Nancy Tyson Burbidge

Last updated

Nancy Tyson Burbidge CSIRO ScienceImage 11025 Dr Nancy Tyson Burbidge 1912 1977.jpg
Nancy Tyson Burbidge

Nancy Tyson Burbidge AM (5 August 1912 – 4 March 1977) was an Australian systemic botanist, conservationist and herbarium curator.

Contents

Early life and training

Burbidge was born in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire; her father, William Burbidge, was an Anglican clergyman and immigrated to Australia in 1913 when he was appointed to a parish in Western Australia. She was educated at Katanning (Kobeelya) Church of England Girls' School – founded by her mother Nancy Eleanor. She completed her schooling in 1922 when she graduated from Bunbury Senior High School, and went on to study at the University of Western Australia. She completed her BSc in 1937, and afterwards received a prize to travel to England, where she spent 18 months at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. While at Kew she worked on a revision of the Australian grass genus Enneapogon . When Nancy returned to Australia she continued her study of Australian plants through the University of Western Australia, completing her MSc. in 1945. [1]

Career

In 1943 Burbidge was appointed assistant agronomist at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute in Adelaide, where she started working on native pasture species for arid and semi-arid South Australia. She was appointed to the new position of systematic botanist at the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry, Canberra in 1946. At CSIRO she worked on organising and extending the herbarium, first as a research scientist and then as curator and was responsible for laying the foundations of the Herbarium Australiense, later the National Australian Herbarium. She wrote Key to the South Australian species of Eucalyptus L'Hér. but had not specialised on the genus. [2] Her professional interest in systemic botany was reflected by her tenure as secretary of the systematic botany committee of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science from 1948 to 1952. She also edited Australasian Herbarium News until her until 1953, when she took a years leave to be the Australian Botanical Liaison Officer at the Kew Gardens herbarium. While at Kew she photographed and indexed type specimens of Australian plants and made microfilm copies of Robert Brown's notebooks for Australian herbaria. [3]

When she returned to Australia in 1954 she began a very productive period of her career. She wrote an extensive paper "The phytogeography of the Australian region" which was published in the Australian Journal of Botany in 1960 and contributed to the award of her DSc by the University of Western Australia in 1961. Her Dictionary of Australian Plant Genera was published in 1963, and she completed studies of the plant groups Nicotiana , Sesbania and Helichrysum . Many of her publications included her own drawings. After resigning her position as curator of the herbarium she went on to be heavily involved in the development of the Flora of Australia series, directing the project from 1973 to 1977. [4] In addition to her books, she also wrote over 50 papers on phytogeography, ecology, botanical history and Australian plant genera. [3] For her contributions to botany she was awarded the 1971 Clarke Medal for her achievements in taxonomic botany and ecology by the Royal Society of New South Wales and made a member of the Order of Australia in 1976. [5]

Burbidge was also interested in conservation. She was a founding member of the National Parks Association of the Australian Capital Territory in 1960, and twice served as its president. She was prominent in the lobby for the establishment of national parks in the ACT including Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park; both of which were established following her death. She was also a member of the Australian Federation of University Women, serving as president of the Canberra branch from 1959 to 1961, of the Pan-Pacific and South East Asia Women's Association from 1957 to 1958 and as international secretary between 1961 and 1968.

Nancy T. Burbidge Memorial amphitheatre Nancy Burbridge auditorium.JPG
Nancy T. Burbidge Memorial amphitheatre

Recognition

For her contributions to botany Burbidge was awarded the 1971 Clarke Medal for her achievements in taxonomic botany and ecology by the Royal Society of New South Wales and made a member of the Order of Australia in 1976. [5]

Burbidge's contributions are commemorated by an altar-frontal, showing banksias and honey-eaters, in St Michael's Anglican Church, Mount Pleasant, Western Australia, [4] and by the Nancy T. Burbidge Memorial, an amphitheatre in the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra. The Australian Plant Name Index is dedicated to her memory and a peak in Namadgi is named Mount Burbidge in her honour. [6] [7] Acacia burbidgeae also known as Burbidge's wattle is also named in her honour. [8]

The 'Nancy T. Burbidge medal' is presented annually by the Australian Systematic Botanists Society for outstanding contribution to taxonomic and systematic botanical work in Australia.

The Australian National Herbarium holds over 7000 specimens collected by Burbidge. Other herbaria in Australia holding her collections include Western Australian Herbarium, National Herbarium of New South Wales, Tasmanian Herbarium, State Herbarium of South Australia, Queensland Herbarium, Northern Territory Herbarium. [9]

Standard author abbreviation

The standard author abbreviation N.T.Burb is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name . [10]

Publications

Related Research Articles

Alex George Australian botanist

Alexander Segger George is a Western Australian botanist. He is the authority on the plant genera Banksia and Dryandra. The "bizarre" Restionaceae genus Alexgeorgea was named in his honour in 1976.

Frederick William Burbidge

Frederick William Thomas Burbidge was a British explorer who collected many rare tropical plants for the famous Veitch Nurseries.

Otto Wilhelm Sonder Botanist (1812–1881)

Otto Wilhelm Sonder was a German botanist and pharmacist.

