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: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: Viral Science And Another 'Big Dry'?

"Potentially, if there is no significant rainfall for the next month or so, we could be heading into one of the worst nation-wide droughts we’ve seen for some time," warns NIWA principal climate scientist Dr Andrew Tait. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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