Dr Jill Stanley BHortSci (Massey), PhD (Griffith), has been announced as a new Companion of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, an honour that recognises outstanding leadership or eminent contributions to promoting and advancing humanities, science or technology in New Zealand.
Jill – who has served on the NZ Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science’s Council and as its president – has been involved in horticultural research since 1981
As Science Group Leader, Fruit Crop Physiology for Plant & Food Research, she is a leader in developing science, mentoring others and transferring knowledge that has contributed to the growth of the New Zealand and global horticultural sectors.
Jill’s research focuses on perennial crop physiology, primarily summerfruit, to improve fruit quality and tree productivity. Jill works in close collaboration with growers and industry bodies to ensure the science is applied and benefits the New Zealand horticulture sector.
An article posted by Plant & Food Research in May last year said:
Dr Jill Stanley doesn’t have an average day. One day it’s apricots, the next it might be blueberries. She might be checking on the state of stored fruit or juggling fruit samples during the busy harvest season.
The article said Jill, who is based in Clyde, works on a range of fruit crops.
Her team is based all around the country and specialises in understanding what happens to fruits as they develop on the plant and how to improve their quality. They also work on increasing crop productivity and sustainability of fruit growing.
“I am just passionate about the job. I feel I’m making a difference – to the fruit industry, to the experience of eating fruit, to fruit quality, to sustainability and to the returns to growers,” she says.
Summerfruit research is a big part of the Clyde team’s role, working closely with local growers and Summerfruit New Zealand, which provides some of the research funding. Summerfruit is still an important export earner for New Zealand.
Using science to improve fruit quality, taste, appearance and nutrition, the Clyde team has more than 20 ha of fruit orchards planted specifically for their own research. They also undertake research for the industry, including pest and disease control, and improving fruit quality and tree productivity.
Jill was elected to the Board of Directors for the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS) for a four-year term in 2014 having previously on the ISHS Council for 16 years.
A second companion of the society named today is Dr George Hooper, Principal, Maidstone Associates Ltd, who has shown outstanding leadership across the New Zealand energy and resource sectors and made major contributions to New Zealand’s natural hazard research.
His contributions are characterised by thought-leadership and communication on major engineering issues, and uniting stakeholders around new ways of doing things. His efforts have benefitted New Zealand and led to changes within the wider engineering profession.
Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi