Structural biologist Professor Geoff Jameson has been awarded the Massey University Medal for individual research this year, while the medal for team research has gone to the Sheep Research Team.
Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Anderson says the staff members honoured this year are all outstanding achievers.
The medals are awarded in several categories each year to leading research scholars across the University. “The Research Medals give the University the opportunity to identify and celebrate excellence in research and scholarship,” Professor Anderson says. “A particular challenge this year was to choose the winners within the Early Career category because the quality of the applications overall was extraordinary.”
Early career medals were awarded to Dr Murray Cox of the Institute of Molecular BioSciences and Dr Wayne Patrick from the Institute of Natural Sciences.
This year’s medal for research supervisor was awarded to Professor Ian Evans of the School of Psychology. Professor Evans has supervised many PhD, Master’s and Clinical Doctorate students and has also established a vibrant and active environment for his research students to work in called CHERUBS (Children’s Environments: A Research Unit for Behavioural Studies).
Professor Jameson is director of the Centre for Structural Biology, and is one of the leading crystallographers in the world. Under his leadership, the centre has thrived with new x-ray equipment and high-field NMR spectrometers being added to the suite of techniques available in-house.
The Sheep Research Team, led by Professor Steve Morris, is based in the College of Sciences. The team has contributed around 170 years of work to the New Zealand agricultural sector on behalf of Massey University. Its members have published more than 800 refereed scientific articles in the fields of pastoral animal production, welfare and health.
Full list of medal winners:
Massey University Research Medal: Individual College of Sciences Research Award: Individual Professor Geoffrey Jameson
Professor Jameson is Professor of Structural Chemistry and Biology in the Institute of Fundamental Sciences. As director of the Centre for Structural Biology, the centre has thrived with new x-ray equipment and high-field NMR spectrometers being added to the suite of techniques available in-house. He is one of the leading crystallographers in the world and has a particular interest in dealing with problematic crystal structures. He was awarded a personal chair in structural chemistry in 2002, and the following year was made a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and was selected as the Royal Society of Chemistry Australasian Lecturer, a prestigious award given to very few New Zealanders.
Massey University Research Medal: Team Massey University Sheep Research Group
The Sheep Research Group, led by Professor Steve Morris, has contributed around 170 years of work to the New Zealand agricultural sector on behalf of Massey University. Its members have published over 800 refereed scientific articles in the pastoral animal production, welfare and health fields. This research has led to the improved reproductive efficiency of hoggets, improved lamb survival and growth rates, strategies to reduce the development of parasite drench resistance and a better understanding of the impact of farming practices on animal welfare. The group collaborates widely with researchers from institutions such as AgResearch, CSIRO, Peking University and the University of Copenhagen. Through sustained hard work and commitment to innovation, accessibility and excellence their impact on Massey University and on sheep farming systems around the world has been immense.
Massy University Research Medal: Supervisor College of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Award: Supervisor Professor Ian Evans
Clinical psychologist Professor Ian Evans has made an impact not just on his chosen profession but with the students he has taught over a career lasting more than 40 years. Professor Evans joined Massey in 2002, and was appointed to a full-time position a year later. For the next four years he was Head of the School of Psychology and during this time supervised many psychology postgraduate students, including Honours, Masters, PhD and Clinical Doctorate students. He has also established a vibrant and active environment for his research students to work in at the Wellington campus called CHERUBS (Children’s Environments: A Research Unit for Behavioural Studies). Former students have described this set up as being hugely beneficial to them by providing a collaborative approach to study.
Massy University Research Medal: Early Career College of Sciences Research Award: Early Career Dr Murray Cox
Dr Cox is a research fellow at the Institute of Molecular BioSciences. He works with Massey researchers to bring bioinformatics and statistics capability to a range of research programmes on fungal endophytes and pathogens. He is internationally renowned for his research into population genomics and statistical inference. The young scientist already has 28 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has wont a GW Lasker prize for best publication during 2008 in the journal Human Biology. He has acted as a reviewer for 14 journals and was recently appointed as an editor for Human Biology. He is a member of two Centres of Research Excellence, the Bio-Protection Research Centre and the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution.
Massy University Research Medal: Early Career College of Sciences Research Award: Early Career Dr Wayne Patrick
Dr Patrick is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Natural Sciences. This year, he was named Young biotechnologist of the year in recognition of his work into ligase enzymes. This research has led to the filing of two provisional patents for his research, which improves DNA ligase enzymes. He is principal investigator of two successful Marsden fund grants in the past two years; a fast start grant from the Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour panel in 2008 and a standard grant from the Cellular, Molecular and Physiological Biology panel last year. He has established a productive research laboratory at the interface of biochemistry and evolutionary biology and is currently working with four PhD students.
College of Sciences Research Award: Supervisor Professor Peter Kemp
Professor Kemp is head of the Institute of Natural Resources and Professor of Pasture Science at Massey University. Since 1985 he has supervised 45 successful PhD and Master’s candidates and 22 Honours and PGDip students. These PhD students have come from 20 different countries and a diversity of educational and cultural backgrounds. Many of his past PhD students have gone on to gain leading academic positions at universities around the world. Professor Kemp, in partnership with his postgraduate students, has published 48 journal papers, 61 refereed conference papers and 35 edited conference papers.
College of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Award: Individual Professor Stuart Carr
Professor Carr is Professor of Psychology, Industrial and Organisational Psychology Programme, at Massey University’s School of Psychology, Albany. Professor Carr coordinates the Poverty Research Group, and also co-convenes the Global Task Force on Humanitarian Work Psychology. He was also the lead investigator of Project ADDUP, a multi-country study of pay and remuneration diversity in developing economies. Professor Carr’s speciality is applying Industrial and Organisational Psychology to poverty reduction and his books are among the first to examine poverty reduction from this perspective. He co-edits the Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology.
College of Creative Arts Research Award: Individual Professor Dorita Hannah
Professor Hannah, who is director of spatial design at the Institute of Design for Industry and the Environment, is particularly renowned for a series of performance events designed between 2003 and 2010 by her in conjunction with choreographer Dr Carol Brown. These projects have been extensively published and presented through performance workshop, refereed papers, keynote addresses and book chapters. Her innovative thinking about performance space has been confirmed with her commission by the 2011 Prague Quadrennial to design the exhibition and public program for its international section on performance space.
College of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Award: Early Career Dr Beth Greener
Dr Greener is a senior lecturer in the politics programme at the School of People, Environment and Planning. She is recognised as one of New Zealand’s foremost scholars on security issues and has recently been involved with roundtable discussions on the forthcoming Defence White Paper. In the last two years she has participated in Asia New Zealand Foundation visits to Japan and China, and has helped advise the United Nations Police Division on doctrine development for international policing in peace operations. Dr Greener has also secured an enviable track record when it comes to generating research funding. She is a member of a team that won a full Marsden Fund grant for 2009 and is the primary investigator in an Asia-Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence contract for 2010-11.