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Biographical entry Bennett, Isobel Ida (1909 - 2008)

AO

Born
9 July 1909
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Died
12 January 2008
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Marine scientist

Summary

Isobel Bennett worked at the University of Sydney 1933-1971 as a secretary, librarian and research assistant. For a large part of this period she worked with William Dakin. She wrote "The Great Barrier Reef", the first book to give a general picture of the whole of the Great Barrier Reef, in 1971. One genus, five species of marine animals and a coral reef have been named after her. Between 1959 and 1968 Bennett made four trips to Macquarie Island to study intertidal ecology in cold climates: Shores of Macquarie Island was published in 1971. Geographic features named in Bennett's honour include Isobel Bennett Reef 21-505 on the Great Barrier Reef and Lake Bennett on Macquarie Island.

Details

Events

1925 - 1928
Career position - Secretary at the Patent Attorney's Office
1928 - 1932
Career position - Secretary of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
1932 - 1933
Career position - Research work for Professor W.J. Dakin
1933 - 1971
Career position - Working variously as Secretary to the Departmental Librarian and Demonstrator at the University of Sydney
1942 - 1945
Career position - Research Assistant to Dakin at Department of Home Security
1945 - 1948
Career position - Continued work with Dakin until his retirement
1948 - 1970
Career position - Made expeditions to the Great Barrier Reef
1953
Career position - Took part in a complete ecological survey of the reef by the University of Queensland expedition to Low Islands
1959 - 1968
Career position - Made four visits to Macquarie Island
1959 - 1971
Career position - Professional Officer at the University of Sydney
1962
Award - Honorary Master of Science (MSc) received from the University of Sydney
1962 - 2002
Career position - Foundation Member, Australian Marine Sciences Association
1963
Career position - Temporary Associate Professor at Stamford University, USA
1974 - 1979
Career position - Co-opted to the New South Wales Fisheries Department
1982
Award - ANZAAS Mueller Medal received (Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science)
1982
Award - Whitley Memorial Award received from the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
1984
Award - Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)
1988
Award - Whitley Memorial Award received from the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
1995
Award - Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc (Hon)) received from the University of Sydney
1995
Award - DSc honoris causa, University of New South Wales
2002 - 2008
Award - Honorary Life Member, Australian Marine Sciences Association

Related Awards

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Interview with Dr Isobel Bennett, marine biologist [sound recording] / interviewer, Diana Giese, 20 July 1999, TRC 3910; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Articles

Journal Articles

  • Allen, Nessy, 'Australian Women in Science: Two Unorthodox Careers', Women's Studies International Forum, 15 (5-6) (1992), 551-562. Details
  • Allen, Nessy, 'The Sea Has Many Voices: Profile of an Australian Woman Scientist', Journal of Australian Studies, 17 (38) (1993), 41-50. Details
  • Anon, 'Honorary Life Member Isobel Bennett', Australian Marine Science Bulletin, 160 (2002), 6. Details
  • Byrne, Margaret, Broadhurst, Linda, Leishman, Michelle and Belov, Kathy, 'Women in conservation science making a difference', Pacific Conservation Biology, 24 (1) (2018), 6, https://doi.org/10.1071/PC18061. Details
  • Byrne, Maria, 'Isobel Bennett: marine biologist extraordinaire', Australian Marine Science Bulletin, 177 (2008), 6-9. Details
  • Moyal, Ann, 'Isobel Bennett: doyenne of the seashores', National Library of Australia magazine, 2015 (March) (2015), 14-7. https://www.nla.gov.au/magazine/march-2015-issue. Details
  • Niland, John, 'Doctor of Science Award - Isobel Bennett', Australian Marine Science Bulletin, 130 (1995), 7-8. Details

Resources

Resource Sections

Theses

  • Carey, Jane, 'Departing from their sphere: Australian women and science, 1880-1960', PhD thesis, The University of Melbourne, 2003, 356 pp. Details

See also

  • Herd, Margaret ed., Who's Who in Australia 2002 (Melbourne: Crown Content, 2001), 2020 pp. Details
  • Millers, Kimerley, 'Women of AMSA [Australian Marine Sciences Association]', Australian Marine Science Bulletin, 190 (2013), 40-7. Details

Rosanne Walker and Helen Cohn