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New appointments to Marsden Fund Council

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Science & Innovation
5 December 2012 Media Statement
New appointments to Marsden Fund Council

Three new members have been appointed to the Marsden Fund Council in an announcement today by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.

The researchers will take their place on the Council for three-years from December 2012 and each will convene one of the Marsden Fund Council’s panels. They are:

• Professor Jarg Pettinga (Earth Sciences and Astronomy Panel)
• Professor Margaret Hyland (Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Panel)
• Professor Graham Wallis (Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour Panel)

“The Marsden Fund is New Zealand’s premier fund for supporting fundamental research excellence in science, engineering and maths, social sciences and the humanities,” Mr Joyce says.
This year, the Marsden Fund funded 86 new projects worth over $54.6 million.
“The three new Council appointees will be tasked with assessing and recommending funding for research proposals each year, and overseeing the progress of the successful projects.”

“Professors Pettinga, Hyland, and Wallis are highly regarded researchers with excellent track records in their own fields of expertise. They have previously served on council panels and are well placed to lead those panels.

“I would like to thank them for accepting the challenge these roles will offer and welcome the contribution they will make to New Zealand’s science and innovation system.”

In addition, Mr Joyce has worked with the Council to update the Marsden Fund Terms of Reference, to ensure that all research supported by the Marsden is of long-term benefit to New Zealand.

“The Marsden Fund plays an important role in building knowledge and expertise to open future opportunities for New Zealand. It’s primary role is still to generate knowledge, enhance the quality of cutting edge research in New Zealand and contribute to the development of advanced skills.”

The Marsden Fund Council comprises eleven eminent researchers – a Chair, a Deputy-Chair and nine convenors. Each heads a panel in their academic field, and the panel works to assess applications for funding of research projects.

Background on the new appointees:
Professor Pettinga:

Professor Pettinga is Professor of Geology at the University of Canterbury. He is an internationally recognised earth scientist with a reputation for excellence in research and science management.

Professor Pettinga is a current member of the Earth Sciences and Astronomy Panel of the Marsden Fund Council and has capably chaired panel meetings when the current convenor was unavailable.

Professor Hyland

Professor Hyland is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering and Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Auckland.

She has internationally recognised expertise in process and materials engineering and interdisciplinary research and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Professor Hyland is a current member of the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Panel of the Marsden Fund Council and was previously a member of the Physical Sciences and Engineering Panel.

Professor Wallis

Professor Wallis is Professor of Genetics in the Department of Zoology at the University of Otago. He has in-depth knowledge of the New Zealand science environment and extensive assessment experience.

He served on the Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour Panel of the Marsden Fund Council from 1999 to 2001 and the Biodiversity Committee of the Royal Society of New Zealand from 1995 to 2001.

Professor Wallis has an excellent reputation and his broad research experience ensures he is well placed to cover the range of proposals that are considered by this panel.

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