Prof Peter Kemp staff profile picture

Contact details +6469517845

Prof Peter Kemp PhD, MSc

Professor of Pasture Science

School of Agriculture and Environment

Peter is an active researcher in pasture science, agroforestry and agricultural systems and has supervised many postgraduate students from around the world as well as teaching pasture science at all levels. 


Contact details

  • Ph: +64 6 951 7845
    Location: 2.21, AgHort
    Campus: Turitea


  • Doctor of Philosophy - University of New England (1987)
  • Master of Science - University of Sydney (1984)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Evaluation of herb pastures (plantain and chicory) for their use in pastoral systems.

Agroforestry: Better understanding of the interaction between pasture production and poplar and willow planted for erosion control.


Future Food Systems

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000): Agriculture, Land and Farm Management (070100): Agroforestry (070501): Agronomy (070302): Crop and Pasture Production (070300): Farming Systems Research (070107): Forestry Sciences (070500)


Pasture science and production, evaluation of new pasture and forage species, agronomy of tap rooted forage species - chicory, plantain, lucerne, red clover, birdsfoot trefoil, silvopastoral systems, poplars and willows, grazing management and livestock grazing behaviour.

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 4 19
Team Member 0 5

Completed Projects

Project Title: Science-based Extension for Lower North Island Sheep and Beef Farmers

This is a 2-year project located at Riverside Farm that develops a new extension model based on high-quality farmer/scientist interaction and farmer-led networking. Building on earlier work by Massey's Farmer Learning Group, the project focuses on the use of perennial summer forages in dryland farming. The reconstituted Farmer Learning Group consists of a cross-College and interdisciplinary team of 12 Massey scientists (drawn from the Institute of Education, IAE and IVABS) working together with some 45 sheep and beef farmers from the eastern Lower North Island. Project leader is Brennon Wood and the team includes a newly-appointed Research Officer, Roxanne Henwood, and one PhD student. The extension programme features 8 day-long, science-based workshops to be held at Riverside, network surveys to collect local knowledge, an industry-sponsored Colloquium and an on-site Field Day.
Read Project Description Hide Project Description

Date Range: 2015 - 2017

Funding Body: Ministry for Primary Industries

Project Team:

Research Outputs


García-Favre, J., Zhang, Y., López, IF., Donaghy, DJ., Cranston, LM., & Kemp, PD. (2021). Decreasing defoliation frequency enhances bromus valdivianus phil. Growth under low soil water levels and interspecific competition. Agronomy. 11(7)
[Journal article]Authored by: Donaghy, D., Kemp, P.
García-Favre, J., López, IF., Cranston, LM., Donaghy, DJ., & Kemp, PD. (2021). The growth response of pasture brome (Bromus valdivianus phil.) to defoliation frequency under two soil-water restriction levels. Agronomy. 11(2)
[Journal article]Authored by: Cranston, L., Donaghy, D., Kemp, P., Lopez Campbell, I.

Teaching and Supervision

Courses Coordinated

  • 119.202 International Agricultural Production Systems
  • 119.203 Agriculture and the Environment
  • 283.701 Advanced Pasture Production and Practice

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Main Supervisor 2 27
Co-supervisor 6 22

Current Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • Nguyen Truong Thi Nguyen - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effect of plantain on milk production and nitrate leaching by dairy cows
  • Karin Van Der Walt - Doctor of Philosophy
    The ex situ conservation of Myrtaceae species, a response to Myrtle rust in the pacific region

Co-supervisor of:

  • Mansoor Altamimi Altamimi - Doctor of Philosophy
    Salt Leachate Measurement, Modelling, and Risk Assessment
  • Sam Wilson - Doctor of Philosophy
    Investigating the impact of abiotic stresses on the ability of plantain to reduce nitrogen losses from pastoral systems.
  • Bia Anchao Oliveira - Doctor of Philosophy
    Species diversity in pastures as a tool that provides pasture stability persistence and defoliation flexibility
  • Holly Phillips - Doctor of Philosophy
    Meat Quality and Fat Characteristics of Lambs and Steers Finished on Different Summer Forages
  • Nidhi Shrivastav - Doctor of Philosophy
    Improving weed control options for ryegrass/clover pastures that contain plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
  • Javier Garcia Favre - Doctor of Philosophy
    Agricultural function of Bromus valdivianus as part of New Zealand grazing systems

