The Garrick Latch Post Graduate Scholarship in Plant Pathology

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Closing date: 10/03/2019   

Dr Latch completed a master of Agricultural Science at Massey in 1958 after which he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship that led to a PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin. Returning to New Zealand in late 1960 Dr Latch joined the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and established a sub-station of the Plant Disease Division in Palmerston North. It was here that he assisted plant breeders to develop disease resistance in grasses and legumes and also used pathogenic fungus for biological control of pasture insects.

It was this work that bought Dr Latch to the attention of the Food and Agriculture Organisation which then enlisted his help to develop a strain of fungus to control the coconut Rhinoceros beetle in Tonga and Samoa.

Dr Latch also led the team at DSIR that developed a strain of fungus that is used to prevent insect infestations of ryegrass while not causing staggers in animals eating the grass. The beneficial Fungus is credited with increasing milk solids by up to 9%.

Work with the University of Georgia led to the discovery of a fungus in Morocco that was used to infect tall fescue which gave the plant resistance to heat - but did not make it toxic to animals - as previous fungi which imparted heat resistance had. Cultivars with this strain of fungus are now widely used in the USA and has also been introduced to Australia and New Zealand too.

Dr Latch says: "Throughout my career I found that the contacts I made while a student in the USA and sabbaticals overseas together with participation at conferences greatly assisted me with my research. This why I believe it important that students should have the opportunity to have overseas experiences as soon as possible."

The Garrick Latch post graduate scholarship in plant pathology

The Garrick Latch post graduate scholarship was established in 2017 to assist and encourage New Zealand post graduate scholars in the field of plant pathology to collaborate with overseas Universities and to travel overseas in order to broaden and enrich both their minds and their research.

1. Eligibility
- Candidates must be enrolled full-time for a PhD in Plant Pathology, Molecular Plant Pathology or a closely related field of study at Massey University
- The study must contain an element of overseas collaboration and travel of at least 10 months over the course of the programme
- Candidates must be New Zealand Citizens or permanent residents

2. Number, tenure and value of Award
The value of the award will vary each year depending on how much funding is made available from The Massey University Foundation - but is expected to initially be approximately $15,000 per annum - the sum growing with inflation each year.

Only one scholarship will be awarded each year. The recipient can expect to receive the scholarship again in each successive year (for a maximum of three years) if they have been progressing well with their study.

3. Selection Criteria
The scholarship shall be awarded annually on the recommendation of the Applied Academic Programmes Scholarships Committee provided the applications are of sufficient academic merit. Should no suitable candidates be available the committee may refrain from making the award.

Candidates may hold other scholarships concurrently.

4. Reporting
The Chair of the Applied Academic Programmes Scholarships Committee shall inform Dr Latch who has received the scholarship each year, and provide an annual progress report.

5. Payment
The scholarship monies shall be paid in two equal instalments, in May and November, subject to good progress being made with the recipient’s studies.

6. Failure to complete
Students who withdraw from their studies during the year in which the scholarship was awarded may be required to repay a proportion of the money awarded to them.

7. Applications
Applications close on the 10 March in the year in which the award is to be made. Application forms (ASSC.3) can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. Completed applications are to be sent to Dr Kerry Harrington, Alternatively, hard copy applications can be delivered to Dr Kerry Harrington’s office AH 302.

Application cannot be accepted before 10/12/2018.

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