Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton: Bryologist, Educator, New York Botanical Gardens Founder

Born Elizabeth Gertrude Knight in New York City on January 9, 1857, she was the first of five daughters of James and Sophie Anne (Compton) Knight. She spent part of her early childhood on her grandfather’s sugar plantation in Matanzas, Cuba. Knight graduated from the Normal School (now Hunter College) Continue Reading

Jane Tost and Ada Rohu: A Remarkable Mother-Daughter Taxidermy Team

In 1863 taxidermist Jane Tost (c.1817-1889) was the first woman to be professionally employed by the Australian Museum, and later with her daughter Ada Rohu (1848-1928) she founded the extremely successful taxidermy and curio business – Tost and Rohu – which operated in Sydney from 1878 until the 1930’s.

John Tyley: Caribbean Botanical Illustrator in a Colonial World

John Tyley, watercolor on paper of [Fruit], ca. 1802 John Tyley worked as a botanical illustrator at the historic St. Vincent Botanical Garden in the late 1700s creating exquisite depictions of tropical plants.¹ Aside from the beautiful and detailed illustrations he left behind, little is known of this native Caribbean Continue Reading

Maria Sibylla Merian: Botanical Illustrator, Entomologist, and Explorer Ahead of Her Time

Illustration of a Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) and a False Coral Snake (Anilius scytale) (1701–1705) by Maria Sibylla Merian, watercolor and gloss over etching on parchment   “Ever since my youth I have been engaged in the examination of insects. …I set aside my social life and devoted all my Continue Reading