Obituary | Published:

Miss E. R. Saunders

Nature volume 156, page 385 (29 September 1945) | Download Citation



THE obituaries of Miss E. R. Saunders in Nature of August 18, 1945, while describing her morphological and educational work, do not refer to her contributions to genetics. These were, however, of the first importance. In 1897 she began experimental plant breeding at Cambridge in collaboration with Bateson, and the results were presented to the Evolution Committee of the Royal Society in 1901. Meanwhile Mendel's work had been rediscovered in 1900. By 1901 she had established the existence of Mendelian inheritance in Lychnis, Datura and Matthiola. It is clear that she and Bateson had independently rediscovered some at least of Mendel's laws before his work was known to them. She must in fact be regarded as the ‘mother’ of British plant genetics.

About this article

Publication history




  1. Search for J. B. S. HALDANE in:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing