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Catherine Cassels Steele (17 September 1903–3 December 1995) was a Scottish scientist who is best known for her expertise in plant biochemistry.[1] She wrote An Introduction to Plant Biochemistry.[2]

Catherine Cassels Steele
Born(1903-09-17)17 September 1903
Died3 December 1995(1995-12-03) (aged 92)
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
University of Illinois
Harvard University
Known forExpertise in plant biochemistry
Spouse(s)Louis Hamilton Bock

Early life and educationEdit

Steele was the daughter of James Steele, the former headmaster of St Monance school in Fife.[1] Steele's early education began at West Calder at the age of five. After moving to St Monans and by age 12, her secondary educational experience occurred at Waid Academy in Anstruther, Fife.[1]

In 1920, Steele entered the University of St Andrews graduating in 1924 with a First Class Honours in mathematics and natural philosophy. She continued to study at the University, and in 1925 received a BSc with Special Distinction in chemistry, physics and mathematics. She joined the Edinburgh Mathematical Society soon after. She changed fields to study chemistry and earned her PhD in 1928.[1] Steele was a Commonwealth Fellow, where she traveled to the United States to continue her research at University of Illinois for two years and then at Harvard University.[1]

Professional lifeEdit

Steele taught at the Ladies' Branch of the Horticultural College, Swanley, Kent (later the Swanley Horticultural College) in the 1930s[3] where many middle-class women learned horticulture.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Steele married Louis Hamilton Bock in 1934.[5] Together they had two sons.[6] Steele died on 3 December 3 1995 in Lacey, Washington.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Steele biography". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  2. ^ Steele, Catherine Cassels (1949-01-01). An introduction to plant biochemistry (2nd ed.). Bell.
  3. ^ Opitz, Donald L. (2013). ""A Triumph of Brains over Brute": Women and Science at the Horticultural College, Swanley, 1890–1910". Isis. 104 (1): 30–62. doi:10.1086/669882. PMID 23789507.
  4. ^ Meredith, Anne (2003). "Horticultural Education in England, 1900-40: Middle-Class Women and Private Gardening Schools". Garden History. 31 (1): 67–79. doi:10.2307/1587402. JSTOR 1587402.
  5. ^ "Student's Romance in U.S.: St Andrews Graduate Married in University Chapel." The Scotsman. (May 24, 1934).
  6. ^ Birth Announcements. The Scotsman. October 20, 1939 and February 27, 1942.