Commission for Agricultural Meteorology gives award for exceptional service to Dr Salinger



The Award for Exceptional Service has been given to Dr Jim Salinger for outstanding contributions and exceptional service to the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology (CAgM) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“Very few people receive this award so I am very honoured,” Jim told AgScience.

The commission’s role is to provide guidance in the field of agricultural meteorology by studying and reviewing available science and technology; to propose international standards for methods and procedures; to provide a forum for the examination and resolution of relevant scientific and technical issues; to promote training and the transfer of knowledge and methodologies, including the results of research, between WMO members; and to promote international cooperation.

Jim has been a member of the commission and New Zealand’s principal delegate from 1986 – 2010, and has been a member since, totalling 32 years.

During that period he chaired several CAgM working groups and expert teams, was its vice president for eight years, and was its ninth president from 2006 – 2010.  Subsequently he has chaired a task team.

“So as well as guiding the policy and work plan of CAgM for member states, I have produced many publications,” Jim said.

The most significant ones are listed below.

His next task is to provide an update of Climate Variability, Agriculture and Forestry.


Technical Note No. 196, 1994: Climate Variability, Agriculture and Forestry. Report of the CAgM-IX Working Group on the Study of Climate Effects on Agriculture including Forests and of the Effects of Agriculture and Forest on Climate, WMO-No. 802, 152 pp.

Technical Note No. 199, 1997: Climate Variability, Agriculture and Forestry: An Update, Salinger, M.J., Desjardins, R., Jones, M.B., Sivakumar, M.V.K., Strommen, N.D., Veerasamy, S. and Lianhai, W., WMO-No. 841, 51 pp.

Technical Note No. 200, 2000: Climate Variability, Agriculture and Forestry: Towards Sustainability, Salinger, M.J., Desjardins, R.L., Janzen, H., Karing, P,H., Veerasamy, S. and Zipoli, G., WMO-No. 928, 41 pp.

Salinger, M.J., Sivakumar, M.V.K. and Motha, R. (eds). Increasing Climate Variability and Change: Reducing the vulnerability of agriculture and forestry. Springer, Dordrecht, 362 pp. 2005.

Salinger, M.J. (ed). Climate and Oceanic Fisheries. July 2013. Special issue of Climatic Change.


Science category included in 2018 NZ Biosecurity Awards

Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has announced the opening of nominations for New Zealand Biosecurity Awards, to celebrate the people who help to keep New Zealand’s flora, fauna and vital primary sectors.

His remarks can be viewed and heard HERE. 

The awards were launched last year with six categories.  Three new categories have been added this year – Emerging Leader, Innovation and Science awards.

Entrants might be innovators, scientists, communities, or leaders – anyone who has taken an active interest in the continuous improvement of New Zealand’s biosecurity system, Mr O’Connor said.

“The awards are a way to thank and shine a light on people and organisations who are protecting Aotearoa – in our communities, businesses, science organisations, iwi and hapū, and central and local government.

“Biosecurity is our number one challenge because it is critical to our economic base and way of life. Recent reports show that only 2 per cent of Kiwis feel a biosecurity breach would affect their lives – I think this level of awareness is changing and there’s a growing understanding that every New Zealander has personal responsibility for ensuring we maintain a resilient and strong biosecurity system.”

Finalists will be announced on Friday 12 October and winners named on Monday 12 November at an awards dinner in Auckland.

Entries are open until 31 August.

The award categories are:

  • New Zealand Biosecurity Community Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Industry Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Science Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Emerging Leader Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Māori Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Local and Central Government Award
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Innovation Award
  • Minister’s Biosecurity Award

You can find out more HERE.

Source:  Minister of Biosecurity

Massey professor becomes first NZ recipient of international dairy award

Massey University Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh has become the first New Zealander to receive the 2018 American Dairy Science Association Distinguished Service Award.

The Riddet Institute director received the award during a ceremony at the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) annual meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee. The award recognises unusually outstanding and consistent contributions to the welfare of the dairy industry.

