Bee scientist awarded James Cook Research Fellowship

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced the recipients of this year’s James Cook Research Fellowships.

The fellowship for biological sciences was awarded to Professor Philip Lester, from Victoria University of Wellington, for research entitled “Bringing back honey bees using beneficial bacteria”

The fellowships are awarded to researchers recognised for leadership and sustained excellence in their field. The three 2014 Fellows will each receive up to $100,000 a year to undertake fulltime research over two years.

“The James Cook Research Fellowships are highly sought after by our more experienced researchers,” Mr Joyce says. “They are intended to advance scientific and technological knowledge, and to enhance the international reputation of New Zealand researchers.

“Excellence in research is an important part of New Zealand becoming a more innovative nation. This year’s Fellows have the potential to produce outstanding research that will bring real benefits to New Zealand.”

The other 2014 fellows are:

  • Physical Sciences: Professor Geoffrey Whittle, Victoria University of Wellington, for research entitled: “Rota’s Conjecture” and
  • Social Sciences: Professor Peter Davis, the University of Auckland, for research entitled: “New Zealand as a ‘social laboratory”

The James Cook Research Fellowship was established in 1995, and receives full funding from the Government of $720,000 per year.

A total of 26 applications were received for this year’s round. The decisions were made by the James Cook Research Fellowship Selection Committee and informed by independent assessment panels. The Fellowships are administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Previous James Cook Fellows include the late Sir Paul Callaghan, Professor Margaret Brimble and Professor Graham Le Gros.  For a full list see:

For more information on the 2014 recipients, see:


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