Skip to content.

About Science New Zealand

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e nga karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Greetings to all people, all voices, all nations, greetings to everyone.

Welcome to New Zealand's world class science enterprises. The Crown Research Institutes are creating economic, environmental and social wealth through science and its application in New Zealand and around the world.

Join us in the adventure, challenge and success of science and innovation! Engines of discovery. Solution finders. Transformers. Innovators. Partners.

Crown Research Institutes

  • Agresearch, ESR, GNS Science, Manaaki Whenua, NIWA, Plant and Food Research as well as Scion.

Crown Agent

  • Callaghan Innovation

***********************************************

Science New Zealand 2019 National Awards

Congratulations to the 21 Category Award Winners and the Supreme Award Winner recognised for their outstanding science, which is benefiting New Zealand.

Early Career Researcher Award Winners:

Dr Shengjing Shi - AgResearch

Dr Shengjing Shi has a strong background in molecular microbiology, biochemistry, soil ecosystem functioning, and bioinformatics. Her initial research focused on soil microbiomes and microbial regulated nutrient cycling and has since broadened to embrace plant-microbial interactions. She is a highly talented emerging science leader with strong science quality attributes. She is an advocate of highly collaborative research approaches within multi-disciplinary and multi-provider teams and leads two MBIE programmes.

Dr Maria Gutierrez-Gines - ESR

Dr Maria Gutierrez-Gines has established herself as a key emerging researcher in phytoremediation, beneficial re-use of biowaste for growing economically-important native plants, plant-soil interactions between plant root systems, soil physical and chemical properties, and microbial communities. Her work on organic and inorganic contaminants, the management and safe reuse of biowaste, and using Manuka for treating biowaste and farm run-off is being used by regional and district councils, farmers and iwi.

Dr Sally Potter - GNS Science

Dr Sally Potter conducts internationally recognised social science research on the behavioural response by the public and stakeholders to warnings about natural hazards. Her research has contributed to MetService’s Severe Weather Warning system, Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management’s Emergency Mobile Alerts, and a revised Volcanic Alert Level System for New Zealand.

Dr Manpreet Dhami - Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research

Dr Manpreet Dhami has wide-ranging interests in applying genomic techniques in ecological and evolutionary systems, helping to put their CRI at the forefront of research into complex ecological processes and applying the science for impact. She is currently working on the manipulation of pollinator behaviour, a critical piece of work for New Zealand’s honey industry as well as improving conditions for pollinators globally.

Kelly Ratana (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Te Arawa) - NIWA

Kelly Ratana strongly advocates the value of mātauranga Māori and indigenous knowledge, and has inspired others within her CRI and the broader scientific community to think beyond a western scientific culture and way of doing research. Her collaborative research within the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge has examined how tikanga Māori values such as kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga can be integrated into ecosystem-based decision making.

Dr Nick Albert - Plant & Food Research

Dr Nick Albert undertakes fundamental research in plant genetics. He is making a significant impact on developing fruit cultivars with novel colours and enhanced content of health-promoting phytochemicals - characteristics which enhance the appeal of fruits in domestic and overseas markets. He focuses on identifying the genes responsible for regulating where, when and how much phytochemicals plants produce.

Dr Roya Rezanavaz - Scion

Dr Roya Rezanavaz has been putting her chemistry and polymer engineering knowledge to use at her CRI for the last 18 months. She leads a team working with a community group and the local high school on a Curious Minds project bringing kūmara history to life. Through creating 3D-printing models of kūmara they harvest, the students connect their ancestors, traditional agriculture and science.

Individual or Lifetime Achievement Award Winners:

Dr Barbara Barratt - AgResearch 

Dr Barbara Barratt has pioneered internationally relevant research and risk assessment into the biosafety of introduced insect biocontrol agents for over 40 years. Her research is an outstanding example of significant and ongoing impact to New Zealand and global biocontrol science and practice.

Dr Rob Lake - ESR

Dr Rob Lake has been dedicated to reducing food-borne illness for over 30 years. His food safety work for the New Zealand Government has supported decision-making on risk management, which protects the nation’s access to international markets and enhances the well-being of consumers.

Paul White - GNS Science

Paul White is a geophysicist and groundwater scientist who has contributed enormously to protecting New Zealand’s freshwater resources since 1980. He is a leading exponent of 3D hydrogeological modelling and has made significant scientific contributions to understanding aquifer structure, rainfall recharge, groundwater-river interaction, geothermal systems, and water economics. 

Professor Ann Smith - Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research

Professor Ann Smith is Chief Executive of Toitū Envirocare (formerly Enviro-Mark Solutions), a subsidiary of Manaaki Whenua. Known as Professor Zero because of her development of the carboNZero brand and certification programmes for measuring, managing and offsetting carbon footprint, she has been key to the vision and development of Enviro-Mark Solutions since 2003. 

Dr Rob Bell - NIWA

Dr Rob Bell was a lead author of the Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Guidance for local government, regarded as “effectively the bible for how councils should be planning for the effects of climate change”. He has made nationally significant contributions to environmental management through translating science into policy, guidance and engineering design, and is widely regarded as New Zealand’s leading expert on coastal hazards and risk.

Dr Brent Clothier - Plant & Food Research

Dr Brent Clothier is a world-leading soil and water scientist. His work has enhanced our understanding of the natural capital that the environment provides to grow our crops so that we can better make informed land use decisions. His work on water footprinting, soil science and climate change has prepared our primary production systems for tomorrow’s challenges.  

