A pioneering scientist in Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems, plant biologist Patricia Selkirk was awarded her doctorate from the University of Sydney in 1969. A trail-blazer of Antarctic science, Selkirk is a role model for female scientists.
In 1982/3, Selkirk spent a summer at Casey station at a time when women working in Antarctica were a rare occurrence. In addition to research in Antarctica, Selkirk's studies led her to remote, field-based locations at sub-Antarctic Heard, Kerguelen and Macquarie Islands.
The author of more than 80 papers on a diverse range of Antarctic subjects including landscape-level geomorphology, vegetation history, plant reproduction and sub-cellular genetics, Selkirk specialised in bryophytes such as mosses and liverworts. She co-authored the seminal book Subantarctic Macquarie Island: environment and biology.
Awards and honours
Selkirk served on the Antarctic Scientific Advisory Committee (1995–2001), Australian National Committee for Antarctic Research (ANCAR) and the Antarctic Research Evaluation Group (AREG). In 2004, she was awarded the Australian Antarctic Medal for outstanding service in support of Australian Antarctic expedition.
On Macquarie Island, Selkirk Creek is named in recognition of her contribution to science.