Archive of past Queensland Entomologists

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Jo Mackerras

Mabel Josephine MACKERRAS (1896-1971)

Jo Mackerras (neé Bancroft) was born at Deception Bay, daughter of Thomas Bancroft and grandaughter of Joseph Bancroft. Graduated B.Sc.(Hons) from UQ in 1918. Walter & Eliza Hall Fellow at UQ, 1918-19, working with Harvey Johnston on tick resistance in cattle. Studied medicine at U.Sydney, graduating with Hons in 1924; married fellow medical student Ian Mackerras in 1925 and they collaborated closely thereafter in parasitology and entomology. Research entomologist with CSIRO Entomology in Canberra 1930-47, where studied veterinary problems including sheep blowfly. Captain 1941 and Major 1944 in Australian Army Medical Corps in Cairns during WWII, studying malaria treatment and transmission. Parasitologist at QIMR, Brisbane, 1947 to retirement 1961; revised Simuliidae and surveyed blood parasites of vertebrates.. After retirement moved with Ian to CSIRO Canberra where assisted Ian with landmark 1970 Insects of Australia book and published 13 papers on Australian cockroaches.

Biography: Pearn, J. & Powell, L. (eds) 1991. The Bancroft Tradition. Amphion Press, University of Qld, Brisbane, 268 pp.; Sprent, J.F.A. 1972. Obituary. International Journal for Parasitology 2:181-185; Cannon, L.R.G. & Monteith, G.B. 1997. Jo Mackerras pp.39-41 In McKay, J.(ed.)  Brilliant careers: women collectors and illustrators in Queensland. Queensland Museum, 80 pp.