Scientists from AgResearch and Plant & Food Research are among the 23 new fellows elected to the Academy of the Royal Society Te Apārangi for their distinction in research and advancement of mātauranga Māori, humanities, technology and science.
- Dr Barbara Barratt, AgResearch; and
- Professor Nigel Perry, Plant & Food Research and University of Otago.
The society describes all new fellows as world leaders in their areas of research and scholarship.
More particularly, it says:
Dr Barbara Barratt pioneered internationally relevant research into the biosafety of introduced biocontrol agents for insect pests, which is now being widely applied domestically and internationally.
In the 1990s this was a new, contentious and complex aspect of applied ecology. A key example of impact is her contribution to the identification and biosafety assessment of a parasitoid wasp for biocontrol of clover root weevil.
Through her vision and determination, Dr Barratt has become a leader in the field, both in New Zealand and internationally. She now leads a major theme in a multi-agency research collaboration focused on border biosecurity risk assessment, in close partnership with the Environmental Protection Authority, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation.
Her significant research contributions led to Dr Barratt being elected President of the International Organisation for Biocontrol (IOBC) and she also is central to the IOBC Global’s ‘Commission on Biological Control and Access and Benefit Sharing’ which seeks to maintain freedom to operate in biological control practice
Professor Nigel Perry has contributed greatly to new knowledge on natural products, the diverse molecules that regulate many interactions in nature.
He is a world leader in understanding the impacts of production and processing on natural products in medicinal and culinary plants. He has discovered more than 80 previously unknown compounds from New Zealand native marine and terrestrial plants and animals.
Professor Perry combines excellence in fundamental science with a drive to create impacts through practical applications. He is an inventor on six patents, including an insect attractant in commercial use around the world.
He works with Māori on taonga organisms, combining mātauranga and science.
He received the 1994 NZ Science & Technology Medal for excellence and the 2013 New Zealand Institute of Chemistry Prize for Industrial and Applied Chemistry.
The new Fellows will be formally inducted at a mixed mode in person and online event in Wellington on 28 April.
Source: Royal Society of New Zealand