Winifred Curtis

Winifred Mary Curtis AM (19052005), botanist and teacher, was born in London and migrated to Tasmania in 1939. She was employed at the University of Tasmania, only the second woman appointed, until her retirement in 1966. Her major publications were Biology for Australian Students (19481962), a standard high school text for many years; The Student's Flora of Tasmania (19561994), the standard reference work on the flowering plants and conifers; and her most celebrated work, the six-volume Endemic Flora of Tasmania (19671975).

Winifred received extensive honours and recognition, with many plants named in her honour. Throughout her life she has worked with great humility and a dedication to precision, seeing her achievements simply as a job that needed to be done and a foundation for others to build on.

Further reading: G Kantvilas, 'Winifred Mary Curtis: a biographical sketch', in M Banks et al (eds), Aspects of Tasmanian botany, Hobart, 1991.

Gintaras Kantvilas