Catherine McNeur


Catherine McNeur is an associate professor of history at Portland State University and the author of Mischievous Creatures (Basic Books, 2023) and Taming Manhattan (Harvard University Press, 2014). She is the recipient of several awards, including the American Society for Environmental History’s 2015 George Perkins Marsh Prize.

Michelle Nijhuis


Michelle Nijhuis is author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction, a history of the modern conservation movement. She is a contributing editor at High Country News, and her work also appears in The New York Review of Books, National Geographic, the Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine. 

Samia Bouzid


In addition to working for Lost Women of Science, Samia Bouzid has contributed to Duolingo’s French and Spanish podcasts, the BBC’s Short Cuts and LWC Studios’ 100 Latina Birthdays. She also writes scripts for science YouTube channels, including SciShow and Be Smart

Episode Description

In this episode of Lost Women of Science Conversations, Michelle Nijhuis talks to historian Catherine McNeur about how she rediscovered the lives and work of Elizabeth and Margaretta Morris, two natural scientists who made significant contributions to botany and entomology in the mid-19th Century. Elizabeth collected rare plant species and sent them to institutions around the world, and Margaretta not only discovered new insects but also helped farmers combat the pests that were devastating their fields. Nevertheless, by both design and accident, these women were lost to history. McNeur tells us how that happened and how, piece by piece, she recovered their stories.

Morris sisters' house in Philadelphia (Credit: The Library Company of Philadelphia)
(Credit: University of Delaware Libraries)
(Credit: University of Delaware Libraries)


  • Keren Mevorach, credit: University of Delaware Libraries


Episode Transcript