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School of Agriculture and Environment
Te Kura Mātauranga mō Ahuwhenua me Te Taiao
Our courses focus on the development of sustainable land-based primary industries, and on understanding and managing the geodiversity and biodiversity of New Zealand’s ecosystems.
The School of Agriculture and Environment’s research is focused on taking our primary industries (pastoral agriculture, crops, horticulture and forestry) into a sustainable future, and ensuring the conservation of our indigenous biodiversity and landscapes.
Meet our graduates
I decided to study at Massey University because I wanted my future to be open to working in a variety of fields, and this programme has helped me develop the skills to achieve that.Alexandra Egan
Massey master's student
Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management
Upon completion of my degree I found it very easy to get a job. There is high demand for agriculture students in general, but more so for rural valuation students.Cameron Walker
Bachelor of AgriCommerce (Rural Valuation)
I loved my experience at Massey University, keeping busy with sport, study and Massey Young Farmer’s Club. My time at Massey University gave me friendships and skills that will last the rest of my life.Courtney Hill
Bachelor of Agriscience (now Bachelor of Agricultural Science)
I already had an overview of the business but my study has meant I’ve gained a much deeper understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing it.Dean Tangiora
Diploma of Meat Technology
The lectures were well put together, and I found the topics really fascinating. Many of the courses are field work based and I loved being able to work in the outdoors.Ella Nisbet
Bachelor of Science (Earth Science)
The field work component of my geography studies greatly set me up for everything I do here (at Geotechnics). My company utilises a number of pieces of equipment that we learnt to use at Massey, helping me to step into this role quite easily.Goldie Walker
Senior Geophysical Investigation Specialist, Geotechnics
Master of Science (Geography)
The School of Agriculture and Environment is located on the Manawatū campus in Palmerston North. Our offices and teaching spaces are primarily in the AgHort buildings in the centre of the campus. The campus also plays host to Massey Farms – eight farms spread over 2000 hectares.
Accreditation and rankings
Massey's Dairy 1 farm is part of the Global Farm Platform, an international group for optimisation of grazing livestock production systems.Global Farm Platform
Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings.QS Ranking - Agriculture and Forestry
QS World University Rankings
Massey University’s environmental sciences programme is ranked in the top 250 in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).QS Ranking - Environmental Sciences
QS World University Rankings
Massey University is ranked No.1 in New Zealand for agricultural science by ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.ShanghaiRanking - agricultural science
Research centres and groups
Behavioural Ecology and Conservation Group
This group works to promote and implement collaborative science/mātauranga Māori-based research involving scientists, Māori/hapu/iwi, community groups, and landowners, that leads to the development of wildlife management techniques to support New Zealand conservation efforts.
Dairy Research Centre
This Centre consists of scientists, technicians and veterinarians with expertise across a broad range of dairy system and dairy animal research projects. We operate a commercial Farm Services Clinic. We also work with some other milk-producing animals including sheep and goats.
Farmed Landscapes Research Centre
Massey University's Farmed Landscapes Research Centre engages in teaching and research on soils, fertilisers and environmental issues in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.
Innovative River Solutions
The Innovative River Solutions Centre is a hub of expertise on river catchments and provides integrated solutions for the management of New Zealand’s dynamic river systems.
We have staff with expertise in several of the science disciplines within river catchments.
International Research Centre for the Management of Degraded and Mining Lands
Located in Indonesia, this centre aims to help restore land degraded by mining. Collaborative research is being carried out between Massey, a founding partner, and partners Brawijaya University, the University of Mataram and the Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The centre grew out of a research project started by Dr Chris Anderson investigating remediation techniques for mercury-contaminated soil using plants.
International Sheep Research Centre
The focus of the Centre is to advance the scientific knowledge of sheep production, husbandry, welfare, health, nutrition, reproduction and biology of sheep.
Joint Graduate School of Horticulture and Food Enterprise
Massey University and Plant & Food Research have jointly created this graduate school to offer students world class learning and research opportunities. Massey's teaching and research expertise is complemented by Plant & Food Research's focus on delivering for industry. Staff work together on research and in teaching.
Massey AgriFood Technology Partnership
The Partnership is focused on working with industry on research and development to provide relevant, leading-edge agricultural and horticultural technology. We have an active postgraduate student programme and provide site-specific consultancy.
Monogastric Research Centre
The Centre is an Australasian Centre of Excellence on monogastric species. Research focuses on feed evaluation, nutrition, husbandry and welfare. It provides a focal point for the New Zealand monogastric industries and has extensive international linkages.
