What to visit / Science trails / Women Scientists Trail / Creu Casas

Creu Casas

Pharmacist and botanist (Barcelona, 26th April 1913 – 20th May 2007)

Our Barcelona science trail takes us to Creu Casas, the most important Catalan pharmacist and biologist of the 20th century. There is even a prize awarded by the Institute of Catalan Studies that bears her name and recognises the work of women in science.

From a very young age, she showed an interest in plants, inspired by her father who was a gardener. This led her to become a botanist specialising in mosses and hepaticas.

She graduated in pharmacy from Barcelona Autonomous University in 1936, where she had been taught by the eminent botanist, Pius Font i Quer. However, she had to sit her exams again because Franco's government didn't recognise the qualifications issued during the Republic. She also studied nursing but never practised.

She ran the Boada pharmacy and the pharmaceutical services of the Alianza clinic in Barcelona, which she combined with her research at the botany laboratory at the Pharmacy Faculty.

She was a member of the Botanical Institute of Barcelona, set up by Font i Quer, together with Ramon Margalef, Oriol de Bolós and Montserrat Garriga, another woman scientist of the time.

In 1971, Dr Creu Casas became the first female professor of botany in Spain. She received many awards, including the Narcís Monturiol medal for scientific merit and the 13th Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation prize (2002). She was inducted into the Institute of Catalan Studies (1978) and was president of the Catalan Institution for Natural History (1980).

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