Mary Dilys Glynne, Plant Pathologist

Those among our scholarship winners who use their awards to travel overseas normally leave Australia to study abroad. It is interesting to discover that in the earliest years of the association scholarships were awarded to members of the International Federation of University Women who wished to study in Australia. Our attention  was drawn to this by Peter Campbell, of Trinity College. He told us that in his study of women at Melbourne University he ‘came across a reference in the Trinity College Council minutes in 1929 to the first holders of AFUW scholarships to IFUW members wishing to study in Australia. The holders of the first two Australian Federation of University Women fellowships for visiting overseas academics, Dr Luise Lammert of Leipzig and Miss Mary Glynne of Bangor and Rothanstead, made Janet Clarke Hall their headquarters while engaged in scientific research in Victoria during 1928’.

Further research by committee members of Graduate Women Victoria has filled out some of the details of this story. Luise Lammert and Mary Glynne were already well-established women scientists in 1928, Lammert as the only woman meteorologist in Germany, Glynne as the first woman plant pathologist hired by  the Rothamstead Experimental Station, and both went on to have distinguished careers in science.  A press interview with Lammert can be found here, and a biography of Glynne here.

The scholarships, offered by the Australian Federation of University Women, were funded by Dr Georgina Sweet, and accommodation was provided by Janet Clarke Hall in Melbourne and Women’s College in Brisbane. Enid Joske, Principal of Janet Clarke Hall, and Freda Bage, Principal of Women’s College, had been students together at Janet Clarke Hall.

An article on the Age’s Women’s Page in November 1930 headed ‘International Friendship’ gives more details about the scholarship scheme. An Australian scholar, Dr Ethel McLennan, had won a fellowship in 1924 to study in England and on the Continent, and in 1930 the German federation of university women was offering a fellowship in arts ‘to enable a woman graduate not more than thirty years of age to carry out research work in some faculty of arts – that is, in philology, literature, history, philosophy or theology – in Germany for six months’.  The article can be accessed here.



‘Current Events: International Friendship’, The Age, 18 November 1930, online at Google News,

‘Visiting Scientist: Dr Luise Lammert’, The Brisbane Courier, 8 December 1928, online at Trove,

Geoffrey A Salt, ‘Mary Dilys Glynne (1895–1991) in Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology  ed. Jean Beagle Ristaino, APS Press, 2008 – excerpt on-line at