New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture
New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture (NZCPA) creates practical land management solutions through the use of leading-edge precision technology tools. Whether you are an individual farmer or a large corporation or government agency, we offer relevant, leading research and site-specific consultancy to help enhance the economic and environmental performance of your land.
New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre
The Centre is a collaboration between Massey University, AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant & Food Research and SCION. It works to build capability in life cycle management (LCM) by providing education, training and research to LCM professionals to meet increasing consumer demand for green metrics on products.
Poultry Research Centre
The Poultry Research Centre (PRC)’s focus is industry-oriented research, contract research, training and education in poultry production. The Centre has an international reputation, particularly in the area of feed evaluation science.
We have excellent facilities for growth, production and metabolism studies of poultry and provide raw material chemical and bioassay services for local industries. We also have expertise and can help with on-farm layer monitoring, benchmarking and, research on animal welfare and husbandry.
Head of School
Professor Paul Kenyon
Professor Kenyon is the Head of the School of Agriculture and Environment. His area of expertise is sheep husbandry and undertakes a range of research at both the basic science and applied level. He has strong links with the sheep industry in New Zealand.Professor Paul Kenyon
Deputy Head of School
Professor Danny Donaghy
Danny studied Agricultural Science at La Trobe University Victoria then completed a PhD at the University of New England, New South Wales. He then became Dairy Centre Leader with the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, leading and managing Tasmania’s dairy research, development and extension.Professor Danny Donaghy
Deputy Head of School
Professor Jonathan Procter
Professor Procter manages Massey’s Volcanic Risk Solutions research group and has contributed to developing and leading national and international research that focuses on volcanic hazard, hazard detection and simulation, and works with communities to increase resilience to natural and environmental hazards.Professor Jonathan Procter
General Manager, Massey Farms and Horticultural Units
Allan has extensive experience in managing large scale agricultural corporate businesses nationally, incorporating both the dairy and red meat sectors. He is an active member of key industry organisations like the NZ Institute of Primary Industry Management with directorships including Tuatahi Farming Ltd and Landcorp Holdings Ltd.Allan Still
Head of Agriculture Group
Dr Janet Reid
Dr Janet Reid is a senior lecturer in agricultural systems. Her research interests range from governance of New Zealand agriculture and farmers knowledge cultures to the role of regional councils and agricultural extension and consultancy.Dr Janet Reid
Head of Animal Science Group
Professor Hugh Blair
Hugh lectures in animal breeding and genetics. His main research interests are improving the application of animal breeding and genetic technologies to the improvement of production and service animals in New Zealand; understanding developmental programming to improve production animal performance and the study of the genetic causes of diseases.Professor Hugh Blair
Head of Environmental Sciences Group
Professor Chris Anderson
A soil chemist, Chris's research focuses on the use of plants to extract, degrade or immobilise contaminants in soil. He has significant experience in the application of new environmental chemistry techniques to current science and technology problems.Professor Chris Anderson
Head of Wildlife and Ecology Group
Professor Murray Potter
Murray is the major leader for the zoology programme at Massey and is actively researching in the area of resolution to human-wildlife conflict. His work experience prior to Massey includes the New Zealand Wildlife Service where he prepared an early draft of the very first species recovery plan in New Zealand.Professor Murray Potter
Animal feed testing service
Massey experts provide a processed animal food testing service. We adhere to industry standards such as AAFCO for feeding protocoI testing (growth, maintenance and gestation/lactation) and AAFCO nutrient profile testing. We can provide detailed reporting on measures such as metabolisable energy determination, urine pH and other urinary and blood metabolite measurements.
Bug identification service
Massey scientists provide a bug identification service. Email us with your enquiry.
Pig production consultancy
Massey University is contracted by NZ Pork to provide technical advice and services to the pork industry. We run seminars and workshops, provide technical services and consult on environmental issues, animal welfare and industry analysis.
Seed Testing Service
We provide an independent seed-testing service offering a wide range of seed-quality assessment tests. We are accredited by the International Seed Testing Association and provide tests for clients including seed companies, farmers, research institutes, small businesses and individuals.
AviaNZ birdsong recognition software
Developed by Massey scientists this software program is easy to use and equipped with the essentials for spectrogram reading, analysis and manual annotation. You can download the software along with the user manual for free.
Guide to NZ Orthoptera
Research material on taxonomy, ecology and evolution of New Zealand wētā and other orthoptera such as stick insects, grasshoppers and crickets.
