Record number honoured in science awards
A RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN honoured for their achievements in the 2018 Forest Growers Research Awards, presented last month.
Eight researchers received honours for their ground-breaking work across a wide range of projects that will help improve, protect or support the industry in the future:
• Research Award for Communication and Sector Engagement went to Paul Millen from the Drylands Forest Initiative, a public/private research venture formed to promote the growing of durable eucalypt species in dry areas. Paul’s enthusiasm for the project has seen almost 1,000ha of trial plantings established for screening.
• Research Award for Innovation that Enhances Sector Value, presented to Scion’s Simeon Smaill, for investigating the potential of novel methods to improve the growth and vitality of Radiata Pine. He’s worked with forest nurseries to produce tree seedlings using reduced input of fertilisers and fungicides, which inhibit beneficial mycorrhizal fungi, thus reducing costs and lessening environmental impacts.
• Research Award for Science of International Quality, presented to a team comprising Jessica Kerr, Brooke O’Connor and Steve Pawson from Scion in Christchurch for their world-leading research in the Urban Battlefield Biosecurity project. This led to the creation of an ‘insect cyborg’ to improve the efficiency and speed of insect detection during an eradication campaign.
• Research Award for Research Participation and Implementation, made to Paul Adams, Technical Manager for Rayonier/Matariki Forests. He’s a member of the technical committee for the Growing Confidence in Forestry’s Future (GCFF) research programme, actively engaging with research that includes a mid-rotation fertilisation trial and a forest accelerator trial to boost tree growth.
• Research Award for Contribution to a Science Team, presented to Rebecca McDougal for her contribution to supporting the forest health team at Scion working on how diseases are diagnosed, using new molecular techniques.
• Research Award for a Young Scientist, made to University of Canterbury PhD student, Nurzhan Nursultanov, for research to replace Methyl Bromide log treatment using non-chemical electrical heating technology.
1: Paul Millen (left) receives his award from Forest Grower Levy Trust Chair, Geoff Thompson. 2: Scion’s Simeon Smaill (left) presented with his award by Geoff Thompson.3: Jessica Kerr (right) receives the award on behalf of her team from Geoff Thompson.4: Paul Adams (right) is presented with his award by Geoff Thompson.5: Rebecca McDougall, who was not present to receive her award.6: Nurzhan Nursultanov (right) receives his award from Geoff Thompson.