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Massey University Research Medal Winners

Massey’s University Research Medals are awarded on an annual basis to recognise and reward research excellence and impact.  They are one of the ways for Massey to acknowledge and honour our colleagues who have delivered high quality outcomes and whose work assists the University in giving back to the many communities we serve. 

We are proud to celebrate the work of our finest researchers, across a broad range of disciplines and academic fields.  Here we highlight the latest winners of Massey University Research Medals, for:

  • Individual (outstanding research contributions in a particular discipline)
  • Early Career (research potential and leadership of the highest calibre)
  • Supervisor (excellence in research supervision practice)
  • Team (outstanding research contributions by a research team)
  • Exceptional Research Citizenship Whaowhia Ngā Kete o te Wānanga (researchers and creative practitioners whose work has a high public engagement and impact value, and those who enable the creation and dissemination of knowledge through demonstrating exceptional research citizenship).

Individual Research Medal

Professor Jeroen Douwes

Research Centre for Hauora and Health

Professor Jeroen Douwes of Research Centre for Hauora and Health has been named the individual winner of this year’s Massey University Research Medal. The Team Medal goes to Professor Brett Gartrell and the Wildbase Research Centre Team at the School of Veterinary Science. 

The medals honour an exceptional body of research carried out by staff over a period of years. 

​​​​​​​Individual Research Medal

Jeroen is Professor of Public Health and Director of Massey University’s Centre for Public Health Research where he leads an internationally recognised progamme of research on asthma and occupational and environmental health. He has published 186 peer-reviewed journal articles and receives regular invitations to speak at international conferences. 

Since obtaining his PhD in 1998 he has been awarded over $20.5 million in competitive research grants as Principal Investigator and over $25 million as Co-Investigator. Most recently, Jeroen and his team won a prestigious Marsden Fund Council Award to investigate the links between asthma in young children in Aotearoa New Zealand and biodiversity.

He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, serves on the Board of the Health Research Council and the Board of the Environmental Protection Authority, and is a member of various international advisory committees including those of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Provost Professor Giselle Byrnes, Chair of the Research Medals Selection Committee says: “The award celebrates Jeroen’s very impressive research record, which demonstrates the highest levels of excellence and impact, and his high profile both nationally and internationally.” 


Early Career Research Medal

Dr Ruggiero (Rino) Lovreglio

College of Sciences | School of Built Environment

Rino’s area of expertise is fire and human simulation combined with building information modelling/virtual and augmented reality. He completed his PhD in Human Behaviour in Fire in 2016 from the Scuola Interpolitecnica di Dottorato, Politecnico di Bari, Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino (Italy).

Despite his relatively short period of being an active academic, Rino has already demonstrated a high publication track record in both volume and quality. He has published more than 40 journal articles and 20 conference papers. He is an Associate Editor for Safety Science and part of the editorial board of Fire Safety Journal and Fire Technology.

Rino has been active in securing small-medium research grants nationally and internationally. The latest one being securing funding from the prestigious National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US for a research project simulating evacuation from wildfire events.

​​​​​​​He is also involved in a group advising New Zealand Government in accelerating the implementation of Building Information Modelling in New Zealand and reviewing codes in New Zealand as well as a member in an Expert Panel advising the Italian Government on the development of new Italian Code for Crowded Events.

Dr Linda Murray

College of Health| School of Health Sciences

Linda is a critical scholar and community researcher, dedicated to research that improves the health of disadvantaged communities and changes the lives of people. Her PhD from Queensland University of Technology and postdoctoral research in Vietnam resulted in five peer-reviewed publications and one book chapter, significantly advancing the body of knowledge on common perinatal mental health disorders in low-and-middle income countries.

From 2015 to 2018 she was invited to be a chief investigator on two projects in Southern Australia, filling a significant gap in our understanding of how mental health and migrant settlement services can reach and support women experiencing violence. She has also contributed to clinical and methodological literature.


Linda has authored two Cochrane reviews on calcium channel blockers for inhibiting preterm labour which have been cited 221 times, and one is included in the WHO recommendations on interventions to improve preterm birth outcomes. 

Supervisor Research Medal

Distinguished Professor Nigel French

College of Sciences | School of Veterinary Science

Distinguished Professor French is described as a supervisor of the highest calibre for his dedication, integrity, warmth and supportiveness. He has supervised 41 PhD students and is currently co-supervising a further seven. He is dedicated to providing ongoing mentorship and career development for emerging scientists, many of whom have gone on to impressive careers in academia, international health and government bodies. Three of his previous PhD students are now full professors and three are associate professors. As one former student said: “Our university education system needs more supervisors like him”. The chief scientist at the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre, he was made a distinguished professor at Massey in 2018 and was the individual research medal winner in 2012.

Professor Patrick Morel

College of Sciences | School of Agriculture and Environment

Professor Morel is a national and international expert on pig growth and nutrition and was chief editor of the Journal and Animal Feed Science and Technology.  His combined expertise in biological animal systems and statistics attracts researchers at both junior post doctoral and doctoral research funding as project leader from governmental agencies, producer boards and commercial companies both in New Zealand and overseas. He has supervised 20 PhD and 39 other postgraduate students, a high proportion of them international students. Since joining Massey in 1990 he has obtained research funding of more than $5.3 million that has supported the research projects of those students, many of whom have become successful academics or researchers in New Zealand and overseas.

