Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Waikato Dean to lead Biological Heritage Science Challenge

1 September, 2014

Waikato Dean to lead NZ Biological Heritage Science Challenge

Reversing the decline of New Zealand's biological heritage is the mission for a new multi-million dollar national research programme led by the University of Waikato’s Professor Bruce Clarkson.

The New Zealand Biological Heritage Science Challenge, Ngā koiora Tuku Iho, is one of 10 national Science Challenges funded by the New Zealand government, designed to allow more strategic science investment with the aim of delivering major and ongoing benefits for New Zealand.

A total of $25.8 million was recently committed to the challenge to cover research over the next five years.

Dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering, Prof Clarkson, has been seconded as a full-time interim director for New Zealand’s Biological Heritage Science Challenge until December this year. The secondment will see Prof Clarkson set up the framework for the challenge, while allowing time for the group to recruit a permanent director.

“Hosted by Landcare Research, the research undertaken in this Challenge will be designed to protect and manage New Zealand’s biodiversity, improve biosecurity and enhance the country’s resilience to harmful organisms,” says Prof Clarkson.

“I decided to request the time to be part of this Challenge because it’s the research area that I’m ultimately most interested in. I’m passionate about making a difference on-the ground and this programme has the potential to be a game-changer in terms of a fundamental shift in research thinking, alignment and collaboration. The proposed research will require new ideas to flourish and work at much larger scale compared with now.”

In fact Prof Clarkson describes the five-year research programme as the biggest of its kind for this topic in New Zealand to date. He hopes that the integrated ‘one ecosystem’ research agenda will synergise benefits, deepen collaboration across research boundaries and most of all, increase the focus of investment on the ‘mission critical’ research which works with and for the community.

“The proposed national partnership, coupled with a high performing, integrated research agenda, will deliver fit-for-purpose, socially acceptable, cost-effective and well-tested solutions to address national priorities in both natural and production ecosystems.”

Prof Clarkson became involved in the project last year when he was invited to work on the Biological Heritage Science Challenge oversight group. The group’s first job was to put together a research plan. He acted as coordinator for the plan involving seven Crown Research Institutes and eight universities. He worked part-time on the project for several months, culminating in the submission of the proposal to Ministry of Business, Immigration and Employment (MBIE) at the end of April.

Professor Bruce Clarkson is recognised as one of New Zealand’s foremost authorities on ecological restoration, and between 2005 and 2012 led a government-funded research programme looking at the best methods to restore indigenous biodiversity in cities. Research results from that programme had a direct impact on restoration approaches in several North Island cities, including the Hamilton gully restoration initiatives and the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park project near Hamilton Zoo.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: ComCom Charges Hawkins’ Finance Companies Over Debt Recovery

The Commerce Commission has filed criminal proceedings against two finance companies run by former 1980s high-flyer Allan Hawkins over their debt recovery practices. More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: The Big Science Stories Of 2014

It was a dramatic year for science, one that witnessed a severe outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and an historic mission to land a space probe on a comet. On the home front... headlines with animal testing for 'legal highs', 1080 use to tackle increased pest numbers and court action over genetically modified organisms among the most-covered stories. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news