Australian botany botanical studies botany btoanical painting female botanist News science

17 incredible Australian women in botany

ellis rowan

By
Angela Heathcote

|
March eight, 2019

Ellis Rowan

Born: 1848

Marian ‘Ellis’ Rowan was a pure historical past painter, botanist and early Australian explorer. Motivated by her want to find uncommon flowers beforehand unknown to science, Ellis travelled round Australia and different areas of the Pacific, documenting every little thing she noticed. Her skills have been harnessed by Australia’s first authorities botanist Ferdinand von Mueller, who would annotate drawings of what Ellis had painted. Lots of Ellis’s work at the moment are held by the Nationwide Library of Australia.

Edith Coleman

Born: 1874

Edith Coleman was a number one Australian naturalist, who though having no formal coaching in botany, revealed numerous papers, articles and journals on native crops and animals. Her largest contribution to the sector of botany was her discovery of pseudo copulation in Cryptostylis orchids (aka tongue orchids) – the place a plant mimics a feminine of an insect species so the male then pollinates the flower. For this discovery and her general dedication to botany, Edith turned the primary lady to obtain the Australian Pure Historical past Medallion.

Mary White

Born: 1926

(Picture credit score: Australian Geographic)

Mary White was Australia’s most well-known and adorned palaeobotanist. In 1975, she was employed by the Australian Museum the place she collected 12,000 specimen plant fossils for the Museum’s assortment. Her books on palaeobotany are a number of the most beloved, together with The Greening of Gondwana – The 400 Million Yr Story of Australia’s Crops and Operating Down: Water in a Altering Land. In 1999, Mary acquired the Riversleigh Medal for “excellence in selling understanding of Australian prehistory”.

Olive Pink

Born: 1884

olive pink

Olive Pink was a botanical painter who had a ardour for Australia’s arid crops, notably these of central Australia, and advocated for his or her recognition for many of her life. Olive completely moved to the Northern Territory in 1943 and ultimately she arrange a small museum to exhibit a few of her artworks and arid plant specimens. Sidney Nolan was one among many notable guests. In 1956, Olive was evicted from the military hut she lived in and was later given a license to pitch a tent on a vacant plot, now the land on which the Olive Pink Botanic Backyard, Alice Springs, lies. It showcases one of the best of Australia’s arid crops.

Georgiana Molloy

Born: 1805

Georgiana Molloy was one of many first European botanical collectors in Australia. In 1836, she was requested by Captain James Mangles, an early white settler, to gather plant specimens. From then on, Georgiana spent most of her life amassing and documenting crops from the south west of Western Australia, which is famend for being a biodiversity hotspot. Annually, the wildflower season of the world attracts hundreds of vacationers from the world over.

Fran Bodkin

Born: 1937

Fran Bodkin is a botanist and a D’harawal lady from the south of Sydney who has been crucial in connecting western sciences to Indigenous information. In 1986, she accomplished an Encyclopaedia Botanica, The Important Reference Information to Native and Unique Crops in Australia, which included her personal illustrations, and in 2013 she wrote D’harawal Local weather and Pure Assets. Each have had a profound impression on our understanding of Australia’s native flora.

The Scott sisters

Born: 1800s

Harriet and Helena Scott, extra generally known as the Scott sisters, have been well-known pure historical past artists, who completely documented the native wildlife of Ash Island, situated within the Hunter area of NSW, the place they lived for 20 years. Whereas many ladies have been taught to color the pure world, what set Harriet and Helena aside was their eye for science. They repeatedly collected specimens, and described and drew them with precision. All through their lives, the sisters have been commissioned by the Australian Museum in addition to  many particular person, well-respected scientists.

Left: Yellow Albatross Butterfly. Proper: Glasswing Butterfly. (Picture credit score: Helena Scott, courtesy of the Australian Museum)

Janet Cosh

Born: 1901

Janet Cosh was an newbie botanist chargeable for documenting crops of the Sydney, Illawarra, south coast and southern tableland areas of NSW. Janet spent a lot of her life as an archivist and ultimately established the Berrima District Historic Society, the place she labored for 18 years. Later in life, she targeted on her botanical pursuits, buying a 4WD to journey to distant places to gather specimens. After her dying in 1989, she left behind 1600 specimens, virtually 2000 botanical illustrations, her private library, subject notes, pictures, surveys and maps, which have been donated to the College of Wollongong, the place the Janet Cosh Herbarium is now situated.

