Sophie C. Ducker

Dr Sophie C Ducker (1909-2004) was a foundation member of ASPAB. Her earliest published work from the University of Melbourne had been on soil fungi, but she later carved out a niche in marine botany and supervised many PhD students who were early members of ASPAB, including: Vicki Brown, Margaret Clayton, Robert King, Cameron McKonchie, Graeme McRaild, Ian Price, Peter Saenger and Roger Spencer. Her first algal paper concerned the freshwater genus Basicladia but her major work was with marine algae, seagrasses and their pollination, and especially in later years the history of botany. She was a keen supporter of AMSA (Australian Marine Sciences Association) and was concerned that with the formation of specialized groups within the marine sciences any new ‘phycological’ society should include seagrasses, lest there be no society which adequately covered this then emerging field. Her life in phycology and aquatic botany has been well documented elsewhere: see Phycologia 23, 1-2 (1984); Bot. Mar. 33, 1-2 (1990); and the extended biography and bibliography by Michael Wynne (2004) in the Trailblazer series, number 28, in Phycological Newsletter 44.