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Science Leader Retires After 50 Years

MEDIA RELEASE from GNS Science, 21 December 2012 Science Leader Retires After 50 Years

The Chief Executive of GNS Science, Dr Alex Malahoff, has retired this week after 50 years of service to his profession.

Dr Malahoff returned to New Zealand in 2002 to lead GNS Science, after spending 40 years in the United States, in order to give back to New Zealand something in return for his earlier education at Victoria University where he had studied geology and geophysics.

Under Dr Malahoff’s leadership, GNS Science relocated to a permanent headquarters at Avalon, Lower Hutt, from temporary accommodation on DSIR’s old site in Gracefield.

The Chairman of GNS Science, Tom Campbell, said even more importantly, over the last decade Dr Malahoff's leadership had boosted the value of earth science to New Zealand.

"Since 2010, the science response to the Canterbury earthquakes and their aftermath has had most prominence. But very close to Alex’s personal science interests, GNS Science has over the last decade explored the ocean sub-floor inside New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone and beyond, to win for New Zealand, under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, a vast amount of territory known as the Continental Shelf Extension," Mr Campbell said.

“The company has also alerted government to its options for further oil and gas exploration, has established New Zealand’s only ice-core facility for climate-change research, and replaced its accelerator mass spectrometer with a modern facility capable of high-precision age-dating for geology, archaeology, and age verification of antiquities. We have benefited enormously from the wealth of overseas experience that he brought to the role.”

Mr Campbell said the Board of the Company was pleased that, under Dr Malahoff's leadership, staff numbers had increased by 40 percent and annual revenue had grown by 100 percent.

Dr Malahoff is at present taking an extended vacation with his children and grandchildren in the USA, and next year will continue his involvement with several strategically important international projects, such as One Geology, the International Continental Drilling Programme, and international initiatives for carbon dioxide geosequestration. GNS Science participates in these initiatives.

A recruitment process to find a new Chief Executive will start early in 2013. In the immediate period, the Director of GNS Science's Natural Hazards Division, Dr Terry Webb, will be Acting Chief Executive.


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