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Top Lincoln honours to ecologist & sheep scientist

Top Lincoln honours to ecologist and sheep scientist

National President of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society Dr Gerry McSweeney of Arthur’s Pass and prominent Otago-based sheep scientist Dr Jock Allison receive special honours at Lincoln University’s 2003 Graduation Ceremony in Christchurch Town Hall on Friday. (2 May)

Dr McSweeney, an ecologist who has been at the forefront of the nature conservation movement in New Zealand for over 25 years and operates two remote “nature tourism” lodges in the South Island, receives an honorary Doctor of Natural Resources degree.

Already a doctoral graduate of Lincoln University (PhD in Ecology and Resource Management, 1984) Dr McSweeney receives an honorary doctorate in recognition of a career devoted to the natural history and ecology of the mountains and forests of New Zealand.

His involvement in tourism is underpinned by a concern for nature and New Zealand’s natural resources. He is emphatic that visitors to his two Wilderness Lodges, operated with wife Anne Saunders, should interact authentically with their surroundings and become involved with the environment.

He is a former park scientist at Franz Josef Glacier (1979-83), a past director of the New Zealand Tourism Board and current director of the NZ Nature Heritage Fund.

Dr Allison, an animal scientist described as perhaps the greatest single contributor to improving the reproductive rate of New Zealand sheep, receives Lincoln University’s prestigious Bledisloe Medal for distinguished contributions to New Zealand’s land-based industries.

He is the 70th recipient of the award since it was instituted in 1930.

Dr Allison graduated Master of Agricultural Science from Lincoln in 1967 with 1st Class Honours in Sheep Production. He holds a PhD in Agricultural Science from Sydney University where he studied as a Commonwealth Scholar.

A former Regional Research Director of Invermay Research Centre, Mosgiel, Dr Allison left MAF in 1986 and amid many subsequent entrepreneurial and other activities involved himself with the importation of the East Friesian sheep breed to New Zealand. Infusion of the breed into New Zealand’s commercial flocks is regarded by many as the greatest advance to the sheep industry in the past 50 years.

Today Dr Allison is a consultant and director of Abacus Biotech Ltd., a newly established biotechnology and agribusiness consulting company in Dunedin.

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