IRANZ news briefs

Dr Isabelle Sin

The NZ Institute of Economic Research Inc (NZIER) announced on 2 September that Dr Isabelle Sin, Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, is the recipient of the inaugural NZIER Early Career Economics Leader Award for 2021. Image: Motu.

Isabelle Sin - recipient of NZIER Early Career Economics Leader Award

The NZ Institute of Economic Research Inc (NZIER) announced on 2 September that Dr Isabelle Sin, Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, is the recipient of the inaugural NZIER Early Career Economics Leader Award for 2021.

The $10,000 award recognises Isabelle’s work on the gender pay gap in medicine and her work on intended vs actual parental leave for working mothers.

Her work on the gender pay gap, using New Zealand data, revealed that women were paid substantially less even when controlling for factors that might influence the gender pay gap, such as years of experience (which might be influenced by parenthood).


Read more about Motu >>

Malaghan: Dr Fran Priddy appointed to CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee

The Malaghan Institute’s Dr Fran Priddy, Clinical Director of Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand – Ohu Kaupare Huaketo (VAANZ), is among key international health and vaccine experts recently appointed to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

CEPI is a global network of public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organisations working to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.


Cawthron researcher features in new pukapuka ‘Ngā kete Mātauranga: Māori scholars at the research interface

Shaun Ogilvie, a Māori Business Development consultant for Cawthron Institute has been featured in a recently published book Ngā kete Mātauranga: Māori scholars at the research interface, which tells the stories of 24 Māori academics, revealing what being Māori has meant for them in their work.

Shaun said in a recent Cawthron Radio interview that it was about their personal experiences, “spanning that bridge between Mātauranga and western science.”


TTW attends SERA 2021 – Darwin, Australia

Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, Te Tiro Whakamātaki CEO and co-founder, and Marcus Rongowhitiao-Shadbolt spoke at the SERA 2021 Conference – Darwin, Australia in May 2021

Research assistant, Marcus-Rongowhitiao Shadbolt presented his paper “Empowering the indigenous voice in a graphical representation of Aotearoa’s bio-cultural heritage”. This project focuses on working with Kaumātua to preserve their local flora and fauna knowledge.

Melanie Mark-Shadbolt presented a keynote on the third day titled “How Ngā Rākau Taketake, a research response to kauri dieback and myrtle rust, is anchored in Te Tiriti and mātauranga Māori”.


TTW board member Kevin Prime appointed to Waitangi Tribunal

Te Tiro Whakamātaki board member Kevin Prime (Ngātihine, Ngāti Whatua, Tainui and Welsh descent) is one of three new appointees to the Waitangi Tribunal. Kevin was chosen for his exceptional leadership and experience of conservation and the environment within his rohe. He is also a commissioner with the Environment Court, as well as a beef farmer, forester, beekeeper, and conservationist.


PlantTech: AI alive and kicking in our orchards and paddocks

Following PlantTech’s presence at Fieldays 2021, chief executive Dr Mark Begbie explains to the NZ Herald how AI is being used in complex horticultural environments to solve challenges facing the kiwifruit industry and other plant-based crops.


PlantTech Smart Ideas bid successful

PlantTech Smart Ideas bid to the MBIE Endeavour Programme 2021 was successful. PlantTech will be leading a $1 million, two-year, international research programme to develop science aimed at improving the yield and efficiency of cropping systems.

The Endeavour Programme bid, “Seeing the forest for the trees”, led by Scion and in which PlantTech is a partner, was also successful.

PlantTech’s new Commercial Director

Rob Bensley has joined the senior leadership team at PlantTech as the new Commercial Director. Ron will develop new partnerships and opportunities for the research institute so it can continue having a positive impact on New Zealand’s primary industries.


Cawthron New Zealand River Awards Announce $10k cash prize for Catchment Progress Award

The Cawthron New Zealand River Awards have announced that the 2021 winner of the Catchment Progress Award will take home a $10k cash prize.

Previously called the ‘Most Improved River’ Award, the renamed ‘Catchment With Most Progress Toward River Health’ Award also has new judging criteria that make the Award category more holistic.


