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Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker, British phycologist

Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker, British phycologist

C037/5661

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SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker (1901-1957), British phycologist. Drew-Baker received her undergraduate degree in 1923 and her master's in 1923, both in botany from the University of Manchester, UK. She is best known for her work on the life cycle of the red algae Porphyra umbilicalis, known as nori in Japan where it is widely cultivated. Drew-Baker discovered that Conchocelis, which was thought to be a different species, was actually a diploid generation of the alga, and that this life stage was reliant on bivalve shells. This knowledge made cultivation of the seaweed much more reliable, increased production, and allowed artificial seeding techniques to be developed.

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