Agnes Arber (née Robertson)(1879-1960), Botanist; wife of Edward Alexander Newell Arber; daughter of Henry Robert Robertson
Sitter in 2 portraits
Renowned plant morphologist, historian and philosopher of botany, Arber was the first woman biologist to be elected to a fellow of the Royal Society. Her passion for botany was encouraged by her school headmistress and champion of women's education, Frances Buss. Awarded a scholarship to Newnham College, Arber's research focused on the study of monocot type of plants, challenging traditional views of plant structure. When the laboratory at Newham College closed in 1927, she set up one in her home. Scarce laboratory supplies during World War II encouraged a shift in her focus to philosophical and historical issues. Her final book The Natural Philosophy of Plant Form explores the relationship between science and philosophy. Arber's husband was the palaeobotanist Edward Arber.