Alumni Services

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
1. Honor Fell

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.

Honor Fell

2. Chrystal Macmillan (1872 - 1937)

Macmillan plaque
2. Chrystal Macmillan

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)

Christina Cruikshank Miller (1899 - 2001)
3. Christina Cruikshank Miller

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)

 Charlotte Auerbach
4. Charlotte Auerbach

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)

Sophia Jex-Blake
5. Sophia Jex-Blake

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.

Sophia Jex-Blake

6. Phyllis Mary Bone (1894 – 1972)

Portrait of Phyllis Mary Bone by Robert Sivell.
6. Phyllis Mary Bone

Sculptor and Edinburgh College of Art graduate who left her mark on Ashworth Laboratories at King’s Buildings.

Phyllis Mary Bone's biography

7. Gertrude Herzfeld (1890 – 1981)

Gertrude Herzfeld
7. Gertrude Herzfeld

The first practising women surgeon in Scotland and a trailblazer for future generations of female medical students.

Gertrude Herzfeld's biography

8. Vivien Kellems (1896–1975)

Vivien Kellems
8. Vivien Kellems

Industrialist, politician and inventor who became known for her battle with the US taxman.

Vivien Kellems's biography

Alumni in history

You can read biograhies of other historical Edinburgh graduates in our Alumni in History section:

Alumni in History

If you would like to nominate an Edinburgh alumna or alumnus to be featured in Alumni in History, please email the editor:

Brian Campbell

Communications Manager

  • Development and Alumni

Contact details

Related links

International Women's Day (external)