Marjorie Ritchie

Marjorie grew up in Edinburgh and had her introduction to animal science through visits to a relation who worked at the Animal Breeding Research Marjorie RitchieOrganisation’s (ABRO) farm at Dryden, which later became The Roslin Institute and where Dolly was born. In 1966, at the age of 18, she joined ABRO’s wool technology lab and worked on a research project investigating different fibre types. She then joined the Farm Animal Department at Dryden where she developed her scientific and practical skills to become the senior scientific officer responsible for the large animal unit.

Marjorie brought key surgical skills to the Dolly team, which is commemorated in her portrait in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. In addition to carrying out the embryo transfer surgery, she also used her expertise in working with large animals to plan and set up the experiments.

Marjorie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997. This eventually meant that she had to stop her work with animals and move to a data management role at The Roslin Institute, where she stayed until 2014. Marjorie passed away in 2015 and the flags of Edinburgh University were flown at half-mast in recognition of her 48 years of service.

See Marjorie’s portrait in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s collection.