1992.

Lie & Rørslett, eds. Alma Maters døtre (Alma Mater's Daughters). Oslo: Pax, 1995.

Elizabeth Rokkan , translator, formerly Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Bergen, Norway

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