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Chapter 5 : Johanna Döbereiner: A Pioneer Among South American Scientists

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Abstract:

Johanna Döbereiner, a pioneer soil microbiologist and Brazil’s most-cited female scientist, was a model of leadership, ethics, and enthusiasm. Known for her rigorous science and strong personality, she provided a supportive work environment for those who passed through her lab. At a time in which it was uncommon for females to enter scientific fields and succeed, Johanna built an outstanding career that continues to inspire those whose lives she touched as well as a new generation of microbiologists. This chapter, written by Graciela Brelles-Mariño, covers Dr. Döbereiner’s early life, career, and scientific achievements and impacts, and it features numerous personal comments from former lab members and colleagues.

Citation: Brelles-Mariño G. 2018. Johanna Döbereiner: A Pioneer Among South American Scientists, p 37-47. In Whitaker R, Barton H (ed), Women in Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819545.ch5
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Figure 1

Dr. Johanna Döbereiner.

Citation: Brelles-Mariño G. 2018. Johanna Döbereiner: A Pioneer Among South American Scientists, p 37-47. In Whitaker R, Barton H (ed), Women in Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819545.ch5
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Figure 2

Dr. Döbereiner in front of the building where she worked for almost 50 years at Embrapa, Seropédica, Brazil. Picture courtesy of Dr. Veronica M. Reis.

Citation: Brelles-Mariño G. 2018. Johanna Döbereiner: A Pioneer Among South American Scientists, p 37-47. In Whitaker R, Barton H (ed), Women in Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819545.ch5
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Figure 3

Dr. María Valdés (in dark jacket) kindly greeting Dr. Döbereiner at the former Nitrogen Fixation Research Center in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The other person in the picture is the late researcher Dr. Jesús Caballero-Mellado. Picture courtesy of Prof. María Valdés.

Citation: Brelles-Mariño G. 2018. Johanna Döbereiner: A Pioneer Among South American Scientists, p 37-47. In Whitaker R, Barton H (ed), Women in Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819545.ch5
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Figure 4

Dr. Döbereiner and Dr. Fabio Lopes Olivares during a break in the lab in 1998 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Vasco da Gama soccer team from Rio de Janeiro. Dr. dos Reis Junior remembers, “Students in the lab were saying that Dr. Johanna was also a supporter of our soccer team, but in fact I think that she was not interested in football at all.” Picture courtesy of Dr. Fábio B. dos Reis Junior.

Citation: Brelles-Mariño G. 2018. Johanna Döbereiner: A Pioneer Among South American Scientists, p 37-47. In Whitaker R, Barton H (ed), Women in Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819545.ch5
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Figure 5

Celebrating Dr. dos Reis Junior’s 24th birthday in 1994. Those celebrations were frequent at Embrapa Agrobiology, and Johanna always attended celebrations and interacted with students and younger researchers. Front row (left to right): Dr. Veronica Reis (seated on railing), Dr. Vera Baldani (yellow shirt), Dr. Lucia da Silva (white shirt), and Dr. Johanna Döbereiner. Middle row (left to right): Dr. Leonardo Cruz (white T-shirt), Dr. Jean Araujo (brown T-shirt), Dr. Claudia Martins (gray T-shirt), Dr. Fábio Reis Junior (white T-shirt) and Dr. Elyson Amaral. Back row (left to right): Dr. José Antônio Pereira, Dr. Marcelo da Silva, Dr. Claudio Cunha, and Dr. Fábio Olivares. Picture courtesy of Dr. Fábio B. dos Reis Junior.

Citation: Brelles-Mariño G. 2018. Johanna Döbereiner: A Pioneer Among South American Scientists, p 37-47. In Whitaker R, Barton H (ed), Women in Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819545.ch5
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Figure 6

Johanna (on the far right) visiting the soil microbiology lab at Embrapa Cerrados in Brasília in 1989. Back row (left to right): Dr. Milton Alexandre Teixeira Vargas, Dr. Ieda de Carvalho Mendes, and Dr. José Roberto Rodrigues Peres (white shirt, black tie), her former student and now the general head at Embrapa Cerrados.

Citation: Brelles-Mariño G. 2018. Johanna Döbereiner: A Pioneer Among South American Scientists, p 37-47. In Whitaker R, Barton H (ed), Women in Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819545.ch5
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
Download as Powerpoint

References

/content/book/10.1128/9781555819545.chap5
1. Baldani JI,, Baldani VLD,, Reis VM, . 2001. Johanna Döbereiner: fifty years dedicated to the biological nitrogen fixation research area. Johanna Döbereiner Memorial Lecture, p 2 4. In Finan TM,, O’Brian MR,, Layzell DB,, Vessey JK,, Newton W (ed), Nitrogen Fixation: Global Perspective. Proceedings of the 13th International Congress on Nitrogen Fixation. CABI Publishing, New York, NY.
2. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences . Deceased academicians. http://www.casinapioiv.va/content/accademia/en/academicians/deceased.html. Accessed 14 November 2017.
3. Schield AL, . 2011. Dedication to Jürgen Döbereiner, p xv xvi. In Riet-Correa F,, Fister J,, Schield AL,, Wierenga T (ed), Poisoning by Plants, Mycotoxins and Related Toxins. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, MA.
4. Franco A,, Boddey R . 1997. Dr. Johanna Döbereiner: a brief biography. Soil Biol Biochem 29 : IX XI.
5. Shurtleff W,, Aoyahi A . 2004. History of Soy in Latin America. Soyfoods Center, Lafayette, CA. http://www.soyinfocenter.com/HSS/latin_america1.php. Accessed 14 November 2017.
6. Baldani JI,, Baldani VLD . 2005. History on the biological nitrogen fixation research in graminaceous plants: special emphasis on the Brazilian experience. An Acad Bras Cienc 77 : 549 579.
7. American Society of Plant Biologists . Women pioneers in plant biology. http://aspb.org/wipb-pioneer-biographies/. Accessed 14 November 2017.

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