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Mrs Winifred Tutin

Notice | Obituary

We have learnt, with regret, of the death of Winifred Tutin on 1 May 2007 at the age of 91. Below is an obituary written by Dr John Bailey, Department of Biology.


Mrs Winifred Tutin – Demonstrator and special lecturer in Botany 1947-67, Honorary Reader 1971-1979, Honorary Professor 1980 - Botany Department, University of Leicester

Mrs Tutin, who published under her maiden name Pennington, was a pioneer in the use of pollen in Lake sediments to reconstruct the vegetational history of the British Isles, and wrote many important publications in the area. In 1942 she married Tom Tutin, the famous botanist and head of Botany at Leicester, and for some 30 years they together played a major role in the teaching and development of the department. Hers was a life of extraordinary achievement, she not only brought up 4 children (3 girls and a boy), but lectured on a variety of topics including mycology, carried out an active research program and became an honorary professor in 1980 and an FRS in 1979. There cannot have been many such long-married couples, both of whom were professors and Fellows of the Royal Society.

After leaving Leicester (I hesitate to use the word retire) she moved to a cottage in the village of Kingsclere and was granted some bench space by the nearby University of Reading. She continued to exchange news with those members of the Department who remembered her by regular Christmas card.

Winifred was most anxious that unlike some of her contemporaries she was not going to carry on writing into her dotage. Since she was lively and interested right up to the end and still co-authoring important papers in 2003, this was happily not a state she had to contend with!

Click here to read the obituary which appeared in The Independent.

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