Judy completed her B.Sc. with majors in Botany and Zoology in 1970; and her B.Sc.(Hons) with first class honours in Botany in 1972 (both from the University of Sydney, New South Wales). In 1981 she graduated from the University of Adelaide, South Australia with a Ph.D. by thesis on "A taxonomic revision of Dodonaea (Sapindaceae) in Australia".
She has been appointed to several positions throughout her career. Her professional botanical career started with her appointment as a tutor at the Botany Department from 1973-1977. She resigned from this position to devote all of her efforts to completing her Ph.D.
In 1980, she was appointed as a Research Scientist of the Australian National Herbarium, CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra.
During 1987-1988, she represented Australian herbaria as the Australian Botanical Liaison Officer, based at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, United Kingdom. This proved to be a very demanding year for Judy because of the extra official engagement linked to Australia's bicentenary celebration in 1988.
From 1989-1996, she was Senior Principal Research Scientist and Program Leader of the Australian Flora Resources & Management program, CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra.
In 1989, she was appointed Director, Australian National Herbarium. She still holds this position today.
In 1994, she took on the Directorship of the newly formed Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry. She has promoted plant systematic research by expanding her institution's activities in this area.
In 1999 she was granted the position of Adjunct Professor, Division of Botany and Zoology, Australian National University, Canberra.
In 2001 she was awarded the Nancy T. Burbidge Medal by the Australian Systematic Botany Society for a longstanding and significant contribution to Australian systematic botany.
In 2003 she was awarded the Order of Australia for her services to Australian botany.
In 2009 she was a ppointed Executive Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens and head of Parks and Biodiversity Science within the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
Judy has maintained a very active and diverse commitment to many important national and international professional associations and committee. She was actively involved while still a post-graduate student.
Judy has published on the biology and systematics of the Sapindaceae (particularly the genus Dodonaea), Portulacaceae, Pultenaea (Fabaceae) and Caryophyllaceae. She has also published on issues relating to biodiversity, biogeography and bioinformatics.
Judy has raised the profile of Australian plant systematics through her participation on the numerous national and international associations and committees. She has promoted plant systematic research within the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research and through her membership of the Australian Biological Resources Study Advisory Committee. Her vigorous championing of the importance of Australian plant systematics guarantees the significance of her representation on the Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria. She has played a pivotal role in the successful granting of significant financial support for the Australia's Virtual Herbarium Project.
Source:ASBS Newsletter, No.109, December 2001. Australian
Systematic Botany Society Inc.