Obituary: Joan Mott

Joan Culver Mott, zoologist: born Parkstone, Dorset 9 January 1921: Secretary, the Neonatal Society, 1963- 1967; Foundation Fellow, Wolfson College, Oxford 1966-88, Viceregent 1969-71, Emeritus Fellow 1988-94; died Headington, Oxfordshire 21 April 1994.

JOAN MOTT was one of the Foundation Fellows of Wolfson College, Oxford, when it was set up in 1966. As a zoologist she studied the physiological control of the circulation and respiration in foetal and newborn mammals, including that of the eel. She established in 1965 a research group of her own, made up of other postgraduate students from Britain and overseas, to investigate the role of the renin-angiotensin system in maintaining normal blood pressure before and after birth.

Joan Mott was born in 1921, the only child of a general medical practitioner, in Parkstone, Dorset. She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College, on whose Guild Committee she served for many years. She was awarded a First Class degree in Zoology at Newnham College, Cambridge, in 1943, and won a tennis blue. She then worked on anti-fouling, devising processes for keeping the hulls of ships free from barnacles, and became an assistant lecturer in Zoology at Royal Holloway College, London.

I first met Mott in the spring of 1948 at the Nuffield Institute for Medical Research in Oxford, where she was studying the circulation in the eel Anguilla anguilla, using the then new method of cine-angiography, as a Jenner Fellow of Newnham. She was awarded a DPhil and appointed in 1950 to a Senior Studentship of the Royal Commission for the 1851 Exhibition.

In the 1960s she developed an interest in the regulation of blood volume, and the response to haemorrhage, in newborn mammals. Two of her graduate students now hold professorships, in England and in Australia. She was Secretary of the Neonatal Society from 1963 to 1967.

Mott was very direct and forthright, with wide interests and strong opinions firmly held. Yet, though a private person, she quickly warmed to new colleagues and acquaintances, and was generous to younger students. Her opinion was sought and valued.

In the period after the Second World War a number of academic appointments were made in Oxford without affiliation to an existing college. Most of these were in science departments, which had expanded rapidly in the 1950s. After extensive consultation, two new societies (which were forerunners to Wolfson) were created. Mott, as a member of a society established in 1965, became a Foundation Fellow of Wolfson College in July 1966. The nature of this new, different and very successful establishment was largely determined by its fellowship, in which she played an active part.

She was Vicegerent of the college from 1969 to 1971 and served on its committees for many years. She retired in 1988, but kept up her close college connections.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor