Forest Research Awards emphasise range of challenges in tree science

16 October 2019  

Joint Media Release with Forest Growers Research

Researchers in fields as diverse as nitrogen movement in forest soils, to the designer of a grapple on a helicopter to collect forest slash from vulnerable slopes, have been recognised at the Forest Growers Research Awards at Te Papa in Wellington (eds -Tuesday 15 October).


The annual awards ceremony is to acknowledge the science and technology contribution made to the forest industry in an increasingly demanding economic and environmental marketplace.
The award winners are;

Communication and Sector Engagement -
Dr Amanda Matson, Scion. Amanda’s skill set includes a great ability to communicate the research she’s doing on what’s going on under the ground in a pine forest, particularly the movement of soil nutrients.

Innovation for Sector Value -
Dr Graham Coker, Scion. Graham’s study is using foliar fertiliser applications to see what works to enhance tree growth and when it’s best to apply those nutrients.

Science of International Quality -
The Phenotyping Team from Scion and the University of Canterbury School of Forestry. This large team has been pulling together diverse science areas – such as genetics, remote sensing, computer modelling – to make huge world leading gains in finding, identifying, analysing and using the genetics of individual super-trees trees in Timberlands and Lake Taupo forests.

Research Participation and Implementation –
Hamish McPherson of PF Olsen. Hamish has been recognised for his development work on a helicopter slash grapple which is used to remove forest slash which has fallen near to waterways. This engineering is a significant development in reducing the risks of slash in rivers causing downstream damage.

Collaboration in a Science Team –
Loretta Garratt, Scion. Lorretta is the scientist everyone wants on their team according to her colleagues. Her work has varied from productivity trails to measuring nitrogen transfer in forest soils.

Young Scientist
Dr Stuart Fraser, Scion. Stuart is recent recruit to working in New Zealand to combat forest tree diseases, such as the threat of myrtle rust and dothistroma needle blight.

Some of the award winners featured last year on the television series Forest Call;
In Episode 10, Amanda Matson at 45 seconds in, Stuart Fraser at 17 minutes 13 seconds and Toby Stovold and David Pont (Science of International Quality Award) at 20 minutes 21 seconds in.

For further information;
Russell Dale, FOA Research Manager, ‘ph 027 493 8061
Stuart – 022 160 1097 – overseas until 19th October
Loretta - 027 296 7786
Amanda – 021 076 1924
Graham – 027 457 8381
Hamish – 07 921 1010

Individual photos available on request