EWART, Alfred James (1872-1937)


EWART, Alfred James (1872-1937)
botanist
son of Edmund Brown Ewart, B.A. and his wife, Martha Williams, was born at Liverpool on 12 February 1872. Educated at the Liverpool institute and University College, Liverpool, Ewart graduated Ph.D. at Leipzig and D.Sc. at Oxford. He was a demonstrator of botany at Liverpool, and subsequently science master at King Edward's school, Birmingham, and lecturer on botany at Birmingham university, where he was for a time deputy professor. In 1905 he was appointed professor of botany at the university of Melbourne. He had already completed a laborious and useful piece of work, his translation of W. Pfeffer's treatise on The Physiology of Plants, the first volume of which was published in 1900, the second in 1903, and the third in 1906. He had also published First Stage Botany (1900), New Matriculation Botany (1902), of which many impressions were subsequently published under the title Ewart's Elementary Botany; On the Physics and Physiology of Protoplasmic Streaming in Plants (1903), and Rural Calendar (1905).
At Melbourne for the next 15 years Ewart was also government botanist. In 1909 he published a useful work on The Weeds, Poison Plants and Naturalized Aliens of Victoria, and in 1917, in collaboration with Miss Olive B. Davies. The Flora of the Northern Territory. At the university Ewart had no separate building and for many years shared the biology school building with Sir Baldwin Spencer (q.v.). After the war a separate department for botany was built. In 1927 Ewart was asked by the government to prepare a new Flora of Victoria which, with some assistance from other scientists, was completed and published in 1930. Other works not already mentioned include a Handbook of Forest Trees for Victorian Foresters (1925), and many papers in scientific journals, some of which were reprinted as pamphlets. He died suddenly on 12 September 1937. Ewart was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1922. He married (1) in 1898, Florence Maud Donaldson, a violinist and composer of ability, and (2) in 1931 Elizabeth Bilton. There were two sons of the first marriage.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 1937, vol. 124B, p. 379; Sir Ernest Scott, A History of the University of Melbourne; The Argus, Melbourne, 13 September 1937; Who's Who, 1936.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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