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Triple Treat For Scientists At Forest Research


MEDIACOM-RELEASE-FOREST-RESEARCH

Rotorua-based technology company, Forest Research today announced three awards made to Forest Research scientists over the past several days. In releasing details, Chief Executive Bryce Heard said "in today's science-based business environment, the competition for awards is ever-increasing and I am delighted to see our staff receive recognition - three in one week is a great reward for those involved".

Dr Bob Allison, Manager of the Pulp and Paper Research Group at Forest Research was awarded a Fellowship of the International Academy of Wood Science. The Academy is an honorary society founded in 1966 with the objective of recognising excellence among scientists in the broad fields of wood science. Dr Allison joins a select group as there are only 275 Fellows throughout the world. Dr Allison has spent 27 years as a researcher in the area of chemical pulping and bleaching technology and was a joint recipient of the US President's Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 1999.

Brendan Murphy a scientist from the Forest Health and Biosecurity programme has been selected as a Bright Future Enterprise Scholar by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Enterprise Scholarships are designed to recognise the value of intellectual skills, focus research into areas likely to help create a knowledge economy, and increase the supply of trained researchers and graduates in New Zealand. Recipients are in the top 25% of those undertaking postgraduate studies, and are engaged in projects that will bring significant benefits to the country.

The two-year scholarship will allow Brendan to undertake research into the biological control of the Eucalyptus tortoise beetle, Paropsis charybdis, while completing his PhD through the University of Canterbury. Eucalytpus species are potentially a valuable part of the New Zealand plantation forest estate but their establishment has been restricted by the accidentally introduced tortoise beetle, which defoliates trees, slowing their growth and possibly killing them.

Greg Steward, a researcher working in the Alternative Species research programme has been granted a Queen Elizabeth II Technician Study Award, which will enable him to travel to Queensland to study the Queensland Forest Research Institute's (QFRI) hoop pine research programme.

Hoop pine is a species closely related to New Zealand kauri. It is Australia's only well established plantation-grown native conifer, and has been managed in planted and natural stands since the early 1900s - its current planted estate is about 50,000 ha. There are significant similarities in the ecology, growth rates and the silviculture of kauri and hoop pine, so the issues related to managing and growing a native species for production are similar to those faced in New Zealand for kauri, totara and other native species.

Greg will spend three weeks at Gympie to view their broad-based trials and management systems, and identify practices most relevant to Forest Research's indigenous plantation programme.

Ends

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