Food science, plant science and farm environmentalism recognised on honours list

A food scientist , a plant scientist and a farm leader involved in two of New Zealand’s National Science Challenges were among the people named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The New Zealand Order of Merit

  • To be a Companion of the Order:

Dr Kevin Raymond Marshall, of Wellington. For services to food science and technology.

Dr Marshall has made a major contribution to New Zealand’s food and bio-processing industries over a 60-year career.

His dairy career began at the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute, where he pioneered initiatives to deal with whey utilisation, helping New Zealand to become a world leader in adopting new processing technologies.

He became Chief Executive of the Dairy Research Institute and Group Leader Research and Development of the New Zealand Dairy Board.

He led an entity established by the Dairy Board to fund and participate in university research into milk and plant genetics. He was active in resolving complex technical issues between the New Zealand dairy industry and overseas importers and regulators and helped to elevate New Zealand’s status abroad.

He became a highly respected contributor to the International Dairy Foundation.

In his retirement, he has held governance or advisory roles with many entities and initiatives in the public and private sectors. These include the Primary Growth Partnership, New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre, Seafood Innovations, Foundation for Arable Research, Wool Equities, High Value Nutrition, Zespri, Synlait, Plant and Food Research, Plant Biosecurity CRC and MBIE.

Dr Marshall Chair of the Riddet Institute Centre of Research Excellence and of Food Industry Enabling Technologies, and a director of Bioresource Processing Alliance.

  • To be Officers of the Order:

Professor Emerita Paula Elizabeth Jameson, of Christchurch. For services to plant science.

Professor Jameson is a leading plant scientist working at the University of Canterbury.

Professor Jameson’s work has been notable in combining internationally recognised research on the regulation of plant growth with leadership across the wider biological sciences.

She was Chair of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour Panel, a ministerial appointee to the Independent Biotechnology Council, and Principal Moderator for Tertiary Education Commission’s PBRF 2018.

In 2004, she was appointed inaugural Head of the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) at the University of Canterbury. Through her direct leadership and mentorship, SBS became one of New Zealand’s highest ranked groupings of biologists.

She has been noted for her research expertise in physiological and molecular plant biology, her extensive list of publications, and her support supervising postgraduate students. Her key contributions include elucidating the myriad roles that the plant hormone group, the cytokinins, play in plant development.

She has undertaken major collaborations with the applied sector in areas of forage, seed production and fruit development, as well as researching the regulation of flowering of New Zealand’s indigenous flora.

Her achievements have been recognised with life fellowships from the agricultural, horticultural, and plant biology communities. Professor Jameson received the 2019 Marsden Medal recognising a lifetime of outstanding service to the science profession.

Mr Bruce William Massy Wills, of Hastings. For services to agriculture and the environment.

Mr Wills has made regional, national and international contributions to the agricultural sector and the environment.

Mr Wills has held key leadership roles in shaping and guiding the sheep, beef and wool industries, as well as in apiculture, horticulture and deer farming. He has led by example with his own environmental and farming practices.

He was National President of Federated Farmers from 2011 to 2014. During this time, he rebuilt the organisation’s membership and led the farming sector in a new strategic direction to address farming’s environmental footprint.

He was a past Trustee of the Todd Foundation, Hawke’s Bay’s ecological restoration and pest control programme Cape to City, and the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

He currently Chairs Apiculture New Zealand, Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, Motu Economic Public Policy Research, and the Primary Industry Training Organisation’s Transitional Board. He is a past Chair of the New Zealand Poplar and Willow Research Trust and the East Coast Balance Farm Environment Awards.

He is a director of Ravensdown and two of New Zealand’s National Science Challenges, Our Land and Water and Resilience to Nature’s Challenges, and a director of Horticulture New Zealand.

Mr Wills has represented New Zealand on international farming and trade forums as a Board member of the World Farming Organisation.

Source:  Department of the Prime  Minister and Cabinet


Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog