Nancy Tyson Burbidge [1912-1977]

By March 22nd, 2011

Biography

Nancy Burbidge was a systematic botanist and Curator of the Herbarium, CSIRO Division of Plant Industry. She published Flora of the ACT with Max Gray and several other books on Australian plants. Dr Burbidge was a founding member and twice President of the National Parks Association of the ACT and she was prominent in lobbying for the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park.

Nancy Burbidge collecting plant specimens for research - Australian Captial Territory

Nancy Burbidge collecting plant specimens for research – Australian Captial Territory. [Source: CSIRO Archives]

Nancy Burbidge has been commemorated by an altar-front featuring banksias and honey-eaters in St Michael’s Anglican Church, Mount Pleasant, Perth and by the Nancy T Burbidge Memorial, an amphitheatre in the National Botanic Gardens, Canberra.

Career timeline

1976 Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
1973-77 Director, Flora of Australia project
1967-73 Senior Principal Research Scientist at the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry
1961 Doctor of Science, University of Western Australia
1953 On secondment as Australian botanical liaison officer at Kew herbarium, London, England
1946-73 Curator of the Herbarium at the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry
1946-67 Systematic botanist at the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry
1945 Master of Science, University of Western Australia
1943-46 Assistant agronomist at Waite Agricultural Research Institute
1940-43 Field and herbarium work in Western Australia
  Worked on the taxonomy of Australian plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England
1937 Bachelor of Science, University of Western Australia

Honours and awards

In December 1991, CSIRO Archives received Nancy Burbidge’s 1976 Order of Australia Medallion and certificate as well as The Royal Society of New South Wales Medal for Researchers in Natural Science.