Massey University Plant Sciences Staff

  • Associate Professor Paul Dijkwel

    Associate Professor Paul Dijkwel

    Associate Professor - Institute of Fundamental Sciences

  • Prof Andrew East

    Prof Andrew East

    Professor of Postharvest Engineering Within the Massey Agritech Partnership Research Centre - Massey Agritech Partnership Research Centre

  • Dr Kerry Harrington

    Dr Kerry Harrington

    Senior Lecturer in Weed Science - School of Agriculture and Environment

    Senior Lecturer in Weed Science, involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in weed biology and control, and also actively involved in research and extension about weed control.

  • Prof Julian Heyes

    Prof Julian Heyes

    Head of The Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology - Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology

    As Director of the Centre for Postharvest and Refrigeration Research I lead a large team of postharvest graduate students working to optimise fruit, vegetable and cut flower storage. Our group has significant external funding, in the general area of maintaining quality or predicting quality changes for perishable fresh products. My research interests have moved from my personal expertise in cell physiology to a more strategic interest in connecting science to growth of the horticulture sector based on novel, high-value niche products.  I am increasingly working on programmes relating fruit and vegetable consumption to human health. 

  • Prof Peter Kemp

    Prof Peter Kemp

    Head of School - School of Agriculture and Environment

  • Dr Huub Kerckhoffs

    Dr Huub Kerckhoffs

    Senior Lecturer - School of Agriculture and Environment

    I have a strong background on how light and hormones are controlling growth and development in a wide range of plant model systems, like potato, tomato, pea, arabidopsis and rice. My PhD was on plant physiological functions of photoreceptors in tomato at Wageningen University (Netherlands). I have worked on various related molecular biological, genetic and crop physiological aspects in several countries since before coming to NZ to Crop & Food Research in Hawke’s Bay where I worked on mainly vegetable production systems. I have joined Massey University since early 2013.

  • Prof Peter Lockhart

    Prof Peter Lockhart

    Professor - Institute of Fundamental Sciences

    My work concerns applications of DNA and RNA sequencing for ecology, systematics, biosecurity, ecosytem and public health. I am an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow and Fellow of the New Zealand Royal Society. In 2010-2012 I held a NZRS James Cook Research Fellowship which gave me the opportunity to investigate different applications of high throughput sequencing.

  • Dr Marion MacKay

    Dr Marion MacKay

    Senior Lecturer in Environment Management - School of Agriculture and Environment

    Marion is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management who specialises in plant biodiversity and conservation, and management of the plant-related aspects of the landscape/environment.    Her work on New Zealand flora includes native forest restoration projects, and the target species programme of the New Zealand Indigenous Seed Bank project .    Other research investigates the diversity of exotic plants in cultivation in New Zealand, their management, and their utility for international conservation programmes.  The genus Rhododendron is the current focus, and in 2009 Marion and her research team was awarded the Peter Skellerup Plant Conservation Award for this work.

  • Prof Cory Matthew

    Prof Cory Matthew

    Professor in Agronomy - School of Agriculture and Environment

    Specialise in ecophysiology of forage grasses working in cultivar improvement on issues like water deficit tolerance. Support a wide range of agriculture/environment, soils or natural history projects.  

  • Craig McGill

    Craig McGill

    Research Officer - School of Agriculture and Environment

    Craig Is a Research Officer in Seed Science and Technology with a research focus on seed of both introduced and indigenous plant species. Craig’s work on indigenous flora centres around seed conservation though ex situ storage of seed as part of the New Zealand Indigenous Seed Bank project, for which Craig is project leader. This work includes research into seed desiccation tolerance, storage and germination. Work on introduced species is looking at the transmission and viability of endophytes beneficial to the New Zealand pastoral sector in seed. 

  • Dr James Millner

    Dr James Millner

    Senior Lecturer in Agronomy - School of Agriculture and Environment

    Programme Director - Bachelor of AgriScience - College of Sciences

    Research interests

    Crop production: Yield and quality of cereal grain crops; forage crops including cereals, maize for silage and brassica crops; seed production of crop and herbage species.

    Farm forestry:Trees in sustainable hill country production systems.  Plantation manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) for production of high methylglyoxal (UMF) honey.


    Undergraduate:Teaching in the 283 and 119 series papers in the BAgriScience degree. Emphasis on crop agronomy, agricultural systems and trees on farms. As BAgriScience director I provide advice and guidance to students in the programme.

    Postgraduate:Supervision and teaching of postgraduate students at masterate and PhD level.

  • Prof Anthony Parsons

    Prof Anthony Parsons

    Chair of Grassland Science - School of Agriculture and Environment


  • Dr Gillian Rapson

    Dr Gillian Rapson

    Senior Lecturer in Ecology / Zoology - School of Agriculture and Environment

    I'm concerned about the state of our planet, and that we need to leave anything for future generations.

    I like the outdoors, and enjoy field work, and meeting new ecosystems and new plants.

    I'm fussy about details, and I like a tidy office and tidy files.

    I do a lot of science editing, and can red-pen anything (as my grad students quickly learn).

  • Associate Professor Alastair Robertson

    Associate Professor Alastair Robertson

    Programme Director for the Bachelor of Sciences - College of Sciences

    Associate Professor in Ecology - School of Agriculture and Environment

  • Associate Professor Nick Roskruge

    Associate Professor Nick Roskruge

    Associate Professor - School of Agriculture and Environment

  • Dr Terry Stewart

    Dr Terry Stewart

    Senior Lecturer in Plant Protection - School of Agriculture and Environment

    I am based in the Institute of Agriculture and Environment where I teach and administer several plant protection courses.  I’ve always had an interest in “active learning” facilitated with technology and incorporate this into my lessons.  From 2000-2012 all of my research has been in this area, and that period involved several years as a teaching consultant working for the wider university. However, I am now returning to my “roots” in plant pathology.  My current research involves assessing fungicide tolerance in Mycosphaerella graminis in local wheat crops.

  • Paul Stock

    Paul Stock

    Senior Tutor - Institute of Fundamental Sciences

  • Dr Vaughan Symonds

    Dr Vaughan Symonds

    Senior Lecturer in Plant Molecular Genetics - Institute of Fundamental Sciences

  • Dr Jennifer Tate

    Dr Jennifer Tate

    Senior Lecturer in Plant Systematics - Institute of Fundamental Sciences

    Our research focuses on understanding the nature of plant speciation and diversification using a variety of approaches.  We use molecular phylogenetics to test ideas of species relationships, taxonomy, biogeography, and character evolution.  We also use morphological and molecular tools to understand different evolutionary processes affecting plant speciation, including hybridization and polyploidy (whole genome doubling) and plant mating systems.  A recurrent theme of our research is to assess and understand the repeatability of evolution and its effects on morphological and genomic level traits.

  • Associate Professor Jason Wargent

    Associate Professor Jason Wargent

    Associate Professor - School of Agriculture and Environment

    My research is principally focussed on understanding plant responses to environmental factors within the context of increased sustainability and quality in crop production. My key interest is focused on the role of sunlight, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation in particular. Whilst plant responses to UV are numerous, comparatively little is understood regarding the possible exploitation of such endpoints to drive quality within modern crop production. Our research encompasses fundamental plant science, and the application of that knowledge through commercialisation pathways. 


Derek White 

Adjunct Professor in Plant Developmental Biology

Warren Williams

AgResearch Professorial Fellow in Plant Breeding

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