• In 1950 on completion of her PhD thesis Winifred travelled to London to have an oral examination at the University of London.

‘That was in 1950…it was on cytology, on polyploidy and it was a pioneer work in its time. (Studies in experimental taxonomy and variation in certain Tasmanian plants)…It was done here and it was great fun.’

Mercury 29/9/1950
Mercury 29/9/1950

• After 1950, travel to the mainland and overseas, which previously had been curtailed by post-war shortages and a lack of staff at the university, again became practicable. Winifred liked to travel, particularly by sea, and selected voyages with more interesting itineraries. During vacations she travelled interstate and overseas and routinely visited herbaria (including Kew) and colleagues.


‘on one of my jaunts, I went to an international botanical congress in Leningrad and came back via Iceland and I liked Iceland so much that I went back again…well, it’s like Norway. I like those northern countries. That was 75 I think...I went to New Zealand on an ANZAAS tour and we went around South Island adn had a very good time...

I’ve also been back to England several times. It’s an expensive jaunt and I’d like to try different routes. So once I went on a Russian ship round Cape Horn...’

• In 1951 Winifred became Senior Lecturer in Botany and in 1956 Reader in Botany, the most senior position held by a woman at the University of Tasmania. Winifred also acted as Head of the Department on several occasions.

Earthworm diagram
Earthworm diagram by Winifred Curtis used in her teaching notes and later in her textbook 'Biology for Australian Students'. enlarge

Winifred in 1958.
Winifred in 1958.

Winifred with Julian Huxley
Winifred with Julian Huxley (Mt Field?) November 1953.

Cards sent by Winifred Curtis to her parents
Cards sent by Winifred Curtis to her parents from USA in the 1950s

Botany conference
Botany conference in Montreal attended by Curtis in 1959

'Biology for Australian Students
Winifred Curtis's school text book 'Biology for Australian Students'. enlarge

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