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Informed by leading edge research from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives, Massey researchers have helped to positively shape lives and communities here in New Zealand and around the world.
The recipients of these awards epitomise our values of creativity, innovation and connectedness.
There are four award categories in the Research Excellence Awards section:
DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR NIGEL FRENCH
College of Sciences
School of Veterinary Science
PROFESSOR PATRICK MOREL
College of Sciences
School of Agriculture and Environment
PROFESSOR MURRAY COX
College of Sciences
School of Fundamental Sciences
Professor Cox is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the genetic history of South EastAsia and the Pacific. His landmark research has triggered major advances in our understanding of human prehistory across the Pacific region, particularly the effects of contact, interaction and adaptation, the nature and extent of genetic mixing between archaic and modern hominins, and the dynamics of social behaviour, language, kinship and genetics. Some of his major breakthroughs have included finding that Asia was at the heart of archaic human diversity, identifying sex biases in the genetic ancestry of the first settlers to reach the remote Pacific, reconstructing the migration processes by which Indonesians initially settled Madagascar, and quantifying for the first time how genetics, kinship and language interact and co-evolve. His work involves the reconstruction of the history of species, not from archaeology or language but from DNA, using complex statistical methods, computational tools and a highly mathematical body of population genetic theory.
He has been an investigator for four New Zealand centres of research excellence and is currently incoming co-director and a principal investigator of Te Pūnaha Matatini (hosted by the University of Auckland), a principal investigator at the BioProtection Research Centre (hosted by Lincoln University) and associate investigator at the Maurice Wilkins Centre (hosted by the University of Auckland). Since 2009 he has been awarded more than $10 million in external funding, including three back-to-back Marsden Grants. He was the Early Career Research Medal winner in 2010.
College of Health
School of Sport Exercise and Nutrition
Dr Beck is a registered dietitian and senior lecturer in human
nutrition and dietetics based at the Auckland campus. Her
research focusses on optimising health through nutrition,
specifically iron deficiency, sports nutrition, dietary
assessment, and dietary patterns and health outcomes.
She has received more than $2.2 million in competitive
external research funding, has published 39 manuscripts
in international peer-reviewed journals and has published
two book chapters, where she was first author in both. Her
research has been referred to in World Health Organisation
policy documents, and she has co-authored New Zealand
Ministry of Health Food and Nutrition Guidelines.
DR LIBBY LIGGINS
College of Sciences
School of Natural and Computation Sciences
Dr Liggins is an evolutionary ecologist who primarily uses
molecular genomic methods to address fundamental
questions in biodiversity and ecosystem science, and to
support local communities. Her main academic research
contributions have been in the field of ‘seascape genetics’,
drawing on population genetics, spatial statistics, and marine
Within five years of completing her PhD she has contributed
24 peer-reviewed publications, nearly half her publications
are in the top 10 per cent most-cited worldwide and she has
given 41 research presentations.
Dr Liggins serves on several international working groups
intended to advance theoretical and applied molecular
ecology via multidisciplinary collaboration, and leads New
Zealand’s participation in the Diversity of the Indo-Pacific
Network and coordinates the Ira Moana – Genes of the Sea
project, for which she won an international data stewardship
award last year.
College of Sciences
Institute of Natural and Computational Sciences
Based in the school of Natural and Computational Sciences,
Dr Stockin has acted as a change agent in matters concerning marine mammals. Her national and international engagement and capacity-building in emergency response and investigation with Project Jonah, the Department of Conservation and the International Whaling Commission, respectively, alongside her research impact and advocacy with Aotearoa Plastics Pollution Alliance, made her an obvious and deserving nominee for this new medal category based on research citizenship.
In her role as critic and conscience on matters relating to marine mammal welfare and conservation, and in the meaningful relationships with external partnerships
she forms, Dr Stockin has developed exceptional skills in public engagement. She is not only a strong conservation leader and welfare advocate of demonstratable impact nationally, but a true international ambassador for New Zealand.
Her sustained research service to the University extends to mentorship of prospective Rutherford Discovery Fellows and Early Career researchers (she won
the Early Career research medal herself in 2012), as well as her academic sponsorship of postgraduate students via the Australia-New Zealand Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.
JOINT CENTRE FOR DISASTER RESEARCH
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Psychology
The Joint Centre for Disaster Research team is part of the College
of Humanities and Social Sciences’ School of Psychology.
The medal recognises the centre as “a multi-disciplinary team with an outstanding national and international reputation” and for its “commitment of all team members to research excellence that connects with the wider society.” Highlights for the team this year included facilitating the first of a national series of workshops following the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva at the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi in Wellington. The workshops are aimed at connecting New Zealanders to global disaster risk reduction research.
The award entitles the team to a $25,000 grant for research this year. The team comprises team leader Professor David Johnston, Associate Professor Christine Kenney, Dr Raj Prasanna, Dr Emma Hudson-Doyle, Dr Denise Blake, Dr Jane Rovins, Dr Julia Becker, research officers Lucy Kaiser, Emily Lambie and Emily Campbell from the School of Psychology, and Associate Professor Carol Stewart and Dr Suzanne Phibbs from the School of Health Sciences.
2016 | Professor Kevin Stafford - Institute of Vet, Animal and Biomedical Sciences
2015 | Professors Regina Scheyvens, Martin Young and Nicolas Lopez-Villalobos
2014 | Professor Cord Heuer
2013 | Professor Steve Morris
2012 | Professor John O'Neill
2011 | Professor Emeritus Mike McManus
2010 | Professor Emeritus Ian Evans
2009 | Professor Hugh Blair
2016 | Professor Marlena Kruger and Professor Tony Parker
2015 | Professor Glyn Harper
2014 | Distinguished Professor Paul Rainey
2013 | Distinguished Professor Sally Morgan
2012 | Professor Nigel French
2011 | Distinguished Professor Paul Moughan
2010 | Professor Geoff Jameson
2009 | Distinguished Professors Anne Noble and Peter Schwerdtfeger
2016 | Dr David Aguirre, Dr Jodie Hunter and Shannon Te Ao
2015 | David Hayman, Tanya Marriott and Natasha Tassell-Matamua
2014 | Lee Stoner, Philip Steer, Jane Allison and Jason Wargent
2013 | Mary Breheny
2012 | Karen Stockin, Sarah-Jane Paine and Max Schleser
2011 | Lara Shepherd
2010 | Murray Cox and Wayne Patrick
2009 | Aiqian Ye, Leigh Signal and Matthias Lein
2016 | Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre
2015 | Bioprotection Research Team
2011 | Sleep/Wake Research Centre
2010 | Sheep Research Group
2009 | Volcanic Risk Solutions
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Last updated on Thursday 26 March 2020