• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0065

Clarke, Adrienne Elizabeth

(1938 – )
  • Nationality Australian
  • Born 6 January, 1938, Melbourne Victoria Australia
  • Occupation Botanist, Medical scientist


Clarke, a scientist with the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre at the University of Melbourne from 1982, received a Personal Chair in Botany at the University of Melbourne in 1985 and became Lieutenant Governor of Victoria in 1997.

Clarke was the first female Chairperson of the CSIRO, a position which she held from 1991 until 1996.


Adrienne Clarke was educated at the University of Melbourne, where she completed her Bachelor of Science in 1958, and PhD in 1963. In 1991 she was awarded an AO.

Clarke’s prolific career began in the 1960s when she worked as a Research Fellow with the Institute of Dental Research, United Dental Hospital of Sydney, 1964; Visiting Instructor, Department of Endocrine Physiology, Baylor University, Houston, Texas, Jan-Jun 1967; Research Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, University of Michigan, July-Dec 1967; and Lecturer in Biochemistry, University of Auckland, 1968-69.

The following decade and a half saw her work with the University of Melbourne as follows: Research Fellow, Asthma Foundation, Department of Medicine, 1969-73; Research Fellow, School of Botany, 1974; ARGC Research Fellow, School of Botany, 1975-77; Lecturer in Botany, 1978; Senior Lecturer in Botany, 1979; Reader in Botany, 1981; Director, Plant Cell Biology Research Centre, 1982 onward; and Professor, School of Botany, 1985 onward.

She was appointed Chairman of CSIRO from 1991-96; and Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria from 1997.

Adrienne Clarke is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (1988), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (1991), Mueller Medal winner (1992), and Foreign Associate, US National Academy of Sciences (1994).



  • 2001 - 2001

    Inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Published resources

Archival resources

  • The University of Melbourne Archives
    • Clarke, Adrienne Elizabeth (1938 -)
  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Ragbir Singh Bhathal, 1949-2006 (bulk 1996-1999) [manuscript]

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Australian Red Cross Victoria (1914 - )
  • Related Concepts
    • Women and Botany
    • Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science
  • Mentored by
    • Millis, Nancy Fannie (1922 - 2012)