Dr. Robert Burke was a paleontologist hired by Peter Ludlow to be the team's resident dinosaur expert.
The Lost World
Robert was certainly knowledgable about dinosaurs, though it's worth noting that he incorrectly identified a Compsognathus. When the Tyrannosaurus rex attacked the camp Burke fleed alongside Sarah, Nick, and Kelly into the waterfall where the T. rex couldn't reach them. However, Burke spotted a non venomous milk snake slithering into his shirt, terrified he tried to get the snake out slipped and his arm fell into the jaws of the T. rex. The T. rex dragged him out of the waterfall, dislocating his arm, before eating him, with blood flowing down the waterfall.
LEGO Jurassic World
Robert Burke appears as a playable character in LEGO Jurassic World. Like the film, he is eaten by the Tyrannosaurus rex (though offscreen) after being frightened by a snake. However as Ian, Kelly, Sarah, and Nick leave the island via helicopter they witness the captured Tyrannosaur Buck regurgitating Burke and the other hunters it had eaten alive and well. Thus Burke survives the events of the game as do most of the character who originally died in the films. Burke has two abilities common among Paleontologists characters in the game, Dig and Bone Build. He can use the Dig ability to dig through stud piles to unearth various objects and/or collectibles. Bone Build allows him to reconstruct bone piles to create various objects or animal skeletons. He is unlocked after The Hunted chapter (Attack of the Camp and The Long Grass) is completed. When the player rescues Dieter Stark from Compys, he calls Burke an idiot for saying that they weren't dangerous.
- Burke's character is a clear homage to (or perhaps parody of) to the real-life paleontologist, Robert Bakker, who started the theory that dinosaurs were warm blooded. Bakker's ideas have often clashed with those of Jack Horner, who has worked on all four Jurassic Park films.
- He is also based on George Baselton and Richard Levine from The Lost World.
- It is interesting to note that the snake crawling down his shirt was a non venomous milksnake, so it would appear foolish of him to panic and eventually get eaten by the tyrannosaur. Some fans have theorized he mistakenly thought it was a coral snake or perhaps he suffered from ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes).
- He had proposed a theory that T. rex parents abandoned their offspring at a young age, and Sarah Harding ultimately succeeds in proving his theory wrong. She also disagreed that the group would lose the parents when they leave their territory when he disagreed about her statement that parents may continue to track the group if they percieve them as a threat to them or their infant., due to the fact that Tyrannosaurus has the largest olfactory cavity of any creature in the fossil record (except for the turkey vulture as stated by Burke when he corrected himself). Despite these, Burke has no grudge against Harding for proving his theories wrong as she agreed with his statement that the T-rexes only destroyed the trailers due to the groups changing their perceived territory by moving their infant. Sarah even tried to warn him and was terrified to witness his demise at the jaws of the mother T-Rex.
- In real life, Bakker had argued for a predatory T. rex, while Bakker's rival paleontologist Jack Horner originally viewed it as primarily a scavenger. According to Horner, Spielberg wrote the character of Burke and had him killed by the T. rex as a favor for Horner. After the film came out, Bakker recognized himself in Burke, loved the caricature, and actually sent Horner a message saying, "See, I told you T. rex was a hunter!".
- In the original script for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, there was a character named Dr. Juttson. From the data seen in the script, Dr. Juttson was the "good" version of Robert Burke.