In 1909, Allen became the first woman to obtain a Ph.D. degree from the Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin. During her career, she investigated the cytology of rust fungi, which led to an understanding of disease development within plant tissue, greatly advancing our knowledge of rust fungi. In 1965, the Ruth Allen Award was establishedin her honor. She had incredible observational skills and produced superb hand drawings throughout her career at Michigan Agricultural College, Wellesley College, the USDA, and the University of California, Berkeley.
(Submitted for publication in July 2008.)