Team Research Medal

Wildbase Research Centre

Professor-Brett Gartrell with a Kea

Scientists from the Wildbase Research Centre have had a sustained and continuing impact on the management of native wildlife species and provide a scientific basis for community engagement with wildlife in New Zealand and globally.

This has been achieved by firstly, an outstanding portfolio of scientific investigations and research communications that have led the way in wildlife management, care and rehabilitation; and secondly, by building capability within New Zealand at community, industry, national and international levels to support these aims.

​​​​​​​Giselle says: “The team award recognises the Centre as a world class grouping of researchers with an outstanding portfolio of scientific investigations and research communications that have set the standard for wildlife management, care and rehabilitation. 

“The committee was also impressed by the team’s focus on building capability within New Zealand and internationally, positioning the Centre as a key learning and collaboration hub for wildlife conservation and management best practice.”

Wildbase scientists are providing timely and effective research programmes that address real-world issues in biodiversity conservation, wildlife management and emergency interventions. The Wildbase team includes:​​​​​​​

Professor Brett Gartrell
Professor B. Louise Chilvers
Professor Wendi Roe
Associate Professor Kerri Morgan
Associate Professor Maurice Alley
Associate Professor Laryssa Howe
Senior Practicing Veterinarian Stuart Hunter
Associate Professor Isabel Castro
Senior Practicing Veterinarian Megan Jolly
Dr Baukje Lenting
Associate Professor Karen Stockin


Medal for Exceptional Research Citizenship (Whaowhia Ngā Kete o Te Wānanga)

Professor Grant Duncan

School of People, Environment and Planning, College of Humanities and Social Sciences 

Professor Grant Duncan from the School of People, Environment and Planning, College of Humanities and Social Sciences has been awarded the Exceptional Research Citizenship Medal (Whaowhia Ngā Kete o Te Wānanga).

Grant has had a remarkable career as a public academic and “critic and conscience” over several decades and has a significant public profile as a commentator in the media. He has provided independent, expert knowledge and commentary through public engagement processes (especially in the media, involving political and electoral issues), and advocacy for critical public-policy concerns.  

He is sought after by media as a commentator on New Zealand/ Aotearoa political issues – especially around elections – and has also played a significant role within the university as the Academic Staff representative on the Massey University Council between 2009-2015.

​​​​​​​Recent achievements include Grant’s central role as the lead Massey researcher on the Stuff elections surveys in both 2017 and 2020, and his leadership and editorial work in producing the August 2020 Policy Quarterly COVID-19 Special Issue. The former is a very high-profile engagement, capacity-building and research platform for Grant, a number of other researchers, and for Massey as a whole, while the latter exemplifies Grant’s engaged and topical public policy research and outreach.

Previous winners

Individual Research Medal

Recipients of the Individual Research Medal

2019 | Professor Murray Cox

2018 | Professor Robert Jahnke

2017 | Professor Velmurugu Ravindran

2016 | Professor Marlena Kruger and Professor Tony Parker

2015 | Professor Glyn Harper

2014 | Distinguished Professor Paul Rainey

2013 | Distinguished Professor Sally Morgan

2012 | Professor Nigel French

2011 | Distinguished Professor Paul Moughan

2010 | Professor Geoff Jameson

2009 | Distinguished Professors Anne Noble and Peter Schwerdtfeger

Early Career Research Medal

Recipients of the Early Career Research Medal

2019 | Associate Professor Kathryn Beck and Dr Libby Liggins

2018 | Dr Krushil Watene

2017 | Dr Alexander Melnikov

2016 | Dr David Aguirre, Dr Jodie Hunter and Shannon Te Ao

2015 | David Hayman, Tanya Marriott and Natasha Tassell-Matamua

2014 | Lee Stoner, Philip Steer, Jane Allison and Jason Wargent

2013 | Mary Breheny

2012 | Karen Stockin, Sarah-Jane Paine and Max Schleser

2011 | Lara Shepherd

2010 | Murray Cox and Wayne Patrick

2009 | Aiqian Ye, Leigh Signal and Matthias Lein

Supervisor Research Medal

Recipients of the Supervisor Research Medal

2019 | Distinguished Professor Nigel French and Professor Patrick Morel

2018 | Professor Peter Kemp

2017 | Professor Dianne Brunton

2016 | Professor Kevin Stafford - Institute of Vet, Animal and Biomedical Sciences

2015 | Professors Regina Scheyvens, Martin Young and Nicolas Lopez-Villalobos

2014 | Professor Cord Heuer

2013 | Professor Steve Morris

2012 | Professor John O'Neill

2011 | Professor Emeritus Mike McManus

2010 | Professor Emeritus Ian Evans

2009 | Professor Hugh Blair

Team Research Medal

Recipients of the Team Research Medal

2019 | Joint Centre for Disaster Research

2018 | First World War Centenary History Research Team

2017 | Food Microbiology Research Team

2016 | Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre

2015 | Bioprotection Research Team

2014 | Centre for Postharvest Refrigeration

2013 | Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health

2012 | Health and Ageing Research Team

2011 | Sleep/Wake Research Centre

2010 | Sheep Research Group

2009 | Volcanic Risk Solutions

Medal for Exceptional Research Citizenship Whaowhia Ngā Kete o te Wānanga

Recipients of the Exceptional Research Citizenship Whaowhia Ngā Kete o te Wānanga Medal

2019 | Associate Professor Karen Stockin

2018 | Professor Barry Scott