Dr. Corinne Watts

Shining the spotlight on our iconic native wētā has been the heart of Dr. Corinne Watts’ scientific career. Her research into the impact of predators, biocontrol agents and habitat change on our native invertebrates has informed successful relocation of wētā to sanctuaries (such as Zealandia and Maungatautari Ecological Island) and restoration strategies for major infrastructure…

Te Kuwaha o Taihoro Nukurangi

NIWA’s Māori Environmental Research team, Te Kūwaha o Taihoro Nukurangi works alongside Māori communities to help them access and interpret the latest scientific data and tools, while respecting their unique knowledge systems. Te Kūwaha has worked collaboratively with iwi, hapu and councils to incorporate mātauranga into a number of catchment restoration programmes including strategies for…

SPACE Team

LIC has combined satellite imagery with computer modeling to take the hassle out of pasture management and improve farm productivity. Grass is the cheapest form of feed in our pastoral farming system. Farmers need to know whether they have enough to feed their animals or whether they need to bring in extra feed or use…

Andrea Soanes

Andrea Soanes is an innovative education leader and mentor, with 15 years experience in science and sustainability education. As Project Manager for the Science Learning Hub, she has positioned the Hub as the ‘go to’ place for quality science education resources and has strengthened relationships with key players in the sector. She has been instrumental…

Ruakura Plant Pathology Team

Using ‘bugs to tackle bugs’ Plant & Food Research have fought off some serious threats to our fruit and wine industries. When the bacterial disease Psa struck our iconic kiwifruit, Ruakura Plant Pathology Team developed screening tests and a new bio-control yeast, which is being launched to market this spring. In 2017, a Prime Minister’s…

Dr. Jonni Koia

Dr. Jonni Koia is exploring the potential of traditional Maori medicinal plants – rongoā rākau – as anti-diabetic agents. Completing her PhD in Queensland, Dr. Koia led a world-first study to identify the genes involved in pineapple ripening. This research discovered genes that could be used to improve nutritional and dietary intake of plant foods…

Michael S Kaplan, MD PhD

The world took a while to catch up with Dr Michael Kaplan’s evidence of adult nerve cell development. His trailblazing research in the 1970s challenged prevailing belief by suggesting that adults can grow new nerve cells. His theory is now one of the fundamental principles underlying rehabilitation programmes for those who have experienced a stroke…

Sarah Hailes

NIWA’s Marine Ecology team relies on Sarah Hailes to stay afloat. Moving from a focus on insects at SCION to marine macroinvertebrates at NIWA, Sarah has developed specialist skills in the collection and analysis of seabed samples as well as practical ones in boat mastery and maintenance, marine radio operation and first aid. The quality…

Dr. Brendon Gill

Just five years since completing his doctorate, Dr. Brendon Gill is recognised as a global expert for his efforts supporting the quality of nutritional formulas relied upon by society’s most vulnerable. His work proving the vitamin and nutrient content of Fonterra’s infant formula has been critical to success in a number of highly regulated markets.…

Dr. Tim Edwards

From HeroRATs to cancer-detecting canines, Dr. Tim Edwards is using the super-sniffing power of animals to save lives. While working for humanitarian organisation APOPO, Dr Edwards was responsible for the research behind the organisation’s HeroRATs – pouched African rats capable of smelling out landmines and tuberculosis. Now at the University of Waikato, he is continuing…