Home International Renowned scientist Mary White allegedly murdered by her daughter

Renowned scientist Mary White allegedly murdered by her daughter

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External Link: Eighty five years of researching life on earth

The daughter of environmental scientist Mary Elizabeth White (AM) has been charged with her murder, after police were called to an aged-care facility in the New South Wales town of Bundanoon on Sunday night.

Police said Dr White was found dead in her room at the Warrigal aged-care home.

On Wednesday night, Barbara Eckersley, 67, was arrested and taken to Southern Highlands Police Station, where she was charged with the murder of her 92-year-old mother.

Dr White was named a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009 "for service to botany as a researcher and through the promotion of increased understanding and awareness of the natural world".

She also won the Australian Museum's Eureka Prize in 1994 for her book, After the Greening — the Browning of Australia.

That was the third of Dr White's six publications.

Speaking as part of an ABC Open project in 2013, Dr White described herself as a "lover of nature, conservationist, biological scientist and environmental educator".

After selling off her home at a rainforest sanctuary on the NSW mid-north coast, the celebrated scientist spent the final years of her life on the southern tablelands, close to her daughter, Ms Eckersley.

'A very caring person'

External Link: Dr Mary E White in the short film Little Time Left

Fellow aged-care resident Anna Bull said Dr White would be remembered as "a friend to everyone".

"She was such a lovely person, she was charming. A very caring person," she said.

Police are yet to outline how they believe Dr White died.

In a statement, a Warrigal spokeswoman said the facility was "deeply saddened" by the news and were assisting police with their enquiries.

"Warrigal will respond further as more information comes to hand but at this time we are focused on supporting our staff, residents, as well as their family and friends as they hear this news," the statement said.

During a brief mention in Goulburn Local Court on Thursday afternoon, Ms Eckersley's lawyer said she had never been in custody before, but she was not ready to apply for bail.

Ms Eckersley did not appear in person during proceedings, but her husband and son were present.

The matter was adjourned until Friday morning, when a bail application is expected.

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