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Dr Margaret Davies OAM

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Margaret Davies

Awarded for service to Science

Born: 8 November 1944

Entered on roll: 2015

'Honoured for herpetology.'

Scientist, Dr Margaret Davies, has journeyed to challenging environments, published many scientific reports and was awarded a medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to science in the field of herpetology (frogs).

As the Australo/Papuan frog fauna only emerges to breed and feed in the wet season, Dr Davies and colleagues made field trips to remote places like the Kimberley, Kakadu and Cape York in difficult conditions, high temperatures, and unbearable humidity when the mosquitoes are voracious.

The field trips were worthwhile. Dr Davies discovered and named 35 species of frogs (including one species from Tasmania) and authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited over 120 publications.

Dr Davies graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Science in 1966 and then studied Honours. Following this, she completed a Master of Science at the Australian National University in Canberra. Uperoleia, a genus that was poorly known, was the subject of her PhD thesis, which she received from the University of Adelaide. Dr Davies spent 30 years at that university as an academic and in 1996 received the Dean’s certificate for excellence in teaching in the discipline of zoology.

Dr Davies served on the Council of the Royal Society of South Australia for 26 years and was made an Honorary Fellow, was fauna editor of the Fauna and Flora Handbooks Committee of South Australia for six years, and is currently Honorary Editor of the Royal Society of Tasmania. The Australian Society of Herpetologists granted her Life Membership for her service and contributions.

Dr Davies returned to Tasmania after retiring from the University of Adelaide in 2002. In retirement she has become Honorary Editor of the Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, guardian of the Royal Society of Tasmania’s library and gives her time to lecturing to school groups, University of the Third Age, Rotary, Probus and many other community groups.

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