Rosemary, as she preferred to be known, was born on October 22nd 1925 in Dundee where she attended Harris Academy for her primary and secondary education. In 1943 she entered St Andrews University in the Faculty of Science, graduating in 1948 with an Honours MA degree in Mathematics and Physics. In 1949 she took up an appointment with the British Jute Association in Dundee, but she resigned after a few years finding that the physics of textiles was not sufficiently challenging.
Feeling an urge to travel, she moved to Africa in 1954 to take up a lectureship in Physics at the University of Ghana (then connected with The University of London). A lifelong attachment to the people of Africa, in particular furthering higher education in science, grew out of her auxiliary duties as Deputy Warden of Volta Hall. In addition to her main duties of delivering lecture courses to undergraduate students, she registered for a higher degree. Her thesis, ‘Earth Current Variations in the Equatorial Region’ was accepted for the award of a Ph.D. degree by London University in 1961. Thus began an impressive research career largely devoted to the investigation of how geophysical methods, and in particular electrical methods, could be applied to investigate the structure of the Earth’s continental crust and upper mantle, with many of the studies being focussed on Scotland.