Lilian Sheldon

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Lilian Sheldon
BornMay 1862
Handsworth, West Midlands
Died6 May 1942
Alma materHandsworth Ladys College
Newnham College
Known formorphology of Cynthia Rustica

Lilian Sheldon (May 1862 – 6 May 1942) was an English zoologist.[1]


The daughter of Reverend John Sheldon, the parish vicar, she was born in Handsworth, West Midlands. She was educated at Handsworth Ladys College and, in 1880, went on to study at Newnham College on a scholarship. She took two Natural Sciences Tripos examinations in 1883 and 1884.

She conducted research on the development of the newt embryo with Alice Johnson and, as well, on the anatomy and morphology of Cynthia rustica (now called Styela rustica)[2] and Peripatus. Her results were published in the Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science.[3][4] Sheldon also contributed a section on Nemertines to volume 2 of the Cambridge Natural History series.[5] She worked at the College as a demonstrator on morphology from 1892 to 1893, and lectured on comparative anatomy from 1893 to 1898. She was a College associate from 1894 to 1906. She retired from academia around 1898.[1]

She later published a number of articles on traditional Devonshire buildings in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association. During World War I, she worked for the Young Men's Christian Association in Birmingham, where she was one of the earliest women drivers in the country. She also served on the local hospital committee at Exmouth. Sheldon died there at the age of 80.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Creese, Mary R S (2000). Ladies in the Laboratory? American and British Women in Science, 1800-1900: A Survey of Their Contributions to Research. p. 110. ISBN 0585276846.
  2. ^ "Cynthia rustica". World Register of Marine Species.
  3. ^ Sheldon, Lilian (1887). "Memoirs: Note on the Ciliated Pit of Ascidians and its Relation to the Nerve-ganglion and so-called Hypophysial Gland; and an Account of the Anatomy of Cynthia Rustica (?)". Journal of Cell Science. 2 (109): 131–148.
  4. ^ Sheldon, Lilian (1889). "Memoirs: The Maturation of the Ovum in the Cape and New Zealand Species of Peripatus". Journal of Cell Science. 2 (117): 1–29.
  5. ^ "Chapter V. Nemertinea by Lilian Sheldon". Volume II. The Cambridge Natural History. London: Macmillan & Co. 1901.