Dr Brian Richardson - Scion

Dr Brian Richardson has made many significant contributions both domestically and internationally to biosecurity research as well as pest-, vegetation- and sustainable forest-management over the past 36 years. His work assessing the long-term productive capacity of forest sites helped determine indicators for sustainability of forest management practices. 

Team Award Winners:

Genotyping-by-Sequencing Team - AgResearch

This team has collaborated with other CRIs, universities, independent research organisations an industry stakeholder to embed genotyping-by-sequencing and new genomic tools in a wide range of industry animal and plant breeding programs to improve their effectiveness and cost efficiency. 

Team members: Drs Jeanne Jacobs, Shannon Clarke, Ken Dodds, Marty Faville, John McEwan, Rudiger Brauning, Andrew Griffiths, Alan McCulloch, Tracey van Stijn, Hannah Henry, Hayley Baird, Rayna Anderson, Craig Anderson, Anna Larking, Mingshu Cao, Won Hong, Timothy Bilton, Rachael Ashby, Sofie Pearson.

STRmixTM Team - ESR

This team worked for several years to develop STRmixTM, the world’s most advanced DNA profiling forensic software. It can solve crimes that were previously unsolvable by decoding the DNA of multiple people at a crime scene, where previously evidence was usable only if it contained a single person's DNA.

Team members: Hannah Kelly, Catherine McGovern, Duncan Taylor (co-developer, Forensic Science South Australia), Maarten Kruijver, Kevin Cheng, Jo Bright, Rena Lawless, Bjorn Sutherland, Meng-Han Lin, Laura Russell, Judi Morawitz, Stuart Cooper, Richard Wivell, Xinlong Zhang, Zane Kerr, John Buckleton, Adam McCarthy. 

It's Our Fault Team - GNS Science

The results of this team’s work, researching the likelihood and impacts of large earthquakes in the Wellington region, are being used in decision-making and policy-making at local and regional government levels to support Wellington region’s earthquake resilience.

Team members: Russ Van Dissen, Delia Strong, Hannah Brackley, Caroline Holden, David Johnston, Chris Massey, William Power, Finn Scheele, Nicola Litchfield, Xiaoming Wang, Kate Clark, Wendy Saunders, Sarah Gunnel, Julia Becker, Sally Dellow, Russell Robinson, Rob Langridge, Anna Kaiser, Annemarie Christophersen, Nick Perrin, David Rhoades, Rafael Benites, Graeme McVerry, Bill Fry, Laura Wallace, Pilar Villamor, Jim Cousins, Andrew King, Ursula Cochran.

Long-Term Ecology Team - Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research 

This team has developed sophisticated palaeo-ecological methods to create baseline ecological reconstructions for ecosystems across New Zealand through novel use of ancient DNA techniques and analysis of pollen and macrofossils.

Team members: Janet Wilmshurst, Jamie Wood, Matt McGlone, Nic Bolstridge, Karen Boot. 

Climate early Warning Systems - NIWA

More than 240 hydro-meteorological stations have been installed across the Pacific, greatly  improving Pacific Island countries’ ability to monitor and prepare for the effects of extreme weather events, climate variability and change through this team’s long-term programme supporting Pacific Island countries to implement Climate Early Warning Systems.

Team members: Shaun Williams, Stuart Escott, Kevin Manson, Evgeny Fardman, Mark Crump, Gareth Preston.

Precision Seafood Harvesting Team - Plant & Food Research

This team has developed the Modular Harvesting System, a world-leading and more environmentally-sustainable way of fishing that maximises quality and limits impact for non-target catch. This enables non-target catch to be returned to the sea, and delivers fish that are less stressed and fatigued and in better condition for export.

Team members: Alistair Jerrett, Suzy Black, Gerard Janssen, Damian Moran, Erin Bell, Peter Bell, Jason Hamill, Benie Chambers, Annalise Runarsson, Sharon Ford, Igor Ruza, Jacqui Day, Mark Jarvis, Greg Knox, Denham Cook, Therese Wells, Warren Fantham, Belinda Timms, Nicholas Tuckey. 

Extrusion Plus Team - Scion

The Extrusion Plus technology platform built by this team has laid the foundation for biomaterial manufacture in New Zealand by converting biomass from primary production into renewable natural materials to replace fossil fuel-based components. These products are part of the shift from a linear, fossil-fuel based economy to a circular bioeconomy.

Team members: Dr Dawn Smith, Marc Gaugler, Dr Marie Joo Le Guen, Ross Anderson, Beatrix Theobald, Dr Alankar Vaidya, Stephanie Weal, Eva Gaugler, Dr Yi Chen, Dr Meeta Patel, Dr Roya Rezanavaz.

Supreme Award Winner

It's Our fault team - GNS Science

Crown Research Institutes

  • AgResearch logo.
  • Plant and Food Research logo.
  • ESR logo. GNS Science logo.
  • Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua logo.
  • NIWA logo.
  • SCION logo.

Crown Agent

  • Callaghan Innovation logo.

Subsidiaries, associates, joint ventures

  • grasslanz
  • EnCoate
  • VARNZ Ltd
  • Prevar
  • Veritec
  • PhytaGro, Inc
  • Enviro-Mark Solutions
  • Grasslands Innovation
  • BioPacific Ventures
  • Atlastech
  • farmax
  • National Land Resource Centre (NLRC)
  • Clone International
  • Virtual Institute of Statistical Genetics
  • Biopolymer Network
  • EcoGene