Averill Maud Bottomley, mycologist, matriculated at the Huguenot Girls' High School in Wellington, Western Cape, in 1907. She continued her studies at the Huguenot College, Wellington, and was awarded the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree by the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1911. The next year she enrolled at the South African College, Cape Town, and passed the college's examination for the Teachers' Certificate later that year. She was a teacher at Worcester for some time, but in 1913 obtained an appointment in the Division of Plant Pathology and Mycology of the Department of Agriculture in Pretoria, where I.B. Pole Evans* employed her mainly in the Mycological Herbarium. She remained there until her retirement in 1947. After her retirement she settled in Johannesburg.
Bottomley's work dealt mainly with the Gasteromycetes of South Africa. She collected fungi mainly around Pretoria (especially Fountain's Valley), Greytown and Cape Town, and deposited them in the Mycological Herbarium (later the National Collection of Fungi of the Plant Protection Research Unit) in Pretoria. Her publications included the following: "A disease of young pepper trees" (Agricultural Journal (Union of South Africa), 1915); "Parasitic attack on Eucalyptus globulus" (Ibid, 1920, with K.A. Carlson*); "An account of the Natal fungi collected by J. Medley Wood* (Report of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, 1916); "A preliminary investigation into a disease attacking young Cupressus plants" (Ibid, 1918); "The fungus food of certain termites" (South African Journal of Natural History, 1921, with C. Fuller*); "Some of the more important diseases affecting timber plantations in the Transvaal" (South African Journal of Science, 1936); A revised list of plant diseases occurring in South Africa (1931, 78 pp., with E.M. Doidge*); "Gasteromycetes of South Africa" (Bothalia, 1948); and Common edible and poisonous mushrooms in South Africa (Department of Agriculture, 1953).
Bottomley became a member of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science in 1916 and a founding member of the South African Biological Society that same year. In 1926 she attended the International Congress of Plant Sciences in New York.