Guide to New Zealand soil invertebrates
Information on New Zealand soil and litter invertebrates, their diversity, biology, ecosystem role, and conservation status.
Guide to sheep health
The Sheep: Health, Disease and Production is a guide to sheep health, disease and production for veterinarians, farmers, farm advisors, and veterinary, agricultural and applied science students. The latest edition features the latest research and thinking on sheep health, disease and production and includes in-depth information on exotic sheep diseases such as Helicobacter abortion and Schmallenberg virus.
Invertebrate DNA Toolkit
As well as information on aDNA, transformational sequencing and next gen sequencing, data files from various projects relating to the DNA of invertebrates can be downloaded here for free.
Livestock production in New Zealand
The complete guide to the management of dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, deer, goats, pigs, poultry, horses and working dogs in New Zealand. Written mainly by experts from Massey University’s School of Veterinary Science, it is of value and interest to everyone from students to farmers, right across New Zealand’s agribusiness sector. Edited by Kevin Stafford.
The pollen database allows you to search for information on the morphology, pattern, location and shape of pollen from New Zealand and around the world.
Reintroduction specialist group
This a networking group for reintroduction practitioners worldwide, and provides guidance for re-introduction projects. It provides a set of guidelines for reintroductions, a reintroduction practitioners directory and other resources. Massey University leads this group.
A printed 'yardstick', this tool was created to show the relationship between seasonality, the height and yield of herb pasture mixes in the field and whether stock should then be grazing, or not. The stick aims to assist farmers' understanding of the management of 'new' forage pasture types.
The New Zealand Land & Food Annual 2017
The world needs nutrition-driven agriculture that operates within planetary boundaries. But a recent OECD report on New Zealand’s environmental performance shows how our agricultural sector’s continual push at those boundaries poses grave risks.
The Annual brings together over 30 experts to share ideas on how New Zealand can lead the way in determining robust policies, new solutions and best practice for sustainable food production and consumption.
Tāhuri Whenua - National Māori Vegetable Growers Collective
Massey staff are on the Tāhuri Whenua National Committee. This group represents Māori interests in the horticulture sector. Their website features information for growers, books, projects and contacts for regional activity.
Veterinary Clinical Toxicology
An excellent resource on toxicoses for veterinary students, practitioners, agriculturalists, diagnostic laboratories and libraries. Includes the latest references, new toxicities and an expanded section of poisonous plant plates in colour.
Need help identifying weeds? This database has detail on 70 of the most common weeds found in New Zealand, including how to identify and control the plant.
Wild Life New Zealand - book
Authors Steve Trewick and Mary Morgan-Richards explore the biology of New Zealand from the perspective of evolutionary ecology. The unconventional style informs in an accessible way about New Zealand species, their interactions and their origins. Recognisable focal plants and animals form the starting point in each chapter highlighting a different type of creature and different biological processes.
AHC teaching laboratories
Massey's Manawatu campus hosts one of the few multi-discipline teaching laboratories in Australasia. The labs won a Best Practice Award for Innovation at the Association for Tertiary Education Management conference in Australia and were shortlisted for the international UKS-Lab awards.
Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium (MPN)
The Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium houses more than 40,000 flora specimens.
The majority of our collection comes from New Zealand, but there are also many specimens from around the world. The majority of our material is from the North Island from the Volcanic Plateau, to Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki and south to Wellington.
Fenix Hyperspectral Imaging System
As part of the "Pioneering to Precision" PGP project with Ravensdown and the Ministry for Primary Industries, Massey University purchased a Fenix Hyperspectral Imaging System (Fenix). This is the only Fenix owned outside of the UK and Europe. Flown in a fixed-wing aircraft, the Fenix obtains images from over 450 wave bands including visible, near, short and infra-red. These form maps of nutrient content and concentration, pasture quality and areas of poor drainage, can identify species and cultivars and is used internationally to determine water quality and algae detection. The Fenix can cover large areas in short periods and enables surveys of previously-inaccessible areas.
Massey Botanic Gardens
This project is working to expand on Massey’s already expansive campus to create a botanic garden available for research, teaching and to the community across New Zealand and internationally. The garden will generate a wealth of information on restoration methods and the management of rare, threatened and endangered plants from around the world.
Working with industry and research partners, Massey Farms run research and trials in areas of significance to science, the industry and consumer. There are eight farms as part of the group, including conventional and organic dairy units, sheep, beef and deer breeding units and a mixed enterprise/grazing/cropping unit over 2000 hectares.
