23 Jan 2014

Agricultural scientists recognised in awards

5:44 pm on 23 January 2014

Scientists who have played key roles in advancing New Zealand agriculture have been recognised at the annual Association of Scientists awards.

The Marsden medal was awarded to Dr Barry Scott a professor of molecular genetics at Massey University.

It recognises his lifetime of science, research and service that has included looking at issues such as nitrogen fixing and the relationship between fungus and perennial ryegrass.

Dr Scott says his career has always been driven by his fascination with plant microbe symbiosis.

While he had many career highlights, Dr Scott says some that stand out were teaching his PHD students, and his roles on several boards in New Zealand that gave him a whole new view on communicating science.

"The four years I spent as founding board member of the Environmental Risk Management Authority back in the late nineties...that was very, very interesting and I learned an enormous amount. That involved public hearings and assessing implications for the release of new organisms and GMO's."

A team from LandCare research won the Shorland medal for its work over several decades looking at how pests spread TB.