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Ewart, Alfred James (1872 - 1937)

Prof., PhD (Oxf Lond & Melb) DSc (Leip) FLS FRS
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Botanist and Plant physiologist
Born: 12 February 1872  England.  Died: 12 September 1937.

Ewart was the first Professor of Botany, University of Melbourne from 1906, becoming full time from 1921 until his death in 1937. Initially he shared the Biology school with Baldwin Spencer. Although trained in England, Ewart published widely on Australian flora and travelled extensively throughout the country.

Career Highlights

Ewarts appointment in 1906 was a joint one - he spent his time divided between the National Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens and in the University Biology Building, in an extension built to accommodate him. Within a few years, Ewart introduced advanced Botany courses in science and agriculture and medical botany. He laid the foundations of the Botanical Library and asserted his rights over the System Garden. The scientific output during the period of Ewart's leadership is astonishing. Although primarily a physiologist, Ewart with his staff turned their hands to taxanomic writing; a flora of the Northern Territory (1917) and of Victoria (1931), and countless other papers were published. The department became notable in the fields of plant-pathology and palaeobotany and early studies in plant ecology were undertaken. Ewart was made a full time Professor in Botany in 1921, but contrary to the conditions applied to other Melbourne University professors, Ewart did not receive a tenured position. His appointment continued to be renewed every five years, until he died in office in 1937. School of Botany, The University of Melbourne, 'Background Material Prepared for the Committee of Review March 20-27, 1986, Volume 1: General Information'

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Professorial Chair

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Carolyn Rasmussen & Rachel Tropea
Created: 22 August 2001
Modified: 25 March 2003

Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, October 2001
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: http://www.esrc.unimelb.edu.au/about/inquiries.html#comment
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 16 November 2009

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