HERA Foundation supporting the optimisation of welded connections

The HERA Foundation supports New Zealand seismic research through numerous grants. One of its most recent PhD scholarship recipients is Hafez Taheri, and his scholarship story underscores the benefits the HERA Foundation funding brings.

Hafez’s PhD topic is part of a wider research programme with the objective to optimise the design of welded connections as used in New Zealand in order to make fabrication more cost effective while ensuring adequate performance during severe earthquake loads.


Lincoln Agritech Welcomes Julia Chambers and Olivia Egerton to the Lincoln Agritech Board of Directors

Julia Chambers (Jules) has a background in advising and governing both major corporates and rapid-growth, early-stage companies. She spent over 25 years working in the pharma-biotech space internationally, initially with corporates such as Eli Lilly (UK) and Genzyme (US). She has significant experience in evaluating commercial opportunities and executing corporate transactions.


Olivia Egerton turns bold vision into reality. She has an aptitude for managing complex problems and thinking creatively. Olivia brings together diverse people to focus on a common vision and create enduring action across all levels of business, local government, community groups, and not-for-profit trusts.


Lincoln Agritech: Yiwen Zhou Wins an International Young Scientist Award

Dr Yiwen Zhou was recently conferred the Union of Radio Science Internationale (URSI) Young Scientist 2021 Award for his contribution to research on a vegetation scattering model and its remote sensing application.

The award was presented at the General Assemblies of URSI to recognise an international group of individuals who have made innovative contributions and discoveries in multidiscipline research related to electromagnetic fields and waves.


WineWorks supports industry research through BRI winery sponsorship

WineWorks has signed on with the Bragato Research Institute to sponsor the bottling room and bottling equipment for five years.

“Bragato Research Institute is an outstanding resource for the wine industry. We hope that supporting their work will contribute to key research outcomes which benefit the wider industry,” says WineWorks general manager Damien Gillman.


Aqualinc opens new Ashburton office

Recently Aqualinc celebrated the official opening of their new Ashburton office location, which was a great opportunity to catch up with clients and other contacts from the Ashburton District. Although Aqualinc have had a presence in Ashburton for more than 10 years, the new location consolidates their office-based and field operations under one roof.

Read more about Aqualinc >>

Mātai Research Fellow successfully defends PhD

Congratulations to Mātai Research Fellow Josh McGeown for successfully defending his PhD thesis “Towards a neurophysiological approach of managing sports-related brain injury”. Josh’s thesis focussed on advancing the clinical management of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI/concussion) based on advances in our understanding of the neurophysiological consequences of this injury. He presented his findings about the translational potential of neurophysiologically based assessment tools to assist clinical decision making in real world environments.

Read more about Mātai Research >>

Mātai Student Scholarship now open

The Mātai Student Scholarship & Mātai Holdsworth Māori/Pasifika Student Scholarships are now open.

The scholarships are open to secondary students in their final year of school, who are aiming to pursue a career in medicine, medical physics, medical sciences, or bioengineering.

The Mātai Holdsworth Māori/Pasifika scholarship was founded by Dr Samantha Holdsworth’s parents, Dame Bronwen and Dr Peter Holdsworth and is supported by Pultron Composites, a manufacturer of new materials technology products founded by the Holdsworths, internationally recognised for its achievements through a focus on research, science, and technology.

Applications close 20 September 2021. Details and application forms are available at:

New Zealand Brain Research Institute PhD student wins People's Choice

Congratulations to New Zealand Brain Research Institute PhD student Mohamed H. Zaky for winning People's Choice at the University of Canterbury Visualise Your Thesis competition for 2021.

Read more about the New Zealand Brain Research Institute >>

Cawthron researcher Jacqui Stuart awarded Antarctica New Zealand Scholarship for phytoplankton research

Cawthron Institute researcher Jacqui Stuart has been awarded the prestigious Sir Robin Irvine Doctoral Scholarships by Antarctica New Zealand to support her research into phytoplankton.

The award includes $20,000 to support Jacqui’s PhD studies and a research trip to Antarctica in late 2022.


Date posted: 15 September 2021

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