• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE3678

Crespin, Irene

(1896 – 1980)
  • Born 12 November, 1896, Melbourne Victoria Australia
  • Died 2 January, 1980
  • Occupation Scientist


Irene Crespin was a micropalaeontologist. After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1919, she worked for the Geological Survey of Victoria, describing macro and micro-fossils found in sediment on the Mornington Peninsula. In 1927 she was appointed assistant palaeontologist to Frederick Chapman in the Geological Branch of the Department of Home Affairs. In 1936 she succeeded him as Commonwealth palaeontologist at half his salary and was located in Canberra.


During her career as Commonwealth palaentologist, Irene Crespin made many field trips within Australia to collect fossils and in 1939 travelled to Java and Sumatra to consult with micro-palaentologists in the government service and industry regarding the problems of Tertiary correlation in the Indo-Pacific region. In 1951 she visited the USA where she had been invited to address the American Association of Petroleum Geologists .

In Canberra she was secretary and president of the Royal Society of Canberra; secretary from 1952 of the Territories Division of the Geological Society of Australia and chairman in 1955. She was a charter member of Soroptimist International of Canberra in 1957. She had to retire at age 65, but continued to work on a contract basis.

She received many honours including the Clarke Medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1956; a DSc from the University of Melbourne in 1960, honorary membership of ANZAAS 1976 and OBE 1969. The Bureau of Mineral Resources Bulletin no 192 – ‘The Crespin Volume’ – was published in her honour. She died on 2 January 1980.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • Geoscience Australia
    • Ramblings of a micropalaeontologist

Related entries

  • Membership
    • Soroptimist International of Canberra Incorporated (1954 - )