Randall James Bayer American botanist

Randall James Bayer is an American systematic botanist born in Buffalo, New York, who spent his childhood in East Aurora. He earned a B.Sc. with major in plant breeding and minor in horticulture in 1978 from Cornell University; an M.Sc. in systematic botany in 1980 from the Ohio State University; and a Ph.D. in 1984 from the Ohio State University with the dissertation Evolutionary Investigations in Antennaria. His interest in the genus Antennaria was inspired by noted evolutionary botanist George Ledyard Stebbins (1906–2000) who was a visiting professor at the Ohio State University in 1978–1979.

Nikolai Turczaninow Botanist (1796–1863)

Nikolai Stepanovich Turczaninow was a Russian botanist and plant collector who first identified several genera, and many species, of plants.

<i>Flora Australiensis</i>

Flora Australiensis: a description of the plants of the Australian Territory, more commonly referred to as Flora Australiensis, and also known by its standard abbreviation Fl. Austral., is a seven-volume flora of Australia published between 1863 and 1878 by George Bentham, with the assistance of Ferdinand von Mueller. It was one of the famous Kew series of colonial floras, and the first flora of any large continental area that had ever been finished. In total the flora included descriptions of 8125 species.

Thomas Gordon Hartley was an American botanist.

Margaret Levyns

Margaret Rutherford Bryan Levyns was an eminent South African phytogeographer, botanist and taxonomist.

Sarah Drake British botanical illustrator

Sarah Anne Drake (1803–1857) was an English botanical illustrator who worked for John Lindley and collaborated with Augusta Innes Withers, Nathaniel Wallich and others.

Lyndley Alan Craven was a botanist who became the Principal Research Scientist of the Australian National Herbarium.

Maxwell "Max" Koch was a German-born Australian botanical collector.

Ernst Georg Pritzel was a German botanist.

Pauline Yvonne Ladiges is a botanist whose contributions have been significant both in building the field of taxonomy, ecology and historical biogeography of Australian plants, particularly Eucalypts and flora, and in science education at all levels. She is professorial fellow in the School of Botany at the University of Melbourne, where she has previously held a personal chair and was head of the School of Botany at the University of Melbourne from 1992 to 2010. She has been a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science since 2002. The standard author abbreviation Ladiges is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.

Judith Gay West is an Australian scientist currently working as an Executive Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens. West holds a doctor of philosophy (PhD) by thesis on "A taxonomic revision of Dodonaea (Sapindaceae) in Australia". She completed her PhD in 1981 from the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

Rodney John Francis Henderson is an Australian botanist, specialising in taxonomy who worked for more than 48 years for the Queensland Public Service, 41 of those years at the Queensland Herbarium until he retired in 2002. The families he studied included the Solanaceae, Liliaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Rubiaceae. There are about 3,500 labelled specimens in Australian herbaria collected by Henderson, sometimes with other botanists. He was often sought after as an expert in the application of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature because of his knowledge of the code and of botanical Latin and Greek.

Hansjörg Eichler was a German-born botanist, educated in Europe, who worked in Europe and Australia, and whose greatest contribution was to Australian botany.

<i>Acacia burbidgeae</i> Species of legume

Acacia burbidgeae, commonly known as Burbidge's wattle, is a shrub or tree belonging to the genus Acacia and the subgenus Phyllodineae that is endemic to parts of New South Wales and Queensland.

<i>Chloropyron</i> Genus of plants

Chloropyron is a genus of plants in the botanical family Orobanchaceae. The plants of this group were formerly classified in the subgenus Hemistegia of the genus Cordylanthus, but were elevated to genus level by David C. Tank, John Mark Egger and Richard G. Olmstead in 2009 after molecular phylogenetic work.

Daniel J. Murphy is an Australian botanist.

Josephine Milne Australian bryologist

Josephine (Pina) Milne is an Australian bryologist, and former Manager Collections at the National Herbarium of Victoria at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

References

  1. Chippendale, G. M. (1993) Burbidge, Nancy Tyson (1912–1977), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, Melbourne University Press, pp 298–299.
  2. Hall, Norman (1978). Botanists of the Eucalypts. Australia: CSIRO. ISBN   0-643-00271-5.
  3. 1 2 Orchard, A. E. (1999). "A history of systemic botany in Australia". In A. E. Orchard ed. Flora of Australia Volume 1, 2nd edition. ABRS/CSIRO ISBN   0-643-05965-2
  4. 1 2 Heywood, A. (2002). Burbidge, Nancy Tyson (1912–1977). Australian Women's Archives
  5. 1 2 Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research. Nancy Tyson Burbidge
  6. Australian Biological Resources Study. Australian Plant Name Index Archived 29 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Public Place Names (Nomenclature Mount Burbidge) Determination 1992. legislation.act.gov.au
  8. "Acacia burbidgeae Pedley". PlantNet. Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  9. "Nancy Tyson Burbidge collections". The Australasian Virtual Herbarium. Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH). 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  10. IPNI.  N.T.Burb.
Awards
Preceded by Clarke Medal
1971
Succeeded by