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Jantine Tammes (1871-1947)

First female professor in Groningen
Jantine Tammes

Jantine Tammes was born in 1871 in the Peperstraat in Groningen. Her father made chocolate, cocoa and sugar products. She went to a secondary school for girls and in 1890 she entered the University of Groningen. She was allowed to go to lectures and practicals, but not to take exam.


That year there were just 11 female students in a total of 415 students and their number grew very slowly. In 1896 Tammes founded a "walking club" with two other female students and in 1898 this became the Groningen Female Student Society, which was named Magna Pete in 1912. This is the oldest 'sorority' in the Netherlands. 

Jantine Tammes in the University Botanical Gardens

During her studies Tammes was able to pass various teacher's exams and from 1894 she worked as a physics and chemistry teacher in her old school. In 1897 the university asked her to become the assistant of botany professor J.W. Moll. In this way she started her academic career.


Tammes conducted genetic research into botany. An important object of her research was flax. She had many research articles published in international journals and became internationally famous. As a result of this the university bestowed an honorary professorship on her in 1911, which she finally received in 1919. She thus became the first femal professor in Groningen and the second in the Netherlands.

Last modified:13 August 2021 3.20 p.m.
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