Dr Cathryn Mittelheuser AM

Dr Cathryn Mittelheuser is a distinguished plant physiologist. She graduated from UQ in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science (first class honours) and a University Medal.

As a UQ PhD candidate in botany, Dr Mittelheuser was one of the first Australians to be published in the internationally renowned journal, Nature, when she discovered a substance that helped plants retain water. Dr Mittelheuser quickly became a pioneer in her field as one of only a handful of women engaged in science research and teaching. Her Nature article generated global interest and was widely cited. She later developed a keen interest in Antarctica, and after documenting two voyages in the 90s became an expert in Antarctic literature.

Over the years Dr Mittelheuser has been actively involved in supporting a range of philanthropic causes, particularly those involving the arts and education – often alongside her late sister, Dr Margaret Mittelheuser AM. In 2020, QAGOMA opened an exhibition showcasing over 100 works from the catalogue legacy of the Mittelheuser sisters entitled: Two Sisters, A Singular Vision.

In 1998 Dr Mittelheuser was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa by the University, and in 1999 she was named a Member of the Order of Australia.


Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa


Bachelor of Science
Doctor of Philosophy