Lynn Margulis was an evolutionary theorist, biologist, educator, and science author. She was a modern proponent of the significance of symbiosis in evolution. Along with British chemist James Lovelock, Margulis was the co-developer of the Gaia hypothesis. She was a strong critic of neo-Darwinism. In 2001, she was honored with the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.
Apart from being a successful botanist, Marie Stopes was also a popular activist, known for her contribution to the feminist cause. A leading supporter of birth control, she established the UK’s first clinic for family planning. She was also known for her books Married Love and Wise Parenthood.
Eva Ekeblad was a Swedish countess, agronomist, salon hostess, and scientist. In 1746, she discovered a method to make flour and alcohol from potatoes which earned her popularity. Her discovery made her the first female inductee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1748.
Landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll was born into an affluent family and grew up in a refined environment, learning music and traveling. Initially interested in painting, she gave it up to focus on gardening when she developed eyesight problems. She built around 400 gardens and also collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Apart from being a botanist, Anna Atkins was also known for releasing some of the first botanical photographs. The daughter of a scientist, she also illustrated her father’s written works. She remains the first-known person to have used photography for a scientific purpose. She was also part of the London Botanical Society.
Ynes Mexia was a Mexican-American botanist best remembered for her large collection of specimens of plants and flora originating from the sites of Mexico, Peru, and Colombia. She collected more than 150,000 specimens over a period of 16 years, during which she encountered various challenges, including dangerous terrain, poisonous berries, earthquakes, and bogs.
Janaki Ammal was an Indian botanist whose work concerning phytogeography, cytogenetics, and plant breeding earned her India's fourth-highest honor, the Padma Shri, in 1977. She is credited with improving India’s indigenous sugarcane varieties. She also helped analyze sugarcane's geographical distribution across India.
Ruth Patrick was an American limnologist and botanist who specialized in freshwater ecology and diatoms. She is best remembered for developing methods to evaluate the health of freshwater ecosystems. She is also credited with founding numerous research facilities. She won many awards, including the National Medal of Science. Ruth Patrick is a National Women's Hall of Fame inductee.
Catharine Parr Traill moved from England to Canada after her marriage and soon became one of the greatest authors of children’s and settlers’ literature of her time. Her writings reflected the charm of the Canadian countryside. Her letters to her mother in England were collated in The Backwoods of Canada.
Katherine Esau was a German-American botanist best remembered for her work on plant anatomy, for which she was honored with the prestigious National Medal of Science by President George Bush in 1989. Katherine Esau also made significant contributions as an author, lecturer, and scientist.
British botanist Agnes Arber is best remembered for her research on the anatomy of monocotyledons. She also scripted history as the first elected female member of the Fellow of The Royal Society. Her paleobotanist husband had also taught her at Cambridge. Her later works were mostly on plant philosophy.
Elizabeth Gertrude Britton was an American botanist, educator, and bryologist. She is best remembered for playing an important role, along with her husband Nathaniel Lord Britton, in creating the famous New York Botanical Garden. Elizabeth Gertrude Britton is also credited with laying the foundation of the American Bryological and Lichenological Society.
Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps was an American educator, scientist, author, and editor. She is best remembered for her botany writings, which influenced several other American women to be botanists like her daughter Augusta Newton Foote Arnold and contemporary Eunice Newton Foote. Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps' long life was dedicated to the education of women, especially young women.