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Ogilvie Gordon, Dame Maria Matilda,

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née Ogilvie (1864–1939) British geologist: one of the first professional women geologists.

Maria Ogilvie, the eldest daughter of the Rev Alexander Ogilvie, a prominent educationalist, attended the Ladies College, Edinburgh until she was 18. Her first interest was music and she became a student at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with success. She was then a student at University College, London, studying geology, botany and zoology, and gained her BSc in 1890. She produced a thesis on the geology of the Wengen and St Cassian strata in southern Tyrol and for this, in 1893, she obtained the London DSc, becoming the first woman to do so.

From 1891–5 she studied at the University of Munich and was the first woman to obtain a PhD there in 1900, passing her examinations in German with highest honours in zoology, geology and palaeontology and with a thesis on recent and fossil corals. She published on the microscopic skeletal structure of recent Medreporarian corals in Transactions of the Royal Society and on the Upper Jurassic corals of the Stramberg fauna through the Bavarian Royal Academy of Sciences.

She married Dr John Gordon, a physician in Aberdeen, who sometimes accompanied his wife on her excursions. She continued her researches in the Dolomites; her later work appeared in the Austrian Geological Survey. In 1932 she was awarded the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London. She was one of the first women to be appointed a Justice of the Peace.

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