Madeline Palmer Burbanck

(27 October 1914 – 1 January 2007)1

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU) has cataloged about a dozen vascular plant specimens collected by Madeline Palmer Burbanck.  She usually signed her specimens as “M. P. Burbanck”.  More specimens will without doubt be found as our cataloging continues.  Other herbaria which curate specimens collected by Dr. Burbanck include Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CM), Clemson University (CLEMS), College of William & Mary (WILLI), Delta State University (DSC), Emory University (GEO), Louisiana State University (LSU), Marshall University (MUHW), ames F. Matthews Center for Biodiversity Studies (UNCC), Mississippi State University (MISSA), Missouri Botanical Garden (MO), University of Georgia (GA), University of South Carolina, Columbia (USCH), and Valdosta State University (VSC).

Dr. Burbanck was born Madeline Palmer in Moorestown, New Jersey.  Her parents were Rev. E. W. and Margaret Hopkins Palmer.  For her early education, she attended Moorestown Friends School.  She was a graduate of Wellesley College, having earned a B. A. in 1935 and a M. A. in botany in 1939.  She earned a doctorate in botany from the University of Chicago in 1941; the title of her thesis was “Cytological and taxonomic studies on the genus Brodiaea”.  (Her spouse, William Burbanck, received a doctorate in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1941.)

Dr. Burbanck taught at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, then at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Burbanck’s property was dedicated on Earth Day 2007 as “Burbanck Park,” and it is owned and managed as greenspace by Emory University.

In addition to research on the flora of granite outcrops, Madeline Burbanck was a research collaborator with her husband on the genetic variation and distribution of estuarine isopods, Cyathura polita in particular. Cyathura madelinae Hackney & Ganucheau was named in her honor in 1989. (Hackney, C. T. and R. F. Ganucheau (1989)  A new species of Cyathura (Isopoda, Anthuridae) from a high intertidal marsh in North Carolina, U.S.A.  Crustaceana 57(3):  304-310.)

Madeline Palmer Burbanck died at age 92 in Newport News, Virginia on 1 January 2007.  She was survived by her children, Melinda and George.


PUBLICATIONS (incomplete list):
Burbanck, Madeline P. and Donald L. Phillips.  1983.  Evidence of plant succession on granite outcrops of the Georgia Piedmont.  Am. Midland Naturalist 109(1):  94-104.
Parker, E. D., Jr., W. D. Burbanck, M. P. Burbanck, and W. W. Anderson.  1981.  Genetic differentiation and speciation in the estuarine isopods Cyathura polita and Cyathura burbancki.  Estuaries 4(3):  213-219.
Leslie, Kent A. and Madeline P. Burbanck.  1979.  Vegetation of granitic outcroppings at Kennesaw Mountain, Cobb County, Georgia.  Castanea 44(2):  80-87.
Burbanck, Madeline P., W. D. Burbanck, M. J. Dadswell, and G. F. Gillis.  1979.  Occurrence and biology of Cyathura polita (Stimpson) (Isopoda, Anthuridae) in Canada.  Crustaceana 37(1):  31-38.
Burbanck, Madeline P. and W. D. Burbanck.  1974.  Sex reversal of female Cyathura polita (Stimpson, 1855) (Isopoda, Anthuridae).  Crustaceana 26(1):  110-112.
Burbanck, Madeline P. and Robert B. Platt.  1964.  Granite outcrop communities of the Piedmont Plateau in Georgia.  Ecology 45(2):  292-306.
Brubanck, W. D. and Madeline P. Burbanck.  1961.  Variations in the dorsal pattern of Cyathura polita (Stimpson) from estuaries along the coasts of eastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico.  Biological Bulletin 121 (2):  257-264.
Burbanck, W. D., John P. Edwards, and Madeline P. Burbanck.  1948.  Toleration of lowered oxygen tension by cave and stream crayfish.  Ecology 29(3):  30-367.
Burbanck, Madeline Palmer. 1944.  Cytological and taxonomic studies in the genus Brodiaea. II.  Botanical Gazette 105(3):  339-345.
Burbanck, Madeline Palmer.   1941.  Cytological and taxonomic studies in the genus Brodiaea.  Botanical Gazette 103(2):  247-265.


1.   In Memoriam:  Madeline Palmer Burbanck. accessed on 5 April 2017.
2.  U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.