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Professor Enid MacRobbie

College position(s)

Life Fellow


Natural Sciences (Physical and Biological)

Specialising in

Plant Sciences


MA, PhD (edinburgh), ScD, FRS

Research themes

"Throughout her career, Enid MacRobbie has been at the forefront of studies of ion transport in plants, addressing fundamental questions in plant nutrition and cell signalling. She pioneered the use of radiotracers to measure ion fluxes, identified active and passive transport processes and their regulation in giant algae, and unravelled the transport events involved in stomatal movement in higher plants. She has trained a succession of outstanding Ph.D. students, who have gone on to become influential scientists in their own right, and has won worldwide recognition and honors for her research. There is no doubt that her career has helped change conditions for women scientists, to the benefit of those who have followed."

- Professor Roger Leigh


"Enid’s career has resulted in many honors and measures of esteem, although often these came scandalously late considering the influence she has had on her field, possibly because she was a woman in a male-dominated environment and because of her policy of letting students and postdocs publish without her. She was appointed to a permanent Lectureship in 1966, was promoted to a Readership in 1972, and to a Personal Professorship in 1987, the first woman scientist in Cambridge to be awarded a Personal Chair. A year later, she was awarded a Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) by the University. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (the highest honor in U.K science) in 1991, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (elected 1998), and a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (since 1999). She is also a Corresponding Member of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Her 40 years of service to Girton College were recognized by her election to a Life Fellowship in 1999."

  • Tucker-Price Res. Fellow, Girton 1958-61; Carnegie Fellowship 1961-62; Fellow, 1962-1987; Professorial Fellow 1987-1999; Life Fellow 1999-.