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Forest research awards cover range

27 October 2017

Forest research awards cover range

Projects as different as growing thousands of beetles to sacrifice for science and knowing everything there is to wire ropes, earned their scientists recognition at the 2017 Forest Grower Research Awards in Christchurch last week.

Awards were spread between researchers at Scion in Rotorua, Plant and Food at Auckland, Landcare at Christchurch, and University of Canterbury as well as the manager of Proseed at Amberley, north of Christchurch.

Chris Phillips, from Landcare Research at Lincoln took out the Communication and Sector Engagement Award. Chris is a hydrology scientist working on stability mapping and the root development of different tree species on challenging terrain.

Chris is currently working on riparian buffer zones.

Richard Yao is an economist from Scion Research in Rotorua who won the award for enhancing sector value. His specialist work is to identify and quantity the economic value of forest ecosystem services, such as erosion control, biodiversity and water filtering.

He has been heavily involved in the development of Forest Investment Finder, a GIS spatial economic modelling tool that enables economic benefits from ecosystem services to be combined with wood production values at a forest/catchment or regional level.
Plant and Food Researcher at Auckland, Graeme Clare received the science of international quality for his working out ways to supply no fewer than 120,000 bark beetles for testing on fumigant options to methyl bromide.

This internationally ground-breaking science provides the necessary uniform insects to be kept fed and supplied on planned dates to the gassing team. The data from this research supports MPI in market negotiations with China and India. The research is being presented to two international conferences over the next three months.

Shaf Van Ballekom, the manager of Proseed Amberley, and winner of the research participation and implementation award has worked with the earlier research cooperatives, the Radiata Pine Breeding Company, the Dryland Forests Initiative and the Specialty Wood Products partnership programme.

Under Shaf’s leadership Proseed has also undertaken its own research and innovation projects with work on radiata attenuata hybrids being planted in colder parts of the South Island and chairing the Dryland Eucalypt research programme with the University of Canterbury.

Recognition of Carolyne Anderson’s management of tree measurement data from permanent sample plots over many decades resulted in her receiving the contribution to a science team award. Her Scion data base is world class and the envy of many countries.

As well as managing the Scion trial and data base, Carolyne manages the PSP and trials data base for many forest companies across New Zealand and her efforts to identify future plans for trials due to be harvested over the next five years is crucial for the scientists to get the most out of important research trials.
Hunter Harrell’s contribution to the University of Canterbury School of Forestry’s FGR Steepland Harvesting Programme won him the young scientist award.

His PhD thesis in 2014 was on “Improving Cable Logging Operations for New Zealand’s Steep Terrain Forest Plantations”. Evidence of his high output is the number of publications Hunter has either authored or co-authored. In the past year Hunter has had six FGR Technical Notes published and co-authoring one refereed journal article which has been published in the Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering.


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