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • 2021 - Douglas Drysdale - Doctor of Philosophy
    Measuring change in farmers' self-efficacy within the context of managing perennial summer forage crops
  • 2019 - Ahmed Hassan Almuaini - Doctor of Philosophy
    Coupled Effects of Irrigation Management and Water Salinity on Date Palm Cultivars in the Hyper-Arid Environment of the United Arab Emirates
  • 2019 - Wafa Al Yamani - Doctor of Philosophy
  • 2018 - Fadhilnor Abdullah - Doctor of Philosophy
    Manipulation of canopy architecture and possible vigour control mechanisms in kiwifruit
  • 2017 - Noel Maldonado Garcia - Doctor of Philosophy
    Implications of tree management on poplar and willow pasture-tree systems
  • 2016 - Soledad Navarrete Quijada - Doctor of Philosophy
    Evaluation of Herb Pastures for New Zealand Dairy Systems
  • 2013 - Isaac Fandika - Doctor of Philosophy
    Comparison of heritage and modern crop cultivars in response to irrigation and nitrogen management
  • 2013 - Muhammad Naeem - Doctor of Philosophy
    Analysis of seed production traits in interspecific hybrids between Trifolium repens (white clover) and Trifolium uniflorum
  • 2011 - Rowland Tsimba - Doctor of Philosophy
    Development of a decision support system to determine the best maize (Zea mays. L) hybrid: Planting date option under typical New Zealand management systems
  • 2008 - Md. Islam - Doctor of Philosophy
    The sustainability failure of donor-supported organizational reforms in agricultural extension: A Bangladesh case study.
  • 2007 - Zaker Hussain - Doctor of Philosophy
    Environmental Effects of Densely Planted Willow and Poplar in a Silvopastoral System
  • 2007 - Bhoj Kshatri - Doctor of Philosophy
    Evaluation of Multipurpose Fodder Trees in Nepal
  • 2007 - Edmundo Viegas - Doctor of Philosophy
    Prospects of Sustainable Crop Production Technologies in East Timor.
  • 2007 - James Millner - Doctor of Philosophy
    The performance of eucalyptus species in hill country
  • 2006 - Zulkefly Sulaiman - Doctor of Philosophy
    Establishment and silvopastoral aspects of Willow and Poplar
  • 2006 - Andrew Wall - Doctor of Philosophy
    The effect of Poplar Stand Density on Hill Country Pastures.
  • 2005 - Victoria Burggraaf - Doctor of Philosophy
    The feeding value for dairy cows and the agronomic performance of white clover (#Trifolium# #repens# L.) selected for increased floral condensed tannin
  • 2000 - Naba Devkota - Doctor of Philosophy
    Growth of Pasture Species in the Shade in Relation to Alder Silvo-Pastoral Systems.
  • 2000 - Phillipa Nicholas - Doctor of Philosophy
    Environmental Factors and Management Factors as Determinants of Pasture Diversity and Production of North Island, New Zealand Hill Pasture Systems.
  • 2000 - Todd White - Doctor of Philosophy
    The impact of extreme climatic events on the ecology of grasslands.
  • 1999 - Aurelio Guevara-Escobar - Doctor of Philosophy
    Aspects of a Poplar-Pasture System Related to Pasture Production in New Zealand.
  • 1998 - Samuel Oppong - Doctor of Philosophy
    Growth, Management and Nutritive Value of Willows (#Salix# spp.) and Other Browse Species in Manawatu, New Zealand.
  • 1998 - Guangdi Li - Doctor of Philosophy
    Response of Chicory (#Cichorium# #intybus# L.) to Defoliation.
  • 1996 - Manzoorul Awan - Doctor of Philosophy
    Environmental and plant factors causing low legume seedling establishment following oversowing into drought-prone hill swards.
  • 1996 - Claire Pannell - Doctor of Philosophy
  • 1995 - Hossein Tavakoli - Doctor of Philosophy
    Physiological and Morphological Responses of Tall Fescue (#Festuca arundinacea# Schreb.) and Perennial Ryegrass (#Lolium perenne# L.) to defoliation
  • 1994 - Hari Krishna - Doctor of Philosophy
    Sulla-(*Hedysarum* *coronarium* L.) an Agronomic Evaluation

