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Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan, CBE, DSc

Photo credit: Birkbeck, University of London

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Dame Helen Charlotte Isabella Gwynne-Vaughan, CBE, DSC, was a prominent British botanist and mycologist. In 1909 she became head of the botany department at Birkbeck. During the First World War she served as Controller of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in France, and served as commandant of the Women’s Royal Air Force from 1918 to 1919. In 1921 she became Birkbeck’s first female professor, continuing her studies on fungi genetics. In 1939 she became head of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, and returned to Birkbeck in 1941, before retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1944.

Birkbeck, University of London



Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan, CBE, DSc




oil on canvas


H 152 x W 112 cm

Accession number


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Birkbeck, University of London

Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London, Greater London WC1E 7HX England

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