Ethel Sargant

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Ethel Sargant

Ethel Sargant (28 October 1863 – 16 January 1918) was a British botanist.

She was the third daughter of Henry Sargant of Lincoln's Inn, and Catherine Emma Beale, and was educated under Frances Mary Buss at the North London Collegiate School and, from 1881 to 1885, at Girton College, Cambridge.[1]

After some years spent doing botanical work at home, she worked for Dr. D.H. Scott at Jodrell Laboratory in Kew Gardens from 1892 to 1893. For the following years she specialised in seedling anatomy, giving a course of lectures on botany at the University of London in 1907 and being President of the Botanical Section at the British Association meeting at Birmingham in 1913. She worked with Margaret Jane Benson, head of the Department of Botany at Royal Holloway College, and travelled with her throughout Europe to acquire equipment and knowledge to set up that school's laboratory.[2]

Moving to live at the Old Rectory in Girton village in 1912, she was elected an Honorary Fellow of Girton College in 1913 and President of the Federation of University Women in 1918.

During World War I, she organised the register of university women qualified to do work of national importance, which was afterwards taken over by the Ministry of Labour.

She bequeathed her botanical library and bookcases to Girton College. The Ethel Sargant Studentship for research into Natural Sciences was endowed by friends in her memory in 1919.[3]


  1. ^ Arber, Agnes (1919). "Ethel Sargant". New Phytologist: 120–128. 
  2. ^ Joyce Harvey and Marilyn Ogilvie, The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: Pioneering Lives from Ancient Times to the Mid-Twentieth Century, Volume 1 (Google eBook), p. 116, Taylor & Francis US, 2000.
  3. ^ Girton College Register 1869-1946, University Press, Cambridge, 1948