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Vic Professor Appointed To Marsden Fund Council

Victoria Professor Appointed To Marsden Fund Council

Victoria University Professor Charles Daugherty has been appointed to the prestigious Marsden Fund Council.

The Council oversees the Marsden Fund, which is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand. Each year more than $30 million in funding is distributed for research projects chosen on the basis of excellence.

Professor Daugherty, who was appointed by Minister for Research, Science and Technology, Hon Pete Hodgson, will chair the Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour panel, one of eight panels that consider the more than 800 applications the Fund receives from scientists every year.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said Professor Daugherty's appointment was a high honour.

"Since Professor Daugherty arrived at Victoria in 1982, he has shown a strong commitment to teaching and research, attracting vital external research income, supervising graduate students and raising the profile of the School of Biological Sciences. A molecular biotechnology laboratory course Professor Daugherty has championed has seen 600 eager Wellington seventh formers and their teachers recently visiting the University and gaining hands-on knowledge of working in a laboratory.

"The work he and his colleagues in the School, along with international researchers, have done into New Zealand's own living dinosaur, the tuatara, has shed new light on the plight of this endangered species. But Professor Daugherty hasn't just worked away quietly published his research, he has raised the profile of issues surrounding tuatara by giving public talks about the species and acting as an authoritative commentator for the media."

Professor Daugherty said he was humbled by the appointment.

"My colleagues on the Council are all leading scientists in their fields and it is an honour to chosen to work with them. The Council is more than just a body for allocating research funds. I hope to be able to use the position to advocate the cause of science to the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology and to the public."

Professor Daugherty is Head of the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria and has held a personal chair in ecology since 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, an Honorary Life Member of the Society for Research on Amphibians and Reptiles in New Zealand, and a foundation member of the Government-funded Centre of Research Excellence, the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution. Professor Daugherty holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in zoology from the University of Montana.

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