Massey Horticultural Units
The Massey Horticultural Units are Massey University's purpose-built facility to facilitate teaching and research in plant science and production. They are located on the Palmerston North campus.
As well as our students using these facilities for their learning and research, we work closely with industry who use the Units for research and development.
Currently the New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture has a quadcopter and an octocopter in the fleet. They are equipped with GPS, altitude control, telemetry, position hold and waypoint flying. Both machines were purchased and assembled by Aerobot in Australia and they run the Mikrokopter flight systems, based in Germany. The quadcopter has a maximum payload of 1kg and the octocopter can technically lift 5kg, but for a decent flight time a maximum payload of 2.5-3 kg is more suitable. The quadcopter has a maximum flight range of 250m from the start point whereas the octocopter has the commercial licence GPS and can fly 1000m from the start point.
New Zealand Indigenous Flora Seed Bank
The New Zealand Indigenous Flora Seed Bank (NZIFSB) aims to collect the seeds of New Zealand flora, to conserve the biodiversity within New Zealand’s indigenous flora. Seed banking is a recognised conservation strategy to support in-situ conservation efforts.
Palynology is the science of pollen. It brings together aspects of geography, earth science, plant biology and ecology.
Massey operates a world-class palynology laboratory for pollen analysis, where we have developed the Classifynder, a holistic automated pollen imaging and classification system.
The Trimble fixed-wing UX5 is launched via slingshot off a rail and flies on an automated flight path (set by the user). It takes visible or near-infrared photos which are knitted together to create a mosaic of the sampled area. When the flight is completed, the UX5 will land automatically once the cue from the pilot is given. The UX5 is most useful for obtaining clear, accurate images and contours of an area, and for generating 3D imagery. It also provides a very accurate Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the area. The camera mounts inside the hull of the UX5 and take two photos per second.
Associate Professor Georg Zellmer was awarded $832,000 from the Royal Society's Marsden Fund for the project 'Water in spinel: a robust hygrometer for the Earth and Planetary Sciences'.Royal Society Te Apārangi, Associate Professor Georg Zellmer
Marsden funding for earth sciences technology research
Associate Professor Gert Lube received $948,000 for research using Massey University's pyroclastic flow eruption simulator facility to investigate pyroclastic density currents.Royal Society Te Apārangi, Associate Professor Gert Lube
Marsden funding for research into pyroclastic density currents
Dr Carl Mesarich was awarded $300,000 from the Royal Society's Marsden Fund for the research project 'Making the switch: cell surface modifications that enable plant-pathogenic fungi to differentiate and maintain infection-related cellular morphotypes during host colonization'Royal Society Te Apārangi, Dr Carl Mesarich
Marsden funding for cell surface modification project
Dr Gabor Kereszturi was awarded $999,000 from the 2018 Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund for his project 'Assessing New Zealand’s environmental and mineral indicators using air- and spaceborne hyperspectral imaging'.
Dr Gillian Gibb was awarded $300,000 from the Royal Society's Marsden Fund for the research project 'Why fly when you can walk? Genetic pathways to flightlessness'.Royal Society Te Apārangi, Dr Gillian Gibb
Marsden funding for flightlessness research
Dr Luke Fullard was awarded $300,000 from the Royal Society's Marsden Fund for the research project 'Understanding friction in granular mixtures: an experimental and modelling study'.Royal Society Te Apārangi, Dr Luke Fullard
Marsden funding for granular mixture research
Massey alumna Erin Atkinson was named Horticulture New Zealand's Young Fruit Grower of the Year for 2017.Horticulture New Zealand, Erin Atkinson
Massey alumna named Young Fruit Grower of the Year
Professor Doug Armstrong was awarded $870,000 from the Royal Society's Marsden Fund for the project 'Is individual variation relevant to population dynamics?'Royal Society Te Apārangi, Professor Doug Armstrong
Marsden funding for population dynamics research
Professor Ian Yule was named the president-elect for the International Society of Precision Agriculture from 2018 to 2020. The society is a non-profit professional body with a mission to advance the science of precision agriculture globally.International Society of Precision Agriculture, Professor Ian Yule
Precision agriculture presidency for Massey professor
This award recognises individual achievement in animal production in New Zealand or in the New Zealand Society of Animal Production within a five-year time frame.New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Professor Nicolas Lopez-Villalobos
McMeekan Memorial Award