Bio. Dictionary Women in Science

The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: Pioneering Lives from Ancient Times to the Mid-20th Century. Marilyn Ogilvie and Joy Harvey, editors. New York: Routledge, 2000; pages 206-207.


BUNTING, MARTHA (1861-1944)

U.S. plant and aquatic biologist. Educated Swarthmore College (B.L., 1881); University of Pennsylvania (B.S., 1890); Bryn Mawr Collete (Ph.D., 1895); Columbia University (postdoctorate, 1898-1999). Professional experience: Goucher College, instructor in biology (1893-1897); high school teacher (1897-1898, 1900-1910 [-1912]); University of Pennsylvania, research assistant (1910-1916, 1918-1919). Honors and memberships: University of Pennsylvania, honorary Fellow (1919-1924, 1926-1927, 1930-1931); Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, member. Died 1944.

Martha Bunting was one of those well-educated women who spent the majority of her professional career teaching high school after she received her doctorate. She worked a short time as an instructor of biology at Goucher College and later worked as a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania. Her lack of professional recognition did not keep her from interesting research; during this time she conducted research on photozoology [sic; this should be “protozoology”, i.e., the study of protozoa], sex cells in Hydractinia, and Podocoryne. She also studied otoliths, the geotropic functions of Astacus, and the life cycle of Tetramitus rostratus. She was recognized as an important member of the community of biologists, for she was elected a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

PRIMARY SOURCES
Bunting, Martha. The Origin of the Sex-Cells in Hydractinia and Podocoryne, and the Development of Hydractinia. Journal of Morphology 9 (1894): 203-232 [-236].

SECONDARY SOURCES
Harshberger, John W. The Botanists of Philadelphia and Their Work. Philadelphia: Press of T. C. Davis & Son, 1899.

STANDARD SOURCES
AMS 1-7; Bailey; Siegel and Finley; WWW(A).

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