Elizabeth Gertrude Britton

Elizabeth Gertrude Britton (née Knight)
Elizabeth G Knight - 1886.jpg
Born(1858-01-09)January 9, 1858
DiedFebruary 25, 1934(1934-02-25) (aged 76)
Alma materHunter College
Spouse(s)Nathaniel Lord Britton
Scientific career
FieldsBotany, Bryology
Author abbrev. (botany)E.Britton

Elizabeth Gertrude Britton (née Knight) (January 9, 1858 – February 25, 1934) was an American botanist, bryologist, and educator. She and her husband, Nathaniel Lord Britton played a significant role in the fundraising and creation of the New York Botanical Garden. She was a co-founder of the predecessor to the American Bryological and Lichenological Society. She was an activist for protection of wildflowers, inspiring local chapter activities and the passage of legislation. Elizabeth Britton made major contributions to the literature of mosses, publishing 170 papers in that field.

Early life and family

Elizabeth Gertrude Knight was born on January 9, 1858 in New York City, one of five daughters, to James and Sophie Anne (née Compton) Knight.[1][2][3] Her family operated a furniture factory and sugar plantation in the vicinity of Matanzas, Cuba, and she spent much of her childhood there.[1] In later childhood, she attended a private school in New York; she then attended Normal College (later, Hunter College) and was graduated from there in 1875, at the early age of seventeen.[1] On August 27, 1885 she married Nathaniel Lord Britton, an Assistant in Geology at Columbia College who shared her growing interest in botany.[4][5] The couple had no children.[6]