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Steven Joyce

19 November, 2012

2012 Rutherford Discovery Fellowships announced

Ten of New Zealand’s top up-and-coming researchers have been awarded Rutherford Discovery Fellowships this year, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced.

The 2012 Fellowships, funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand, will see more than $9 million invested to support the selected scientists over the next five years.

“High-quality research is the cornerstone of innovation and key to growing our economy. To achieve this, we need to foster New Zealand’s future science and innovation leaders,” Mr Joyce says.

“The scheme aims to help accelerate the development of researchers who have been recognised for excellence within their respective disciplines.”

“The Rutherford Discovery Fellowships support these top emerging researchers early in their careers, help them build a track record of outstanding research and develop their potential to become world-class.”

“The successful researchers work in areas across the science spectrum, from ecology to nanotechnology and the genetics behind autism. I’ve been impressed by the calibre of this year’s recipients and I’m sure they will go on to make valuable contributions to New Zealand over the coming years.”

The 2012 Rutherford Discovery Fellowship recipients are:

  • Dr MW Allen, University of Canterbury, for research entitled: “Ultraviolet Vision – New Frontiers in Health and Technology.”
  • Dr BJ Anderson, James Cook University, for research entitled: “Battlegrounds and safe havens: disentangling the roles of ecology and evolution in the response of biological communities to climate change.”
  • Dr JC Jacobsen, The University of Auckland, for research entitled: “Autism Spectrum Disorder: Hunting for therapeutic targets using genetics.”
  • Dr PD Mace, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, for research entitled: “Molecular signalling mechanisms at the interface between cellular life and death.”
  • Dr CJ Montelle, University of Canterbury, for research entitled: “New Perspectives on the History of the Exact Sciences in Second Millennium Sanskrit Sources.”
  • Dr S Nakagawa, University of Otago, for research entitled: “Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding the maintenance of biological variation.”
  • Dr NJ Rattenbury, The University of Auckland, for research entitled: “Toward Earth-II: Completing the Census of Extra-solar Planets in the Galaxy.”
  • Dr LD Shepherd, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, for research entitled: “Human-induced evolutionary processes on a recently colonised landmass: incipient domestication and spatial dynamics of species’ declines.”
  • Dr GR Willmott, Industrial Research Ltd, for research entitled: “The Nanofluidic Plumber: Submicron Transport in Liquids.”
  • Dr TBF Woodfield, University of Otago, Christchurch, for research entitled: “New frontiers in musculoskeletal regenerative medicine: biofabrication of cartilage and bone for entire joint resurfacing.”

The Rutherford Discovery Fellowships are open to researchers within three to eight years of having completed their PhD. The scheme was first established in 2010 and ten new fellows are chosen every year.

By 2015 there will be about fifty fellows at any one time with an on-going Government investment of $9m each year.

  • Steven Joyce
  • Science and Innovation