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Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099 ext. 84874
I grew up at a farm on reclaimed land (5.5 m below sea level) in the Netherlands, where my family is involved in growing a range of arable, vegetable and flower crops both in- and outdoors.
I graduated with an MSc in crop physiology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. My PhD was on plant physiological functions of photoreceptors in tomato at the same university (supervised by Dick Kendrick/Wim Vredenberg/Maarten Koornneef).
I have a great interest in how light and plant hormones are controlling growth and development (e.g. flowering) in plant model systems at molecular biological, genetic and crop physiological levels.
I have worked in various laboratories at universities/institutes in the Netherlands (Wageningen University with Paul Struik), UK (Leicester University with Harry Smith/Garry Whitelam), USA (University of Georgia, Athens, GA with Lee Pratt/Marie-MIchelle Cordonnier), Japan (Frontier Research Program, RIKEN, Wako-shi with Akira Nagatani/Dick Kendrick/Yuji Kamiya) and Australia (University of Tasmania, Hobart with JIm Reid/Ian Murfet/John Ross/Jiim Weller; and NSW Agriculture, Yanco, NSW with Laurie Lewin/Mellissa Fitzgerald), before coming to Crop & Food Research in Hawke's Bay, which became Plant & Food Research, where my main focus was on vegetable production systems.
I have joined Massey University since early 2013 within the Agriculture & Horticulture Group of the Institute of Agriculture & Environment. I'm lecturing in Horticultural Production, and specialised in vegetable production.
I'm the paper coordinator of Production Horticulture (284.101), and I'm contributing to Horticultural Production Systems (284.201), Horticultural Crop Development & Yield (284.301), Molecules to Ecology (119.154), Decision Tools for Primary Industries (119.281), Integrative Studies (119.373) and Plant, Cell and Environment (120.217) and I'm involved in postgraduate papers: Vegetable Crop Science (284.701) and Fruit Science (284.702), and supervision of postgraduate students.
I like the outdoors and spend time on/off-track within Ruahine, Kaweka, Tararua and Urewera mountain ranges when possible, if not on a race- or mountainbike.
I have a strong background on how light and hormones are controlling growth and development in a wide range of plant model systems, like potato, tomato, pea, arabidopsis and rice. My PhD was on plant physiological functions of photoreceptors in tomato at Wageningen University (Netherlands). I have worked on various related molecular biological, genetic and crop physiological aspects in several countries since before coming to NZ to Crop & Food Research in Hawke’s Bay where I worked on mainly vegetable production systems. I have joined Massey University since early 2013.
Selection of publications:
Kerckhoffs, L.H.J. and R. Renquist (2012). Biofuel from plant biomass. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 33:1-19.
Renquist, R. and L.H.J. Kerckhoffs (2012). Selecting biomass gasification crops for the climate range of New Zealand. Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 11:77-131.
Kerckhoffs, L.H.J., S.Shaw, S. Trolove, M. Astill, S. Heubeck and R. Renquist (2011). Trials for producing biogas feedstock crops on marginal land in New Zealand. Agronomy New Zealand 41:109-123.
Kerckhoffs, L.H.J. and W. Smith (2010). Reaching distant rural Māori communities in New Zealand through successful research partnerships In: Proceedings of the 9th European International Farming Systems Association (IFSA) Symposium (held in Vienna, Austria), pages 321-329. Universitat fur Bodenkultur, Vienna (ISBN 978-3-200-01908-9).
Morton, A.R., S.A. Trolove and L.H.J. Kerckhoffs (2008). Magnesium deficiency in citrus grown in the Gisborne District of New Zealand (review). New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 36:199-213.
Weller J.L., S.L. Batge, J.J. Smith, L.H.J Kerckhoffs, V.A. Sineshchekov, I,C Murfet and J.B. Reid (2004). A dominant mutation in the pea PHYA gene impairs light dependent PHYA degradation. Plant Physiology, 135: 2186-2195.
Reid, J.B, N.A. Botwright, N.A. Smith, J.J.O’Neill and L.H.J. Kerckhoffs (2002). Gibberelllin levels and gene expression during de-etiolation. Plant Physiol. 128: 734-741.
Schultz, L, L.H.J. Kerckhoffs, U. Klahre, T. Yokota and J.B. Reid (2001). Molecular characterisation of the brassinosteriod-deficient lkb mutant in pea. Plant Mol. Biol. 47: 491-498.
Weller, J.L., N. Beauchamp, L.H.J. Kerckhoffs, J.D. Platten and J.B. Reid (2001). Interaction of phytochromes A and B in the control of de-etiolation and flowering in pea. Plant J. 26: 283-294.
Ross, J.J., D.P. O’Neill, J.J. Smith, L.H.J. Kerckhoffs and R.C. Elliott (2000). Evidence that auxin promotes gibberellin A1 biosynthesis in pea. Plant J. 21: 547-552.
