Carolyn Burns

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Carolyn Burns

Carolyn Waugh Burns

(1942-02-03) 3 February 1942 (age 77)
Lincoln, New Zealand
Alma materUniversity of Canterbury – BSc(Hons)
University of Toronto – PhD
John Ingram Hubbard
(m. 1981; died 1995)
Scientific career
FieldsZoology, limnology
InstitutionsUniversity of Otago

Carolyn Waugh Burns CBE (born 3 February 1942) is a New Zealand ecologist specialising in lakes. She is an emeritus professor at the University of Otago.[1]

Early life, family, and education

Burns was born in Lincoln, New Zealand, the daughter of Ruth Alvina Burns (née Waugh) and Malcom McRae Burns, an agricultural scientist.[2] She was educated at Christchurch Girls' High School, before studying zoology at the University of Canterbury, from where she graduated Bachelor of Science with first-class honours in 1962.[2][3] She completed a PhD at the University of Toronto in 1966, with her thesis titled The feeding behaviour of Daphnia under natural conditions.[2]

in 1981, Burns married John Ingram Hubbard,[2] professor of physiology at the University of Otago. He died in 1995.

Academic career

After a period working as a research associate in biology at Yale University from 1967 to 1968, Burns returned to New Zealand to take up a lectureship in zoology at the University of Otago.[2] She rose to the rank of professor, being awarded a personal chair in zoology in 1993, and she served as head of the Department of Zoology between 1987 and 1989.[2] On her retirement in 2010, Burns was conferred the title of professor emeritus by the University of Otago.[4]

Burns was a member of the Nature Conservation Council from 1975 to 1990, including five years as chairman between 1978 and 1983.[2] She was also a member of the National Parks and Reserves Authority from 1981 to 1990[2] Burns was active in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), serving on its Commission on Education from 1979 to 1988, the Commission on Ecology from 1988 to 1990, and the Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas from 1988.[2] She was a regional councillor of the IUCN from 1984 to 1990, and chaired the New Zealand committee of IUCN members from 1986 to 1990.[2]

She served as convenor of the "Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour" panel for the Marsden Fund.[5]

Awards and honours

In the 1984 Queen's Birthday Honours, Burns was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for services to conservation.[6] In 1990, she was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal.[2]

Burns was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1993.[2] In 2007, she was awarded a Naumann-Thienemann Medal by the International Society of Limnology (SIL) for "outstanding studies on physiology and population dynamics of southern hemisphere zooplankton and food-web interactions, as well as her indefatigable and successful endeavor to New Zealand lakes, and for her service to SIL".[7] In 2017, Burns received the Marsden Medal from the New Zealand Association of Scientists.[8]

Selected works

  • Burns, C. W. (1968) "The relationship between body size of filter-feeding Cladocera and the maximum size of particle ingested." Limnology and Oceanography 13:4, 675-678.
  • Hall, D. J., Threlkeld, S. T., Burns, C. W. & Crowley, P. H. (1976) "The size-efficiency hypothesis and the size structure of zooplankton communities." Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 7:1, 177-208.
  • Burns, C. W. (1969) "Relation between filtering rate, temperature, and body size in four species of Daphnia." Limnology and Oceanography 14:5, 693-700.
  • Folt, C. L., and Burns, C. W. (1999) "Biological drivers of zooplankton patchiness." Trends in Ecology & Evolution 14:8, 300-305.


  1. ^ "Professor Carolyn Burns, Our People, Department of Zoology, University of Otago, New Zealand". Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Taylor, Alister; Coddington, Deborah (1994). Honoured by the Queen – New Zealand. Auckland: New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa. p. 84. ISBN 0-908578-34-2.
  3. ^ "Royal Society Te Apārangi - Carolyn Burns". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  4. ^ University of Otago Calendar (PDF). Dunedin: University of Otago. 2019. p. 114. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Royal Society Te Apārangi - Emeritus Professor Carolyn Burns". Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  6. ^ "No. 49769". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 16 June 1984. p. 2.
  7. ^ "Naumann-Thienemann Medal". International Society of Limnology. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  8. ^ Miller, Tim (2 November 2017). "Otago scientist awarded Marsden Medal". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 9 October 2018.

External links