Massey awards five University Research Medals for 2021

Thursday 9 December 2021
Te Kāhui Toi, the team behind the recently opened Te Rau Karamu Marae are among this year's winners of the University Research Medals.

The team behind Te Rau Karamu Marae have been awarded a University Research Medal.

Last updated: Tuesday 22 March 2022

Te Kāhui Toi, the team of artist-designers behind the recently opened Te Rau Karamu Marae on Massey’s Pukeahu campus are among this year’s winners of the University Research Medals.

Individual recipients include Professor Shane Telfer from the College of Sciences, Professor Marlena Kruger from the College of Health, Dr Gabor Kereszturi from the College of Sciences, and Dr Trisia Farrelly from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The University Research Medals are the highest awards for research bestowed by the university. Each year the University recognises the outstanding achievements of staff in the categories of: individual, early career, supervisor, team and exceptional research citizenship.

Massey University Provost Professor Giselle Byrnes says the Selection Committee had a tough task choosing the medal winners considering the calibre of the field this year. “The recipients we have chosen align with our research strategy and our commitment to ensure that high-quality, productive researchers are valued and celebrated. We have such world-class researchers here at Massey who are making tangible impacts in their field, and these awards make good on that commitment.”

Nominations are considered by the University Awards Selection Committee, a subcommittee of the University Research Committee. The award winners will be honoured at an awards ceremony in March 2022.


Individual recipients (clockwise from top left): Professor Shane Telfer, Professor Marlena Kruger, Dr Gabor Kereszturi and Dr Trisia Farrelly.

Individual Research Medal winner – Professor Shane Telfer

Professor Shane Telfer is internationally recognised for his authoritative and innovative research in the field of metal-organic frameworks. Professor Telfer’s impact on the field of framework chemistry has been transformative, encompassing conceptual advances, new research domains, and real-world applications. He has standing in the scientific community as a leader, collaborator and mentor. The Selection Committee noted Professor Telfer’s commitment to growing science understanding in Aotearoa and his record of publications and research grants over a sustained period.

Supervisor Research Medal winner – Professor Marlena Kruger

Professor Kruger has established a significant research platform for postgraduate education, as well as providing a venue for research interns from other countries to learn, participate, and be trained in bone health research. Professor Kruger is currently supervising seven doctoral students as main or co-supervisor and has done so for 22 others, (14 as main supervisor and eight as co-supervisor), as well as 18 masters students to completion in the past. Professor Kruger has published 167 peer-reviewed journal articles since 2000. The Selection Committee felt that her nomination exemplified the meaning of the supervisor award, in particular her strong commitment to advancing the careers of her students.

Early Career Research Medal winner – Dr Gabor Kereszturi

Dr Kereszturi is an early-career researcher with expertise in earth, environmental and agricultural science. His expertise bridges the gap between discovery and applied science, with innovations that have cemented Massey’s reputation as a leading New Zealand university. Dr Kereszturi has already had over 40 peer-reviewed publications, just a mere six years on from completing his PhD. He is currently a Rutherford Discovery Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, where he is working to implement hyperspectral remote sensing into volcano monitoring for the first time. The Selection Committee noted his impressive career to date, including his significant external funding success and research leadership at national and international levels.

Team Research Medal winner – Te Kāhui Toi team

The Te Kāhui Toi team, led by Professor Ngataiharuru Taepa, have created a taonga on Massey’s Pukeahu campus. Te Rau Karamu Marae is a powerful demonstration of the ability of creative practice to disseminate new knowledge and technological innovation. It champions the extraordinary skill and talent of Massey’s Māori visual arts researchers and grounds the university’s commitment to mana whenua as a manifestation of its Tiriti-led ambitions. The Marae is a space where students can be physically and emotionally immersed in tikanga, mātauranga, and te ao Māori as an integral aspect to their learning. Each member of the team was selected for their expertise, which ensured that every facet of the marae induces the mauri and mana of Massey. The Selection Committee recognises the Marae as both an exceptional and distinctive world-class piece of art, and a highly successful collective and collaborative approach to working with mana whenua to produce creative practice research at the very highest levels of excellence.

The team comprises of Wi Taepa, Kura Puke, Saffronn Te Ratana, Hemi MacGregor, Maihi Potaka, Stuart Foster, Robert Jahnke, Israel Birch, Kurt Komene and Ngataiharuru Taepa.

Exceptional Research Citizenship Medal winner – Dr Trisia Farrelly

Dr Farrelly’s academic citizenship is recognised internationally and is transforming global environmental policy. Her international work includes a personal invitation to attend and be a speaker at the invitation-only Klosters Forum in Switzerland. Following her presentation, she was invited to join the United Nations (UN) Open Ended Ad-Hoc Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics in 2017. Since then, Trisia’s research contributions and additional support have been instrumental in guiding the path toward a legally binding plastic pollution treaty and the mandate for an intergovernmental negotiating committee at the UN Environmental Assembly 2021. The Selection Committee acknowledges Dr Farrelly’s commitment to driving real change in a challenging field, and the very real impact her research has had, and continues to have.