Derick, a geneticist specializing in plants, was in fact the first female professor in any subject in a Canadian university. She was also the founder of the botany department at McGill University, but wasn’t made a professor for three years after she’d been running the department! (See below.) The Library and Archives Canada recounts some of her achievements, which were not only in botany, but in popularization of science and political activism:
As well as teaching and doing research, Derick published numerous articles on botany, including “The problem of the ‘burn-out’ district of southern Saskatchewan,” “The early development of the Florideae,” and “The trees of McGill University.” Many articles were aimed at the scientific community, earning her the respect of colleagues around the world and the distinction of appearing in the 1910 edition of American men of science. Others were intended to bring an understanding of nature to a general audience. In addition, she wrote biographical sketches and political essays.
At the same time that she was leading a busy and sometimes difficult academic life, Derick was deeply involved in social activism. Her main interests were women’s suffrage and education, but she worked for many causes throughout her life. Her energy and commitment are reflected in a partial list of the organizations she was involved with: the Local Council of Women (Montreal); the Protestant Committee of the Council of Education; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the Montreal Suffrage Association; the National Council of Education; the Federation of University Women of Canada; and the Montreal Folklore Society.
Sadly, this Doodle is seen only in the blue places below, i.e., Canada. It’s the first one-country Doodle I’ve seen, and that’s a shame. It does us well to remember the indignities suffered not all that long ago by women in academia, and to mourn the loss of scientific advances caused by the marginalization of women. Wikipedia gives the evidence (my emphasis)
In 1891, Derick began her master’s program at McGill under David Penhallow and received her M.A. in botany in 1896. She attended the University of Bonn in 1901 and completed the research required for a Ph.D. but was not awarded an official doctorate since the University did not give women Ph.D. degrees. She then returned to McGill and “continued to work, teach, and administer” in the botany department. In 1905, “after seven years of lecturing, assisting Penhallow with his classes, researching and publishing, without any pay increments or offers of promotion, Derick wrote directly to Principal Peterson and was promoted to assistant professor” at one-third the salary of her male counterparts. Derick was only officially appointed as professor of comparative morphology and genetics by McGill in 1912 after three years of running the department following Penhallow’s death. She was the first woman both at McGill and in Canada to achieve university professorship. She retired in 1929.