Nancy Adams

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Jacqueline Nancy Mary Adam
Born Jacqueline Nancy Mary Whittaker
(1926-05-19)May 19, 1926
Died March 27, 2007(2007-03-27) (aged 80)
Nationality New Zealand
Alma mater Victoria University of Wellington
Scientific career
Fields Botany

Jacqueline Nancy Mary Adams, CBE QSO (19 May 1926 – 27 March 2007) was a New Zealand botanist, botanical artist, and museum curator. Born in Levin in 1926, Nancy Adams attended Wellington Girls’ College and Victoria University of Wellington, studying zoology and botany. At 16 she joined the Botany Division of New Zealand's Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). She worked there until 1959, when she was appointed to the Dominion Museum (now the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) as assistant Curator of Botany with a special responsibility for algae. She retired from her position at the museum in 1987 but continued to be an Honorary Research Associate of the Museum.[1]

Nancy Adams was a prolific artist, illustrating nearly forty publications on native plants, alpine life, trees and shrubs. Included in these publications is an article written by Ella Orr Campbell a fellow New Zealand botanist, for whom Adams drew Thallus of Marchasta bearing archegoniophres.[2] She received international recognition for her detailed and delicate algal illustrations.[1] Awards included the Loder Cup in 1964, the Queen's Service Order in 1989, and the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal.[3] In 1994 she also received an award for her work Seaweeds of New Zealand: An Illustrated Guide, which held a description of 600 different plant species and illustrating 441.[4]


  • Trees and shrubs of New Zealand, by A. L. Poole and Nancy M. Adams, 1963
  • Mountain Flowers in New Zealand, 1980
  • Wild Flowers in New Zealand, 1980
  • Seaweeds of New Zealand:An illustrated guide, 1994


  1. ^ a b New Zealand Garden Journal (2007). "Obituary" (PDF). 
  2. ^ Campbell, Ella O. (November 1961). "The Liverwort Genus Marchasta". Tuatara. 9 (2): 77. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Haines, Catharine (2001). International women in science: a biographical dictionary to 1950. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 2. ISBN 1-57607-090-5. 
  4. ^ Herald, The New Zealand. "Obituary: Nancy Adams". Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  5. ^ IPNI.  N.M.Adams. 

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