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University of Waikato
The University of Waikato manages one of three NZAGRC Student Scholarship schemes (the others are managed by Massey and Lincoln universities) and has links back to the NZAGRC science programme.
Professor Louis Schipper talks about soil carbon
Louis Schipper talks to Bryan Crump on RNZ Nights about soil carbon. He talks about soil organic matter, soil density, nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur), land use and the ways we can store more carbon in soil to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmostphere without reducing food production.
Louis also talks about the 4 pour mille initiative and its challenge to increase carbon content of soils by 0.4% per year to offset fossil fuel emissions.
Listen (external link)
Professor Louis Schipper
Louis Schipper is a Professor at the University of Waikato who investigates soil biogeochemical processes at landscape scales and how they might be manipulated to achieve improved environmental performance while maintaining production. For the last decade, Louis has led teams determining changes in carbon stocks of pasture soils at paddock to national scales. This research demonstrated that while carbon in the majority of pastures on flat land was at steady state, some of our important soils had lost substantial carbon while hill-country soils have gained large amounts. These data have been central to developing a national picture of New Zealand’s carbon budget. They have also used micro-meteorological approaches to evaluate high-resolution fluxes of carbon at farm scales to identify practices that increase carbon stocks, generating in-depth understanding of climatic effects (e.g., drought, rainfall) and management impacts (pasture renewal, cultivation, new pasture species). Louis is an elected fellow of the New Zealand and American soil science societies with multiple awards from the NZ Society. He has published >130 papers (Scopus H-index of 36), supervised ~40 PhD/MSc students, and developed substantial soil and environmental resources for schools.
KuDos to Aaron Wall of Waikato University
University of Waikato technician, and a pivotal player in the NZAGRC-funded soil carbon programme, Aaron Wall was a winner in last month’s 2015 KuDos Hamilton Science Excellence Awards.
The School of Science Technical Officer picked up the top award in the Hill Laboratories Laboratory Technologist Award section.
Aaron spends much of his time expertly managing the Troughton farm site for the NZAGRC programme. Additionally, he also manages the access to the site for related research by AgResearch, Plant and Food Research and Landcare Research. His excellent relationship with the farm owners, and unsung heros of the whole operation, Ben and Sarah, enables everything to run smoothly.
On top of overseeing what goes on and when at the Troughton site, Aaron is a key part of the NZAGRC research team. He has made considerable novel advances in analysis of eddy covariance data, collation of non-CO2 data and pushed the team to collect additional data that are now proving to be crucial. Aaron is able to bring together deeply technical analysis tools with on-farm understanding and his colleagues feel extremely lucky to have him in their team.
Well done Aaron!
See Aaron in action here: https://youtu.be/qFYZ4R1f-RA
Masters Student: Olivia Jordan
Olivia with NZ PM Rt Hon John Key (Oliva is second from the left)
Olivia is conducting an MSc thesis examining root biomass of different pasture swards in a trial at a New Zealand industry research farm.
This work is aligned to an investigation of above-ground plant traits by Landcare Research.
Olivia is supervised by Professor Louis Schipper at the University of Waikato.
Olivia has a background in farming is very interested in finding a career in the farming industry.
Undergraduate student: Alex Tressler
Alex Tressler is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Waikato. He is currently in his final year of a BMS studying Agribusiness and Strategic Management.
Alex's recent NZAGRC research project was to examine the potential for effective economic policy in regards to soil carbon within pastoral agriculture in New Zealand.
"The research included exploration of foreign policy and initiatives as well as comparisons of our own proposals, whilst assessing the viability of these ideas based on academic literature and theoretical real world applications."
Alex plans to complete his BMS and continue working in agribusiness to "help maintain and improve our country's competitive advantage."