Kerckhoffs, L.H.J., P.M. Kelmenson, M.E.L. Schreuder, C.I. Kendrick, R.E. Kendrick, C.J. Hanhart, M. Koornneef, L.H. Pratt and M.-M. Cordonnier-Pratt (1999). Characterization of the tomato phytochrome B2 gene and identification of the molecular lesions in two mutant alleles. Molecular and General Genetics 261: 901-907.
Lazarova, G.I., L.H.J. Kerckhoffs, J. Brandstädter, M. Matsui, R.E. Kendrick, M.-M. Cordonnier-Pratt and L.H. Pratt (1998). Molecular analysis of PHYA in wild-type and phytochrome A-deficient mutants of tomato. Plant J. 14: 653-662.
Kendrick, R.E., L.H.J. Kerckhoffs, A. Van Tuinen and M. Koornneef (1997). Photomorphogenic mutants of tomato. Plant Cell Environ. 20: 746-751.
Van Tuinen, A., C.J. Hanhart, L.H.J. Kerckhoffs, A. Nagatani, M.T. Boylan, P.H. Quail, R.E. Kendrick and M. Koornneef (1996). Analysis of phytochrome-deficient yellow-green-2 and aurea mutants of tomato. Plant J. 9: 173-182.
Kerckhoffs, L.H.J., A. Van Tuinen, B.A. Hauser, M.-M. Cordonnier-Pratt, A. Nagatani, M. Koornneef, L.H. Pratt, R.E. Kendrick (1996). Molecular analysis of tri-mutant alleles in tomato indicates the Tri locus is the gene encoding the apoprotein of phytochrome B1. Planta 199: 152-157.
Van Tuinen, A., L.H.J. Kerckhoffs, A. Nagatani, R.E. Kendrick and M. Koornneef (1995). A temporarily red light-insensitive mutant of tomato lacks a light-stable, B-like phytochrome. Plant Physiol. 108: 939-947.
Van Tuinen, A., L.H.J. Kerckhoffs, A. Nagatani, R.E. Kendrick and M. Koornneef (1995). Far-red light-insensitive, phytochrome A-deficient mutants of tomato. Molecular and General Genetics 246: 133-141.
Future Food Systems
Field of research codes
Biological Sciences (060000):
Environmental Sciences (050000):
Genetics (060400): Plant Biology (060700): Plant Cell and Molecular Biology (060702): Plant Physiology (060705)
I am a senior research scientist with 15 years’ postdoctoral experience in universities and research institutions in various countries (Netherlands, UK, USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand). My specialist areas of expertise are in crop biology - plant physiology, within a strong agricultural and horticultural context, and ranging from a solid fundamental to an applied/practical horticultural research focus, in both laboratory and field settings.
Since arrival in NZ (late 2003) with Crop & Food Research (Hastings), I have been also involved in on-farm cropping and sustainability programmes with solid farming community partnerships using innovative knowledge transfer strategies aiming to create positive change within a strong farming (vegetable/fruit production) systems context (and led several FRST programmes worth over 4M$ in that space).
Within the Sustainable Production Environment team at Crop & Food Research (Hastings) and Crop & Fruit Production Systems at Plant & Food Research (Havelock Nth), I have been involved in a wide range of projects and programmes. Significant research efforts focussed on rural-community based initiatives to improve and optimise land use (change) and new cropping strategies, some in anticipation of climate change (opportunities), using innovative tools and new protocols often developed through novel participatory research partnerships, where my ability to adapt, facilitate, and communicate science outcomes to support farming (incl Māori) communities has been successful. In this capacity, I have been involved in several fruit, vegetable and orchard production systems, with solid research experience and knowledge transfer strategies dealing with many crops, like potato, māori potato, kumara, maize, sweetcorn, tomato, onion, broccoli, apple, kiwifruit, tamarillo, feijoa, passion fruit, citrus, walnuts, forage crops, green-manure crops and recently some new/potential bio-energy producing crops.
Specific areas of expertise:
Fruit and vegetable production systems; Photomorphogenesis (phytochromes, cryptochomes, other photoreceptors); (Molecular) Genetics; Flowering; Plant Hormones; Plant Model Systems (tomato, Arabidopsis, pea, rice); Crop improvement and biotechnology; Science and (Māori) communities (participatory research approaches); Capacity building and extension in agricultural and horticultural (vegetable) industries; Crop biology (agriculture /horticulture); Plant physiology; Crop physiology; Horticulture; Agronomy
I have been involved in teaching of plant science topics at the Wageningen University (NL), University of Georgia (US) and University of Tasmania at undergraduate level, and have supervised many under/postgraduate students involved in BSc, Honours, MSc and PhD projects as well. I have also assisted in a Research Techniques course (based on GenStat) for post-academic researchers in the Netherlands, and have been a student advisor for the Agronomy program at the Wageningen University.
I'm a lecturer Horticultural Production within the Agriculture & Horticulture Group at the Institute of Agriculture & Environment (IAE) since arrival at Massey since early 2013