Dr Bruce Campbell, Chief Operating Officer of Plant & Food Research, has been awarded the prestigious Thomson Medal for 2016.
The Thomson Medal, which recognises outstanding contributions to science and technology, was presented to Dr Campbell for his outstanding leadership in both the agricultural and horticultural sciences over 35 years.
The medal selection committee noted:
“His leadership has had a positive impact on the New Zealand economy, including innovations in forages, wine, kiwifruit and avocado sectors, and he has fostered new science talent and linked science closely with business and the wider community.” They particularly noted his scientific leadership during the response to the kiwifruit bacterial disease Psa when it was discovered in New Zealand in 2010, which saw more than 100 Plant & Food Research scientists mobilised to support Zespri and the kiwifruit industry in understanding and managing the devastating disease.”
As Chief Operating Officer of Plant & Food Research, Dr Campbell leads a team of more than 600 scientists across New Zealand, delivering research and innovation to support the sustainable growth of the plant and marine-based food sectors. H
He acts as Director for several industry organisations and science partnerships, including Forage Innovations Limited, the Bio-Protection Research Centre of Excellence and the Horticulture New Zealand Vegetable Research & Innovation Board. He was made a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science in 2014.
Dr Campbell is a strong advocate for encouraging young people to build careers in the horticultural and wider food industries. He championed the development of the Plant & Food Research Summer Studentship Programme – which to date has seen more than 250 young scientists spend three months undertaking a research project at the Institute to gain insights into real life science and business activities – and the creation of scholarships that support young Māori and Pacific Island students in furthering their science education and careers.
He was instrumental in establishing the Joint Graduate School in Plant and Food Science with the University of Auckland, the first collaboration of its kind in New Zealand, and the Joint Graduate School of Horticulture and Food Enterprise with Massey University.