Professor Singh is a world-renowned food scientist and a major figure in the development of dairy science research.

His contributions to dairy science in the United States have been recognised previously by ADSA through other prestigious awards – the International Dairy Foods Association Research Award in Dairy Foods in 2015 and the Marschall Rhodia International Dairy Science Award in 2001. In 2008, he was awarded the William Haines Dairy Science Award by the California Dairy Research Foundation.

Professor Singh’s research has had a major international impact, both in the dairy industry and academic community.

He has published more than 350 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and has mentored over 60 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. He has also shown great skill as a leader, both in his role leading Riddet Institute, but also heading the School of Food and Nutrition, and the Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology from 2015-17.

Source: Massey University

New animal welfare award and grant launched

The National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) has launched the Aotearoa New Zealand Three Rs Awards.

The new awards, which aim to celebrate achievement in the development and implementation of the Three Rs, include a $50,000 research grant. The grant will provide funding for research specifically targeted at developing ways to replace, reduce, or refine the use of animals in research, testing, and teaching.

Chair Grant Shackell says NAEAC expects the awards to actively encourage innovation around the Three Rs.

“The Three Rs are guiding principles for ethical use of animals in research, testing, and teaching,” says Mr Shackell.

“The concept of the Three Rs is to replace and reduce the number of animals used in research, testing, and teaching, and refine experimental techniques to minimise pain or distress.’

NAEAC is targeting the discovery or implementation of scientific knowledge, methodologies and or technologies that enhance Three Rs principles.

There will be two awards, to be made every two years. The first award, of $5,000, will be given to an individual, group, or institution within New Zealand that shows significant commitment to implementing the principles of the Three Rs.

The second award will provide a $50,000 research grant to an individual, group, or institution within New Zealand to underpin a research project that specifically targets at least one of the Three Rs principles.

The first awards will be presented in November.

The awards are funded by AgResearch Ltd, The Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART), Lincoln University, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Massey University, University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington.

The scope of the awards will not be limited to animal researchers and organisations operating under a code of ethical conduct.  Applications from New Zealand institutions or companies that are outside the animal-based research community, but can demonstrate a role in developing or implementing the principles of the Three Rs, will be considered.

Applications forms and terms of reference can be found HERE. 

Source:  Ministry for Primary Industries

2018 KiwiNet Awards winners showcase NZ’s best research-rich innovation

Winners of the sixth annual KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards, designed to celebrate impact from science through successful research commercialisation within New Zealand’s universities and Crown Research Institutes, were announced at a reception in Auckland last night.

Plant & Food Research won  two of the five awards.

The winners are:

Norman F. B. Barry Foundation Breakthrough Innovator Award

• Dr Vlatko Matericě, Hot Lime Labs: Hot Lime’ to increase greenhouse crop yields and help feed the world.

Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur Award

• Associate Professor Taehyun Rhee, Victoria University of Wellington: Taking New Zealand’s virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology to the world.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts Research & Business Partnership Award

• AUT and the NZ SKA Alliance: Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope (SKA) – NZ is a member of its first ever global mega-science project jointly undertaking research and design behind the world’s largest radio telescope.

PwC Commercial Impact Award

• Plant & Food Research: Amarasate® Extract – 100% plant-based, world-first weight management extract.

BNZ Supreme Award (Judges vote combined with public vote)

• Dr Andrew Kralicek, Plant & Food Research: Harnessing insects’ receptors for commercial sensing

Lead KiwiNet Awards judge Dr Andrew Kelly, Executive Director at BioPacific Partners said the judges were thrilled with the calibre of the 2018 Awards.

Dr Kelly was joined on the judging panel by Helen Robinson (ONZM) the Executive Chair at Organic Initiative, Paul Dyson an entrepreneur and non-executive director, and Veronica Harwood-Stevenson the founder of humble bee and Spindle Fibre Films and a member of the Return on Science Momentum Investment Committee.

