Forest industry scientists recognised with awards

Friday 20 Oct 2017

The Forest Growers Research Conference was held this week. Forest researchers had a chance to celebrate their own when the Forest Growers Research awards were presented at an industry conference in Christchurch.

Carolyne Anderson of Scion Research won the Contribution to Science Award on Tuesday night for her work in managing the recording of tree growth measurements. As well as managing the Scion trial and data base, she managed the trials data base for many forest companies across the country.

"I'm an assistant research leader in the forest systems team, and I manage the permanent sample plots database for the company. It is a national database that stores tree growth data for Scion trials as well a for forestry companies. Nominators commented that the permanent sample plots data from across the forest estate was an invaluable asset and they were fortunate it was managed by Anderson. The database was described as world-class and the envy of many countries.

The Communication and Sector Engagement Award went to Landcare Research hydrology scientist Chris Phillips. Phillips was involved in forestry-related hydrology research for many years. He was involved in a project to better understand the contribution that riparian buffer zones played in mitigating sediment loss in waterways.

He was part of the Growing Confidence in Forestry's Future programme, focussing on how to minimise productivity losses from steep land and alternative forest management systems on steep erosion-prone land.

Richard Yao won the Innovation that Enhances Sector Value Award for his work as an economist at Scion. Yao specialised in identifying and measuring the economic value provided by forest ecosystem services. He has also been heavily involved in the development of the Forest Investment Finder, a GIS spatial economic modelling tool that enabled economic benefits from ecosystem services to be combined with wood production values at a forest, catchment or regional level.

The Science International Quality Award went to Plant & Food Research scientist Graeme Clare for his science allowing high-quality insects at the required life-cycle stage to be supplied for test laboratories. To do this on a large scale needed a team to develop insect breeding protocols in the lab and feed and keep the insects alive until required. Data from the research supported Ministry of Primary Industries in market negotiations with international trading partners.

Shaf Van Ballekom of Proseed, Amberley, won the Research Participation and Implementation Award for his commitment to supporting research through funding programmes and personal involvement over many years. Under Ballekom's leadership, Proseed has done research and innovation projects with work on radiata attenuata hybrids planted in cold parts of the South Island.

The Young Scientist Award went to Hunter Harrell of the School of Forestry at University of Canterbury. Harrell had made a great contribution to Forest Growers Research projects such as cable-assist harvesting and development and testing of the tension monitoring app, nominators said. He had also assisted many final year forestry students in their end of year projects.

Source: stuff.co.nz

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