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Professor Emerita Paula Jameson awarded 2019 Marsden Medal


Professor Emerita Paula Jameson

The University of Canterbury (UC) scientist Professor Emerita Paula Jameson was awarded the 2019 Marsden Medal by the New Zealand Association of Scientists at its recent awards dinner.

The Marsden Medal is awarded for a lifetime of outstanding service to the cause or profession of science.

Former head of the School of Biological Sciences and UC’s newest Professor Emerita, plant biologist Professor Jameson received the recognition from her peers for her work on plant cytokinins, among other work, over her extraordinary scientific career.

An alumna with both her BSc (Hons) and Doctorate from UC, she has long been noted for her research expertise in physiological and molecular plant biology, her extensive list of publications, her support supervising postgraduate students, and her services to the scientific community.

The 2019 Marsden Medal award citation summarised her substantial contributions:

Professor Paula Jameson is a leading plant scientist. Her work has been notable in combining internationally recognised research on the regulation of plant growth with an interest in New Zealand’s indigenous flora. Paula’s research demonstrates academic excellence, yet is also beautifully tailored to the needs of end users. Paula served as Chair of the RSNZ Marsden Ecology, Evolution & Behaviour panel, was on the ministerially appointed Independent Biotechnology Council, and was the Principal Moderator for PBRF 2018: roles requiring a wise and dispassionate voice while superintending a fair process.

In 2004, Paula was appointed the inaugural Head of the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) at the University of Canterbury. Through her direct leadership and mentorship of early career academics, SBS is now one of New Zealand’s highly ranked groupings of biologists. Meanwhile she has maintained a highly productive research program and involvement in the community, especially on issues relating to genetic technologies.

Paula’s key contributions include elucidating the myriad roles that the plant hormone group, the cytokinins, play in plant development. She has applied this knowledge through major collaborations with the applied sector in areas of forage and seed production, and fruit development. She has also contributed to our understanding of the regulation of development and flowering of our native species. In addition to her stellar international reputation, her achievements have been lauded by peers from numerous New Zealand institutions, leading to life fellowships from the agricultural, horticultural and plant biology communities. Paula is a highly sought-after mentor, having supervised to completion over 80 postgraduate students from around the globe.


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