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Marion has a BHortSc (Hons) from Massey University and a PhD from Massey University. Her main research focus is the range and diversity of exotic woody plants held in botanic gardens and plant collections in New Zealand and the management and utility of that plant diversity. Marion now leads a research team on diversity and conservation of Rhododendron; a large genus with some 730 Red List species. Over 2016-18 Marion has published about 18 articles on Rhododendron conservation and, working with colleagues in London and around the world, is developing a global conservation strategy for the genus. She is also undertaking contract research to develop a conservation programme for the rare Rhododendron species held in New Zealand collections. This work follows-on from items such as participation in the Rhododendron Red-List conservation assessment panel (2008) and the award of the Peter Skellerup Plant Conservation Award (2009) and the American Rhododendron Society Research Award (2010) to the research team. Marion has given several international addresses on the New Zealand research, including the Global Conservation workshop for Rhododendron (2018) and the Global Botanic Gardens Congress (2014).
In a second project on utility of exotic flora in New Zealand, Marion ir part of a reserarch consortium investigating the diversity of Juniperus communis in New Zealand and the potential for development of a juniper 'berry' production system in New Zealand.
With respect to native flora Marion is involved in native forest restoration of the 350 ha Pukeiti Forest in Taranaki and in 2011 published "Plants of Pukeiti Forest" (585pp). A susequent project on regeneration of kauri forest at Limestone Downs in Waikato is ongoing. In 2013 she was appointed to the research team who is developing a seed bank for New Zealand flora (New Zealand Indigenous Flora Seed Bank) and Marion has contributed to the target species aspect of this programme. In 2012 Marion presented the annual Banks Memorial Lecture to the Royal New Zealand Insititute of Horticulture, covering her work on both native and exotic flora.
Over time Marion has examined theses and reivewed papers on topics such as endangered species, restoration, urban trees, urban wetlands, and impacts on native flora. She has also supervised or co-supervised Masters and PHD theses such as:
Marion's resarch focus is on the understanding and managing of plant biodiversity, both native or exotic plants, in natural or urban landscapes, and the management approaches that are needed to manage that resource. She has a combination of expertise in both native and exotic plants, and management processes that can be applied to a range of research topics.
Marion is a Senior Lecturer in Horticulture and Environmental Management who specialises in plant biodiversity and the conservation and management of plant-related aspects of the landscape/environment. Her current research examines the diversity of exotic plants in cultivation in New Zealand and their utility for international conservation programmes. The genus Rhododendron is the current focus; in 2017-18 Marion has been working with an international group to develop a global conservation strategy for this genus. Marion also studies New Zealand indigenous flora including native forest restoration projects and the target species programme of the New Zealand Indigenous Seed Bank project.
Resource Development and Management
Field of research codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000):
Conservation and Biodiversity (050202): Environmental Management (050205): Environmental Rehabilitation (excl. Bioremediation) (050207): Environmental Science and Management (050200): Environmental Sciences (050000):
Horticultural Crop Growth and Development (070601): Horticultural Production (070600)
Plant biodiversity and conservation
Ex situ conservation
Environmental or Landscape Management
Marion contributes to 121.103 New Zealand Environments, 121.212 Environmental Science Field Work I, 188.263 Environmental Science I, 21.312 Environmental Science Field Work II and 119373 Integrative Studies. Current supervision includes topics on urban trees, naturalised plants in New Zealand and seed banking of New Zealand plants.