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Biographical entry Crespin, Irene (1896 - 1980)


12 November 1896
Kew, Victoria, Australia
2 January 1980
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Micropalaeontologist and Geologist


Irene Crespin was Commonwealth palaeontologist from 1936. She travelled widely in Australia and to Java and Sumatra carrying out important research. Crespin collected fossils for analysis and studied rock and sediment formations. She chaired the Canberra branch of the Territories Division of the Geological Society of Australia in 1955 and was president of the Royal Society of Canberra in 1957. Both institutions granted her honorary life membership in appreciation of her work.



Education - Bachelor of Arts (BA) completed at the University of Melbourne
1927 - 1936
Career position - Assistant Commonwealth Palaeontologist
1936 - 1961
Career position - Commonwealth Palaeontologist
Award - Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal received
Award - Royal Society of New South Wales Clarke Medal received
Award - Doctor of Science (DSc) received from the University of Melbourne
Life event - Retired
Award - Award of Merit received from the Commonwealth Professional Officers' Association
Award - Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
1973 -
Career position - Honorary member of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Awards

Related Corporate Bodies

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

  • Bartlett, Margaret, 'Irene Crespin (1896-1980) micropalaeontologist' in 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Heather Radi, ed. (Sydney: Women's Redress Press Inc, 1988). Details
  • Bartlett, Margaret, 'Crespin, Irene (1896-1980), Geologist and Micropalaeontologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie, ed., vol. 13 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1993), pp. 532-533. Details
  • Crespin, Irene, 'Chapman, Frederick (1864-1943), palaeontologist' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle, eds, vol. 7 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1979), p. 612. Details

Edited Books

  • Radi, H. ed., 200 Australian Women: a Redress Anthology (Sydney: Women's Redress Press Inc, 1988), 268 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Crespin, Irene, 'Recollections on the Growth of Commonwealth Interest in the Geological Sciences', Records of the Australian Academy of Science, 2 (2) (1972), 29-46. Details
  • Flesch, Juliet and McPhee, Peter, '150 Years, 150 Stories: Irene Crespin', Uni News, 11 (23) (2002), 4. Details
  • Turner, S., 'Invincible but mostly Invisible: Australian Women's Contribution to Geology and Palaeontology', Geological Society Special Publication, 281 (2007), 165-202. Details


See also

  • Alexander, John A. ed., Who's Who in Australia 1944, vol. 12 (Melbourne: The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, 1944), 906 pp. Details
  • Flesch, Juliet and McPhee, Peter, 150 years, 150 stories: brief biographies of one hundred and fifty remarkable people associated with the University of Melbourne (Melbourne: Department of History, University of Melbourne, 2003), 168 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J.