Thistle Harris

Born: 1902

Thistle Harris was an influential botanist who was chargeable for writing the primary books on cultivating native Australian crops, together with three volumes of Gardening with Australian Crops. Thistle was captivated with rising Australian crops in suburban gardens, relatively than crops of a European selection. For her dedication to native crops, she was awarded the Area Naturalists Membership of Victoria’s pure historical past medallion in 1963. All through her life she devoted herself to a number of conservation points, together with the Save Lake Pedder marketing campaign and extreme grazing and over improvement of Mount Kosciuszko.

Beth Gott

Born: 1922

beth gott

(Picture credit score: Monash College)

Beth Gott is a plant physiologist and ethnobiologist who challenges white-centric views of botany and advocates for Aboriginal land-management practices. Beth is chargeable for creating a big database of crops that have been utilized by Aboriginal individuals of south-eastern Australia and has written invaluable books on the topic, together with Koorie Crops, Koorie Individuals: Conventional Aboriginal Meals, Fibre and Therapeutic Crops of Victoria. In 2017, Beth was made a Member of the Order of Australia for “vital service to the organic sciences as an ethnobotanist specialising within the research of using native crops by Indigenous individuals“.

Ilma Grace Stone

Born: 1913

ilma grace stone

Ilma Grace Stone was a bryologist who made a big contribution to our understanding of Australian species of moss. In 1976, along with George A.M. Scott, Ilma wrote the definitive information The Mosses of Southern Australia, which continues to be the one guide in existence devoted to the research of Australian mosses. All through her profession Ilma additionally studied fungi and ferns. In complete, Ilma wrote 70 scientific papers, 11 of which have been written whereas she was in her 80s.

Nancy Burbidge

Born: 1912

nancy burbridge

(Picture credit score: CSIRO)

Nancy Burbridge was the primary systematic botanist on the CSIRO Division of Plant Business. All through her profession, Nancy had vital affect in Canberra, laying foundations for the Australian Nationwide Herbarium and the Nationwide Parks Affiliation of the Australian Capital Territory, and  created the thorough information, Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. However Nancy additionally made a serious contribution to the taxonomy and evolutionary biology of crops outdoors of Canberra as nicely.

Barbara G. Briggs

Born: 1934

Barbara Briggs is the longest-serving feminine scientist on the Royal Botanic Backyard Sydney; she has labored on the establishment for nearly 60 years. All through her profession, Barbara has named 80 new species of plant, nevertheless she’s notably well-known for what has been dubbed ‘detective botany’. Within the 1960s, Barbara labored on the kidnapping-murder case of eight-year-old Graeme Thorne by figuring out a plant fragment that was in discovered within the rug the physique was wrapped in.

Winifred Curtis

Born: 1905

winifred curtis

(Picture credit score: College of Tasmania)

Winifred Curtis is one among Tasmania’s most well-known botanists. In 1945, she helped create the Division of Botany on the College of Tasmania, the place she was a senior lecturer. In 1956, she revealed the primary of 5 volumes of The College students’ Flora of Tasmania, which continues to be used to determine Tasmanian crops at this time. Winifred adopted on from these books with the six-volumes of The Endemic Flora of Tasmania that she labored on between 1967 to 1978. Up till her demise in 2005, she repeatedly made visits to the botany division, which now consists of the Curtis Laboratory, named in her honour.

Maisie Carr

Born: 1912

maisie carr

Maisie Carr was a botanist who was passionate concerning the crops of the Australian Alps. Her early analysis targeted on soil erosion within the Victorian Excessive Nation, which has been stated to have dramatically improved farming and grazing practices within the space. Maisie often travelled by horse by means of these alpine areas, giving her the nickname ‘The Washaway Lady’. Later in life, upon her return to Melbourne College, she helped in publishing The Households and Genera of Victorian Crops, which she hoped would enhance understanding of the state’s distinctive flora.

Enid Robertson

Born: 1925

Enid Robertson was a systemic botanist who dramatically improved our understanding of South Australian crops. In 1947, she was appointed to the Waite Institute on the College of Adelaide, the place she additionally took over curation of the herbarium, and in 1953 she turned a Senior Analysis Fellow on the Botany Division. Enid was chargeable for intensive analysis into the taxonomy of a number of species of South Australian flora, notably algae and seagrasses.

Vera Scarth-Johnson

Born: 1912

vera scarth johnson

Vera Scarth-Johnson was an novice botanist and painter who spent most of her later life learning the flora of Cooktown and the Endeavour River valley situated on Cape York Peninsula, in far north Queensland. Vera’s purpose was to color greater than 200 crops of the Endeavour River to encourage Queenslanders to guard the world from destruction. With the assistance of the Guugu Yimithirr tribe, Vera made a number of journeys down the river to color specimens and element their Aboriginal utilization. In 1989, she donated 140 of her works, which may now be seen at The Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery in Cooktown.


Thanks to everybody that assisted Australian Geographic with this text. 

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