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Vida Stout

Vida Stout. Source: Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. Ref: PA1-q-1058.

Limnographer (1930-2012)

Vida Stout was a specialist in the study of lakes and sampled most of the South Island’s lakes over her 40 year career at the University of Canterbury – travelling by float plane to mountain cirques in Fiordland and by Range Rover across the South Island at all times of year.1 She maintained long-term studies at Lakes Pearson and Grassmere, near the university field station at Cass.

Stout had studied at Victoria University, where she completed a MSc looking at water mites of the Wellington province. Her PhD was at the University of London, where she investigated the small aquatic crustaceans commonly known as water fleas.

Stout was a committed member of the Royal Society Te Apārangi's Canterbury branch and was branch president in 1983. The next year she became Dean of Science at Canterbury University, the first woman to hold that position at a New Zealand university.2


1. ‘_____ Royal Society of New Zealand, Canterbury Branch _____’, accessed 15 November 2017, http://rsnzbranch.org.nz/prominent.htm.

2. ‘Vida Stout’, Wikipedia, 8 August 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vida_Stout&oldid=794428973

This profile is part of the series 150 Women in 150 Words that celebrates women’s contributions to expanding knowledge in New Zealand, running as part of our 150th Anniversary.