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2021 - Maria Rodriguez Gelos - Doctor of Philosophy
    Plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) as a natural mitigation strategy to reduce nitrogen losses from pasture-based dairy systems
  • 2020 - Martin Ladislao Correa Luna - Doctor of Philosophy
    Dietary crude protein and nitrogen utilisation in two contrasting dairy systems
  • 2020 - Iván Ordóñez Vásquez - Doctor of Philosophy
    Pursuing pasture tolerance and resilience through species with different functional traits and soil-plant-water interactions
  • 2019 - Philippa McVeagh - Doctor of Philosophy
    Prediction of soil Olsen P through mixed pasture leaf tissue biophysical and biochemical properties, topography and farm management in New Zealand hill country
  • 2016 - Lulu He - Doctor of Philosophy
    Drought Tolerance of Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium Perenne L.) and The Role of Epichloe Endophyte
  • 2014 - Lydia Cranston - Doctor of Philosophy
    Chicory (Cichorium intybus) and plantain (Plantago lanceolata); physiological and morphological responses to water stress, defoliation, and grazing preference with implications for the management of the Herb and Legume Mix
  • 2014 - Sharini Sinhadipathige - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Effect of Herb-Clover mixes on lamb performance
  • 2013 - Gonzalo Tunon - Doctor of Philosophy
    Improving the use of perennial ryegrass swards for dairying in Ireland
  • 2012 - Janice Rajendran - Doctor of Philosophy
    Nitrification Activity in New Zealand Soils and the Variable Effectiveness of Dicyandiamide
  • 2012 - Selai Letica - Doctor of Philosophy
    An investigation of the spatial distribution of N2O emissions from sheep grazed hill country pastures in New Zealand
  • 2011 - A.B.M. Arif Robin - Doctor of Philosophy
    Segmental Morphology of Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) : A Study of Functional Implications of Plant Architecture
  • 2008 - Clyton Moyo - Doctor of Philosophy
    Improving the efficiency of herbicide application to pasture weeds by weed-wiping and spot-spraying
  • 2007 - Dipti Pitta - Doctor of Philosophy
    Effects of willow (Salix spp.) browse upon ewe reproduction and rumen microbiology under drought feeding conditions
  • 2005 - Baisen Zhang - Doctor of Philosophy
    Modelling community productivity, species abundance and richness in a naturalised pasture ecosystem
  • 2004 - Carlos Ramirez Restrepo - Doctor of Philosophy
    Nutritional Studies on #Lotus# #Corniculatus# Containing Condensed Tannins to Increase Reproductive Rate and Lamb Growth under Commercial Dryland Farming Conditions.
  • 2004 - Eileen McWilliam - Doctor of Philosophy
    Willow and poplar as supplementary feed for ewes during drought conditions.
  • 2003 - Christian Hepp Kuschel - Doctor of Philosophy
    Legume abundance in New Zealand Summer-Moist and Summer-Dry hill country pastures.
  • 2000 - Ignacio Lopez - Doctor of Philosophy
    Ecology of Pastoral Communities in a Heterogeneous Environment.
  • 2000 - Stephanie Bluett - Doctor of Philosophy
    An Evaluation of the Nutritive Value and Endophyte Status of a New Perennial Ryegrass (#Lolium# #perenne#) Cultivar (Aries HD).
  • 1998 - Silvia Assuero - Doctor of Philosophy
    Mediterranean and Temperate Tall Fescues: Physiological and Morphological Responses to Water Deficit, and the Effect of Nitrogen on Winter and Early-Spring Field Performance Under Grazing.
  • 1996 - ~ Kusmartono - Doctor of Philosophy
    Nutritive Value of Chicory (*Cichorium* *intybus*) as a Special Purpose Forage for Deer Production.
  • 1995 - Seyed Mir Hosseini-Dehabadi - Doctor of Philosophy
    The effect of water stress on water relations, carbon isotope discrimination, and shoot and root growth of sainfoin (*Onobrychis* *viciifolia* Scop.) and lucerne (*Medicago* *sativa* L.)