Minnie Abercrombie

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Minnie Louie (Jane) Abercrombie
Born Minnie Johnson
(1909-11-14)14 November 1909
Birmingham, UK
Died 25 November 1984(1984-11-25) (aged 75)
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Birmingham
Known for Dictionary of Biology; New Biology (1945 - 1976)
Spouse(s) Michael Abercrombie
Scientific career
Fields Zoology
Institutions University of Birmingham, UK; University College London, UK
Thesis Topic: chemical control of respiratory movements in invertebrates (1932)

Minnie Abercrombie (14 November 1909 – 25 November 1984), née Johnson, was a British zoologist. She was known for her work on invertebrates and her work in the publishing industry, conducted with her husband, Michael Abercrombie.

Early life and education[edit]

Minnie Johnson was born on November 14, 1909. She attended Waverley Road Secondary School in Birmingham, where she completed the higher school certificate in chemistry, zoology, botany, and history. She earned her B.Sc. (Zoology, First Class) and Ph.D from the University of Birmingham in 1930 and 1932, respectively; for studying respiration control in invertebrates.[1]


In 1932, she was appointed as a lecturer in the Zoology Department at her alma mater, and during World War II was promoted to acting head. She married Michael Abercrombie in 1939 and collaborated with him extensively on both scientific and outreach work. The couple began a journal called New Biology in 1945, which was aimed at young people and was highly popular, selling hundreds of thousands of copies in its 31-year run. Abercrombie became an authority on medical education later in life, and also published several books.[1]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b Haines, Catharine M.C. (2001). International Women of Science. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-57607-090-5.