The Margaretha Mes Institute for Plant Physiology originated with the construction of the Bateman Laboratory in 1949. The Vetman and Stoneman buildings were erected soon after and by 1954 the three buildings were unofficially known as the Plant Physiological Research Institute. In 1959 the name was changed to the Margaretha Mes Institute for Plant Physiology. The three buildings still house laboratories and offices used by the Department of Botany. Named after Mr H W Bateman, who was intimately involved in the planning of the building, the Bateman Laboratory boasts one of the first phytotrons (enclosed greenhouse) in the world. The Vetman building is named after a World War Two veteran, while the Stoneman building was named after Dr Bertha Stoneman, a botanist of the Huguenot University College of Wellington who made a large donation to develop the Research Institute for Plant Physiology. Prof Margaretha Mes was head of the Department of Botany from 1944 to 1959 and an avid researcher in the field of Plant Physiology.
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