Celebrating historical alumnae
On International Women's Day, we take a look at some of the Edinburgh alumnae who have made their mark in history.
1. Honor Fell (1900 - 1986)
Honor Fell was a graduate of Zoology and long-time Director of Strangeways Research Laboratory, an internationally-renowned research laboratory in Cambridge, where she was a pioneer of research into organ cultures.
2. Chrystal Macmillan (1872 - 1937)
The University's first female science graduate, but also a pioneering feminist and pacifist whose legacy is the development of human rights laws in this country.
Chrystal Macmillan's biography
Find Chrystal Macmillan's plaque on campus
3. Christina Cruikshank Miller (1899 - 2001)
A distinguished career in Chemistry led Christina Cruikshank Miller to be one of the first five women to be elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Christina Cruikshank Miller's biography
4. Charlotte Auerbach (1899 - 1994)
A Jewish-German zoologist and geneticist who fled Nazism in Germany to pursue her PhD in genetics at the University of Edinburgh.
Charlotte Auerbach's biography
5. Sophia Jex-Blake (1840 – 1912)
British physician and pioneer for medical education for women, Sophia Jex-Blake studied medicine at Edinburgh but was forced to take her degree in Switzerland.
6. Phyllis Mary Bone (1894 – 1972)
Sculptor and Edinburgh College of Art graduate who left her mark on Ashworth Laboratories at King’s Buildings.
7. Gertrude Herzfeld (1890 – 1981)
The first practising women surgeon in Scotland and a trailblazer for future generations of female medical students.
8. Vivien Kellems (1896–1975)
Industrialist, politician and inventor who became known for her battle with the US taxman.
Alumni in history
You can read biograhies of other historical Edinburgh graduates in our Alumni in History section:
If you would like to nominate an Edinburgh alumna or alumnus to be featured in Alumni in History, please email the editor:
- Development and Alumni
- Work: +44 (0)131 650 2233
- Email: email@example.com
International Women's Day (external)