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Biographical entry Neuhäuser, Gabriele (1911 - )

Born
1911
Berlin, Germany
Occupation
Zoological collector and Zoologist
Alternative Names
  • Scott, Gabriele (married name)

Summary

Gabriele Neuhäuser collected mammals for the American Museum of Natural History in northern Australia from the late 1930s. She was a remarkable woman who spent much of her time collecting alone in remote areas of Queensland, which was rare for a woman in those days. She used horseback and a Chevrolet ute to travel the far north, reaching some of the remotest areas, where she shot and skinned the specimens herself. Many of her specimens are still housed at the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin and the Queensland Museum.
Neuhäuser married a local mining prospector (John Scott) and remained in Australia long after her collection duties were over. Between 1950 and 1970 she worked as a librarian and eventually settled in Brisbane.

Details

Having decided she wanted to be a zoologist from age six, Gabriele Neuhäuser enrolled in science at Freiburg University in her native Germany. While undertaking her doctoral thesis in 1933 she learnt how to shoot and prepare specimens for museums and then travelled to Turkey for her first collection expedition. This built her reputation as a competent museum collector. In around 1936 Neuhäuser was asked by the American Museum of Natural History to collect specimens in northern Australia. She arrived in Australia in 1937 at age twenty-seven and built up a working relationship with the Queensland Museum. She collected mostly alone, travelling to Cairns and throughout the Atherton Tablelands. In one expedition to Coen she employed two local Aborigines as guides and travelled by packhorse with her future husband John Scott. After the war Neuhäuser gave up collecting as it was not financially viable and became a librarian. She settled in Brisbane with her husband and daughters.

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Edited Books

  • McKay, Judith (ed.), Brilliant Careers: Women Collectors and Illustrators in Queensland, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, 1997, 80 pp. Details

Online Resources

Annette Alafaci