Exhibition Open in Boole Library, UCC, Cork

Monday 15th October, 6pm was the Opening of the Ellen Hutchins, Ireland’s First Female Botanist Exhibition.

The exhibition was opened by Astrid Wingler, Professor of Plant Biology
Head of Plant Science, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences and Environmental Research Institute,  University College Cork.

Carrie O’Flynn, the Historical Re-enactor featured on the poster (see above) was there in costume.

The exhibition has a selection of Ellen’s beautifully detailed watercolour drawings of seaweeds, her carefully prepared specimens, and her letters as well as objects and books that help to tell her story. The space features wonderful photographs of Bantry Bay, Glengarriff Woods and the special plants found in the area. You are invited to sit in a period chair and read some of Ellen’s letters. At a laboratory table, you can look through a folder of Ellen’s specimens, and peer through a microscope or hand lens at some amazing lichens. There is a loop of short films, and a touch screen with further information.

Seaweed specimen collected by Ellen Hutchins, Bantry Bay

Discover the story of a remarkable young woman in Ballylickey, Bantry Bay, West Cork in the early 1800s. In eight years of botanising, cut short by her death aged 29, Ellen Hutchins discovered many new species, and made a significant contribution to the understanding of native Irish non flowering plants – seaweeds, lichens, mosses and liverworts.

Alongside the exhibition there is a series of activities.

The next two are:

Seaweeds and Sustenance

A talk and tasting session with Frances Gallagher (Aquatic Biologist).

While Ellen Hutchins, Ireland’s first female botanist, was collecting seaweeds to identify, others were collecting them for food and fertiliser. This talk will explore the overlapping experiences on an early 1800s West Cork shore, followed by a chance to taste homemade seaweed products.

Date & time: 1-2pm Monday 12th November

Venue: Room 301, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, UCC, College Road.

Free and RSVP to ucccommunitygardens@gmail.com


Botanical Art demonstration: Shevaun Doherty

Date & Time: 12 noon to 2pm Friday 16th November


Venue: Ellen Hutchins Exhibition, Ground floor, Boole Library

Free, drop





See the UCC Exhibition page for information on the othner activities.