Episode Description

Annie Montague Alexander was an adventurer, amateur paleontologist, and the founding benefactor of two venerated museums at UC Berkeley - the UC Museum of Paleontology and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. She was born in 1867, the daughter of a wealthy sugar baron, but she never quite fit in with her high society peers. Instead, Annie created for herself a grand life out of doors, away from the constraints of the era: she funded expeditions up and down the West Coast, hunting fossils. And sometimes she wore pants!

But there was a catch. Annie always had to be accompanied by a female chaperone, as it was considered unseemly for a woman to travel surrounded only by men. Luckily, this worked out well for Annie: One of those female chaperones would become her life partner.

For show notes and transcript, visit lostwomenofscience.org


  • Michelle Koo is a staff curator at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley.
  • Barbara Stein is the author of On Her Own Terms, a biography of Annie Alexander.


  • Katie Hafner
  • Carol Sutton Lewis


  • Alexa Lim (producer)
  • Elah Feder (senior producer)
  • Michelle Nijhuis (contributed early reporting)


Episode Transcript

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