Margaret di Menna

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Margaret di Menna
Born Margaret Elaine di Menna
(1923-07-08)8 July 1923
Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England
Died 24 March 2014(2014-03-24) (aged 90)
Hamilton, New Zealand
Occupation Microbiologist

Margaret Elaine di Menna ONZM (8 July 1923 – 24 March 2014) was a New Zealand microbiologist. In 1954 she became the first woman to gain a Doctor of Philosophy degree from a New Zealand university. Her doctoral thesis at the University of Otago was entitled "Yeasts of the human body, their nature and relationship".[1] She had previously graduated with a MSc(Hons) from the same institution in 1948.[2]

In the 1997 New Year Honours, di Menna was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to microbiology.[3] In 2011, the reading room at Abbey College at the University of Otago was named in her honour.[4]

She died in Hamilton in 2014.[5]


  1. ^ Page, Dot (2012). "First of the few: an unsuitable degree for a woman?" (PDF). New Zealand Federation of University Women Canterbury Branch Newsletter (April): 5. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "NZ university graduates 1870–1961". Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "New Year honours list 1997". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1996. Retrieved 29 March 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ "Awards and achievements". AgResearch. April 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ "Dr Margaret di Menna obituary". New Zealand Herald. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2014.