Lecture series: can invasive plants and non-native weeds choke our country?


Professor Philip Hulme

Professor Philip Hulme, this year’s recipient of the Leonard Cockayne Lecture Award, will present a series of talks on the current and future threats to New Zealand by non-native plants and the policies and tools that are needed to control them.

Based at New Zealand’s Bio-Protection Research Centre and Chair in Plant Biosecurity at Lincoln University, Professor Hulme is being recognised for his scholarship and scientific achievements that have significantly progressed global understanding of the causes and consequences of biological invasions.

Royal Society Te Apārangi Vice-President Professor Barry Scott says Professor Hulme is a leading New Zealand researcher on the ecology of invasions by plant species.

The aim of his work is to provide tools to scientists, conservation and policy-makers to deal with biological invasions.

His studies are not confined to New Zealand but include a wide range of collaborations with overseas scientists.

He is one of New Zealand’s most highly cited scientists being included for the fourth year in a row in The Thompson Reuters list of most highly cited scientists worldwide. He is the only New Zealand-based environmental scientist to be included in this global list.

In the series of five talks across the country, Professor Hulme will discuss how many of our introduced plant species, including those that were thought of as harmless for home and botanic gardens, are now posing significant economic and environmental costs.

He also will delve into why both the government and communities need to become more effective in preventing and controlling these plant invaders.

“New Zealand’s environment and agricultural production are central to the economy, and biosecurity threats are a major concern for the sustainable use of these resources,” he says.

Everybody is welcome to attend these free public events but the Royal Society Te Aparangi recommends registering to guarantee seat(s).


Palmerston North | Palmerston North Central Library, Events Central – register for Palmerston North
7:30pm Wednesday 9 May

Napier | EIT, Lecture Theatre LTH1 – register for Napier
7:30pm Thursday 10 May

Christchurch | University of Canterbury, C2 Central Lecture Theatres – register for Christchurch
6:30pm Wednesday 16 May

Wellington | Royal Society Te Apārangi, Aronui Lecture Theatre – register for Wellington
6:30pm Wednesday 23 May

Nelson | Nelson Elim Christian Centre – register for Nelson
7:30pm Tuesday 5 June

This event is presented by the society in partnership with the Bio-Protection Research Centre.

Source: Royal Society Te Aparangi

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