Helena Szafranówna

21.10.1888 – 17.02.1969

Botanist, pedagogue, ecologist

Nature enthusiast, popularizer of botanics and environment protection activist.

1922-1932 – studies in Poznań

1932 – PhD degree

1961 – post-doctoral degree

In October 1922 she began studying biology at the University of Poznań. Already as a student she began working with Prof. Adam Wodziczko, a distinguished botanist and populariser of nature protection. It was under his academic supervision that she prepared her first research paper titled Meadows at the mouth of the Piaśnica River, which was fundamental for the establishment of a nature reserve in this area.

Then Szafran, working with Prof. Wodziczko, studied and described vascular plants growing in the Wielkopolska Region. She used this research in her PhD thesis defence in 1932.

She was an excellent pedagogue, engaged in environment protection. Many of her initiatives focused on this field. She was a teacher and a scout leader. She was involved in setting up school gardens whose aim was to facilitate education about nature. As she wrote: ‘I was able to engage all teachers and youth in the service to the idea of nature protection and turn it into a great pedagogic value.’

She also wrote articles. For some time she was the editor of the Little Naturalist, a monthly for youth.

Her most important achievement was an inventory of nature reserves and natural monuments in the Wielkopolska Region and part of Western Pomerania. The materials she gathered became the foundation for the future publication titled The Wielkopolska Region in the eyes of a Naturalist.


Main photo - Helena Szafranówna