Margaret Clay Ferguson
|Margaret Clay Ferguson|
29 August 1863|
Orleans, New York, United States of America
|Died||28 August 1951
San Diego, California, United States of America
|Known for||First woman president of the Botanical Society of America|
|Notable awards||Honorary doctorate from Mount Holyoke|
Margaret Clay Ferguson was an American botanist significant for her work on the life histories of North American pines. She was born in Orleans, New York in 1863 and attended the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in Lima, New York. She attended the Wellesley College where she graduated in botany and chemistry in 1891, receiving her PhD in botany from Cornell University in 1901. She later became professor of botany and head of the department at Wellsley College in 1930.
Ferguson worked on a variety of systems including Fungi, Pine and Petunia. Her study on the latter revealed how plant flower color and pattern do not follow Mendelian laws of inheritance. Ferguson encouraged many women botanists during her time at Wellesley College where lab work was a major of her teaching.
She died of a heart attack in 1951.
Greenhouses in the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens are named in her honour.