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Soil and Water Scientist elected as Academician

Leading Plant & Food Research soil and water scientist Dr Brent Clothier has recently been elected as an Academician in the Division of Agriculture of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in its latest biennial election round. He is one of the 29 newly elected foreign academicians and the first New Zealander to receive this honour.

The accolade affirms Dr Clothier’s research and academic achievements and international influence over the years, as well as his achievements in promoting the development of China's agricultural water-management through collaborations and exchanges with Chinese scientists.

CAE Academician and China Agricultural University Professor Shaozhong Kang says that Dr Clothier’s election will lead to greater contributions to promoting the scientific and technological progress of agricultural water management in China and enhance the global influence of Chinese scientists.

Dr Clothier says, “I’m deeply honoured by this recognition. This will spur-on our collective efforts to address agricultural water issues, not only within China, but also along China’s Belt & Road Initiative.”

Dr Clothier has advanced the world’s understanding of the natural capital that the environment provides to grow crops and how to make informed land use decisions. He has developed new theories for water and chemicals moving through soil, along with inventing new devices that enabled the parameterisation of these models. He has developed a new technology with his colleagues to directly measure water use by trees and vines that has helped improve water management in water-short regions globally.

Dr Clothier has recently been presented with the Science New Zealand Plant & Food Research Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to advancing New Zealand’s environmental well-being. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi and a recipient of the Kirkham Soil Physics Award in America.

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