Accompanied her husband to the Philippines (1905-1907), later visiting and collecting in China, Indo-China, Borneo, Java and Singapore. She also collected in New Guinea (1935-1941) before moving to Brisbane. For about the next 10 years she collected around Brisbane and as far north as Mackay, Maryborough, Ingham and Tully. Her tens of thousands of specimens are to be found in AHFH, B, BR, CAS, GH, L, MICH, RM, SING and US (and Tokyo University and the National Science Museum, Tokyo).
Extracted from: A.E.Orchard (1999) A History of Systematic
Botany in Australia, in Flora of Australia Vol.1, 2nd ed.,
ABRS. [consult for source references]
Her collections in New Guinea (1935-1941).
Joseph and Mary Strong Clemens arrived in the (then) Mandated Territoryof New Guinea on the 16th of August 1935. Although Joseph died a few months after their arrival (21st January 1936), she dauntlessly continued as a botanical collector until the Japanese military invasion of New Guinea made it necessary for her to be hurriedly evacuated to Australia on the 26th of December, 1941.
Mary Clemens worked exclusively in the Morobe Province, and mostly on the Huon peninsula where she made about 14,000 collections of plants. These collections were sent to Berlin (much destroyed but duplicates elsewhere) until 1939, and to the Michigan University Herbarium until 1941. Her New Guinea collections were numbered by her from 1 onwards. Some collections were assigned numbers after they were despatched from New Guinea. These collections are numbered from about 40,000 to at least 41,949 and cover the years of 1939 to 1941. At least some of these collections were abandoned at Boana, Finschhafen or Lae when transport was not available during the Second World War. Some of the abandoned collections were taken by the Japanese and are now held at the Tokyo University and the National Science Museum, Tokyo. Although the Huon peninsula had been botanically explored before Mary Clemens arrived, she collected numerous new species and her collections have been cited extensively in scientific literature.
MARY STRONG CLEMENS
Maiden name: Mary Knapp STRONG
Born: 3 January, 1873 (New York, USA)
Died: 13 April 1968 (Chermside, Australia)
Married: Joseph CLEMENS (in 1896)
Born: 1862 (Cornwall, England)
Died: 21 January, 1936 (Wareo, Papua New Guinea)
Extracted from: Conn, B.J. (1990) Program for Botanical History
Symposium, ASBS, 'Development of Systematic Botany in Australia', Melbourne.
Photo source: ASBS, 'Development of Systematic Botany in Australia', 1990 Melbourne