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Prestigious Science Funding Body

12 May 2005

New Appointments To Prestigious Science Funding Body

Four new members have been appointed to the Marsden Fund Council – the body that advises on, and makes decisions about, how the Government’s investment in cutting-edge science under the Marsden Fund should be used.

The new members of the Council are: Professor Christine Winterbourn of the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Dr Lydia Wevers, Director of the Stout Research Institute in Wellington; Dr Richard Blaikie, deputy director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and an Associate Professor at the University of Canterbury; and, Dr Rupert Sutherland, a geoscientist at the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS).

To carry out its role, the Council needs members from a range of research, science and technology disciplines and the new members bring to it expertise in the fields of biomedical sciences, humanities, physical sciences and engineering, and earth sciences and astronomy.

A new Chair has also been appointed to the Fund Council to replace Dr Diana Hill, who has completed two terms with the Council and is standing down. The position will now be held by Dr Garth Carnaby – a specialist in wool textiles and Deputy-Chair of the Council.

The Marsden Fund is one of 11 funds through which the Government funds research, science and technology, known as Vote RS&T. It was set up to support excellence in research and to broaden and deepen the research skill base in New Zealand. It funds cutting-edge science that contributes to the global advancement of knowledge. It is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Brief profiles of the new members and the Chair

Dr Christine Winterbourn Dr Christine Winterbourn has a BSc and MSc with first class honours in chemistry from Auckland University and a PhD in Biochemistry from Massey. She currently holds a personal chair as professorial research fellow at the Pathology Department of the Christchurch School of Medicine. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Dr Winterbourn’s field of research is the study of the chemistry and biochemistry of free radical reactions and the affect these have on the body’s physiological and pathological processes.

Dr Lydia Wevers Dr Lydia Wevers’ background is in the humanities. She has an MA with first class honours from Victoria University, a Master of Philosophy in English from St Anne’s College, Oxford and a PhD in English from Victoria. She is currently Director of Victoria University’s Stout Research Centre, which specialises in the study of New Zealand history, society and culture. Dr Wevers has published widely on New Zealand writing and culture.

Dr Richard Blaikie Dr Blaikie holds a BSc with first class honours in physics from the University of Otago and a PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge in the UK. He is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Canterbury. He is also the deputy director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. He is working on nanotechnology applications involving the use of optics and electron beam lithography.

Dr Rupert Sutherland Dr Rupert Sutherland gained a BA with first class honours in the natural sciences at Cambridge University in the UK in 1989 and a PhD from Otago University in 1995. He is currently a principal scientist at the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) in Lower Hutt. His particular areas of study include plate tectonics in the South Pacific, the geological and tectonic history of New Zealand, New Zealand hydrocarbon geology and marine geology.

Dr Garth Carnaby Dr Garth Carnaby has a BSc with first class honours in textile technology, a PhD from Leeds University in the UK and a DSc from the University of New South Wales. He also has an honorary DSc from De Monfort University in the English city of Leicester – the centre of the British knitting industry – and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Dr Carnaby worked for a number of years as a researcher in the New Zealand wool industry and applications from his work include re-designed tufting needles to reduce breakage in carpet making and new uses for coarse wools in luxury textiles. More recently he moved into management and between 1992 and 2004 was chief executive of the Wool Research Institute of New Zealand, now known as Canesis.

ENDS

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