Source: KiwiNet

MPI scholarship for more accurate ways of measuring soil nutrients

After three years travelling the world, Northlander Thomas Corbett is ready to do a doctorate.

At Fieldays last week the Waikato University student was awarded a Ministry of Primary Industries’ doctoral scholarship, worth up to $50,000, to develop a nitrate/nitrite and phosphate sensor for freshwater that he hopes will be easy to use, accurate and affordable, to measure the impacts of run-off and leaching.

Thomas says understanding the effects of run-off and leaching is fundamental to the sustainability of primary production, and requires accurate measurements.

His sensor will be based on the Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films technique, able to be deployed over days or weeks to provide time-weighted average concentration of a nutrient.

Thomas says getting an average concentration rather than a one-off sampling will provide a land owner with much greater certainty of hotspots of nutrient losses and allow targeted mitigation strategies.

Souce: Waikato University

Entries open for New Zealand’s most illustrious science prize

Entries for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes are open, offering awards with a combined value of $1 million across five categories.

The Government introduced the prizes in 2009 to raise the profile and prestige of science among New Zealanders, to raise awareness of its contribution to economic wealth and to highlight its role in solving future challenges through innovation.

The major prize, worth $500,000, is presented to an individual or team whose research has had significant impact in New Zealand or internationally. Previous winners have been recognised for research in areas ranging from health to climate change to new energy technologies.

In 2017, the Prime Minister’s Science Prize was awarded to the research team that helped the New Zealand kiwifruit industry claw its way back from the brink of destruction after the discovery of a vine-killing disease. The multi-disciplinary team, led by Plant & Food Research CEO Dr Bruce Campbell, was awarded the prize for its rapid and successful response to Psa (Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae).

Dr Campbell says winning this prestigious prize will

“ … help to accelerate the strong positioning of New Zealand internationally as the pre-eminent area for ensuring food security.”

“The prize money will be invested in developing the next generation of science technologies to protect plants against biosecurity threats and help us to attract world-leading international collaborators with expertise from the human medical, animal and plant disease fields.”

Other prize categories include the MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist prize, worth $200,000, which is open to outstanding scientists who have completed their PhD in the previous eight years, and the Prime Minister’s $150,000 Science Teacher Prize. Last year that prize was won by Sarah Johns from Nelson College for Girls, who says:

“Winning the Prime Minister Science Teacher Prize is humbling, because I work alongside a lot of fantastic teachers and I really love what I do. It hovers between a hobby and career, so I’m grateful for the affirmation of the processes I use to fuel the teaching and learning that occurs in partnership with my students. I’m really proud of my work and passionate about it, so I feel honoured by the recognition.”

In addition, nominations are being sought for the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize, worth $100,000 and the Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize, worth $50,000.

Entries close for all but the Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize on Wednesday 5 September 2018. The Future Scientist Prizes closes on 30 October 2018.

The Prime Minister’s Science Prize categories are:

The Prime Minister’s Science Prize, $500,000

This will be awarded to an individual or team for a transformative scientific discovery or achievement, which has had a significant economic, health, social and/or environmental impact in the last five years on New Zealand or internationally

The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize, $200,000

This will be awarded to an outstanding emerging scientist who has had their PhD conferred, within the past eight years (i.e. from 1 January 2010 onwards)

The Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize, $150,000

This will be awarded to a registered teacher who has been teaching science, mathematics, technology, pūtaiao, hangarau or pāngarau learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum to school-age children in a primary, intermediate or secondary New Zealand registered school.

The Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize, $100,000

This will be awarded to a practising scientist who can demonstrate an interest, passion and aptitude for science communication and public engagement, or to a person who has developed expertise in public engagement with, or communication of, complex scientific or technological information to the public or science community.

The Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize, $50,000 tertiary scholarship

This will be awarded to a Year 12 or Year 13 student for outstanding achievement in carrying out a practical and innovative science, mathematics, technology or engineering project.

To find out more and to lodge entries visit HERE. 

Source:  Royal Society of New Zealand