M. W. Loutit

Elected to Honorary membership: 
Otago University

Margaret Wyn Loutit was born in Burra, South Australla in 1929. She graduated BSc at the University of Adelaide in 1950, BSc(Hons) (1951) and MSc (1954). She then raised a family after coming to NZ when her husband John was appointed to the staff of the Department of Microbiology at Otago University in 1956. During these years Margaret lectured part-time, but in 1962 commenced at PhD course at Otago and completed this in 1966. She was the appointed to the full-time staff, where alongside teaching commitments in microbial ecology, she carried out research centred on the role of bacteria in the passage of metals through food chains, and the development of molecular and genetic techniques for the detection and taxonomy of microorganisms in water.

She was organizing Secretary for the 1 st International Symposium on Microbial Ecology in Dunedin in 1977 and has been a member of the NZ National Committee for Microbiology, Secretary and Chairman of the International Committee on Microbial Ecology, and Vice-Chairman and Chair of the Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology Division of IUMS. She was appointed to a Personal Chair in Microbiology in 1982 and was awarded Honorary Membership of NZMS in 1991. Margaret retired in 1991, but continued to serve the University running the Research Office (set up to increase research funding for the University), which she had established in 1988. She ‘retired’ again from this position in 1995.