Women in Science at Massey University

Feb 11 is  the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Massey University is celebrating the growing number of our own women in science, both the early pioneers who were trailblazers in a then-male-dominated discipline, to the growing number of young women who are passionate about the sciences today.

The trailblazers

Enid Hills

Massey's first female student graduated with a poultry farming qualification.

Dame Ella Campbell

Massey University’s first woman staff member and the only woman staff member for many years, Dame Campbell was a dedicated and passionate botanist.

Paddy Bassett

The first woman to graduate from Massey with a degree (BAgrSc) in 1941. Most recently she was an honorary staff member at the Wellington School of Medicine and was collaborating in research into connective tissue change. 


Christine was the first woman to win the prestigious Rutherford Medal. A PhD graduate of biochemistry from Massey, she received the award for her outstanding achievements and discoveries in free radical biology.

Women in science today

Heather Hendrickson, microbiology

Dr Hendrickson's research group investigates how bacteria evolve, with an eye towards understanding what innovations we can expect from them in the future. Her research group and her undergraduate students also go “phage hunting” – isolating and studying novel bacteriophages from New Zealand.

eloise Jillings,veterinary science

Eloise Jillings' particular areas of interest are the haematology of New Zealand native wildlife and companion animals, urinalysis and urine testing. Most recently she has become interested in the issues surrounding veterinary education.

Associate professor jane Goodyer, engineering

Associate Professor Jane Goodyer specialises in manufacturing systems designs and has worked with companies such as Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin to improve their productivity.

Ngaio Beausoleil, animal science

Dr Beausoleil's doctorate is in animal behaviour, physiology and welfare. Her research explores various aspects of domestic and wild animal welfare including breathlessness in animals, novel methods for pain assessment and animal cognition.

Recent graduates


"I am currently a Product Development Engineer at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare where I work in the Respiratory & Acute Care division. My experience has involved research, design, development and manufacture of respiratory devices for Neonatal, Pediatric and Adult patients in Intensive Care Units globally."


"I have an awesome job at Leafnode, which I love. A smaller service-oriented company, our biggest client is an international charity whose purpose is to combat poverty by assisting resource-poor farmers increase the resilience and yield of their crops in marginal environments."


"A degree in chemistry from Massey University is held in high esteem internationally and it ensured that I was a competitive applicant for an exclusive and prestig­ious course at King’s College."


"While with DairyNZ, I concurrently worked on my Master of Science. I’ve had amazing opportunities, attending two international conferences, and even getting invited to speak about my research at one of these."

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