Our People

The NZAGRC is staffed by a dedicated and enthusiastic team.

The NZAGRC Director, Operations Manager, Project Analyst, International Capability and Training Coordinator, and Administrator are employed by AgResearch on behalf of the NZAGRC, and are based in Palmerston North. The Deputy Director (International) and Operations Manager (International), also employed by AgResearch, are based in Wellington.  Read more about the NZAGRC staff

The NZAGRC team includes more than 50 highly motivated scientists and technical staff delivering high quality science. This team is led by 7 experts in their field providing science leadership and advice to the NZAGRC. Read more about the NZAGRC SLT 

The NZAGRC receives direction from its Steering Group who met quarterly and oversee the NZAGRC's performance against its strategic plan. Read more about the NZAGRC SG 

The NZAGRC receives expert advice on the relevance and quality of its research programme for the international and Maori communities. See more about our advisors page for more information.

Below are some profiles of Our People and the work they do. 

  • Science Profile: Louis Schipper

    18/04/19

    As one of the Principal Investigators leading the NZAGRC’s work on plants and GHG mitigation, Louis says there is value is listening to the thoughts of the men and women who actually work in the paddocks each day. “We decide on the...

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  • From the Director's desk - Mar 2019

    28/03/19

    The Centre is already well into a hectic schedule for 2019, with the MPI-commissioned review of our achievements over the last nine years having been concluded, and the New Zealand Agricultural Climate Change Conference (NZACCC) taking place in...

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  • Capability building - Maria Jimena Rodriguez Gelos

    22/03/19

    Plantain Offers Nitrogen Reduction Potential Research work conducted by Jimena Rodriguez Gelos may help provide evidence to support the belief that plantain could help farmers reduce the nitrogen load on their farms – an important part of...

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  • Capability building - Tessa Schmidt

    22/03/19

    Catch Crops Worthy of Further Research Continuing research into the field of catch crops as a way to reduce nitrate leaching -- an indirect source of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide -- is definitely warranted. That is the view of NZAGRC...

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  • Dr Peter Janssen, Principal Investigator

    18/03/19

    Dr Peter Janssen is the Principal Investigator of the NZAGRC-PGgRc methane mitigation programme at AgResearch, and co-ordinates and contributes to the different work streams developing technologies to reduce ruminant methane emissions. He has...

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  • Dr David Whitehead, Principal Investigator

    01/03/19

    Funding Brings Clarity to Soil Carbon Research NZAGRC funding over the last decade has improved clarity about soil carbon research and provided a structure for building a knowledge base both in New Zealand and the international scientific...

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  • Capability building - Dr William Talbot

    18/02/19

    William Targets Career in Scientific Research Support from the NZAGRC is helping William Talbot on his pathway to becoming a research scientist and continuing to help find ways of economically reducing the environmental impacts of farming....

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  • Capability building - Anne Wecking

    11/02/19

    Anne’s Fascination with Science Now Focusses on Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Fascination with the outdoors – a trait instilled by her grandfather – is still with Anne Wecking today, and is still driving her onwards in her work with soil...

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  • Science Profile - Phil Journeaux

    04/02/19

    Farming Has Always Been Part of Phil’s Life Phil Journeaux’s pathway to co-leading the NZAGRC’s Māori-focused research programme (with Dr Tanira Kingi at Scion) was set at an early age. Born and raised in the rural Central...

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  • Principal Investigator - Dr Cecile de Klein

    29/01/19

    Cecile’s Journey from the Sports Field to the Kiwi Farm Paddock Dr Cecile De Klein was captain of the Dutch women’s rugby team in the 1991 Women’s World Cup. Away from the sports field, her career path led her to become an...

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  • From the Director's desk - Nov 2018

    27/11/18

    It has been a hectic few months for the Centre, with a review of the NZAGRC’s achievements over the last 9 years , changes to our staffing and  a contract extension for NZAGRC for another year. The work of the NZAGRC has never been...

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  • Capability building: Dr Sam McNally

    01/11/18

    Raised on a beef farm and then a kiwifruit orchard, Sam McNally enjoyed science right from primary school and had a couple of great teachers at Te Puke High School which enhanced his interest in science. “Having grown up on farm/orchard I...

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  • NZ draws Ackim back from Africa

    30/09/18

    A love affair with New Zealand has drawn the NZAGRC’s new Post-Doctoral Fellow, Ackim Mwape, back to Palmerston North. Ackim was living in his home city of Lusaka, Zambia, when he was offered an NZAID scholarship to study environmental...

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  • Harry Clark

    09/07/18

    Dr Harry Clark MNZM, NZAGRC Director moved to New Zealand to study the impacts of climate change on pastoral agriculture after obtaining his PhD and working for MAFF in the United Kingdom.  Prior to leading the establishment of the...

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  • Andy Reisinger

    01/06/18

    Dr Andy Reisinger, NZAGRC Deputy Director (International) Andy is Deputy Director (International) of the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, where he focuses on international research and capability building to reduce...

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  • Applying maths to methane

    14/05/18

    What does maths have to do with methane? Quite a lot, it turns out, with a research project combining the disciplines of biology and mathematics—funded by the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre—set to boost...

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  • Getting to the bottom of a beneficial bacterium

    04/05/18

    Growing up in a remote village in India gave Dr Sandeep Kumar a first-hand understanding of the significant impact that farming can have on a society. Even the small-scale farms of his tiny hometown, where families might each have one or two cows...

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  • NZAGRC scholarship forges future international collaboration

    15/12/17

    Congratulations to Nicolas Puche who has successfully defended his PhD at Massey University. Nicolas came to New Zealand in 2012 on a scholarship funded by the NZAGRC - his doctoral thesis, ‘Detailed temporal modelling of carbon and water...

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  • Potential inhibition of urine patch nitrous oxide emissions by Plantago lanceolata and its metabolite aucubin

    12/12/17

    Gardiner, C. A., Clough, T. J., Cameron, K. C., Di, H. J., Edwards, G. R., & de Klein, C. A. M. (2017). Potential inhibition of urine patch nitrous oxide emissions by Plantago lanceolata and its metabolite aucubin. [Article in Press]. New...

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  • Recognition for world-renowned animal geneticist

    09/11/17

    A major force behind many ground breaking advances in animal genetics is being recognised with a Science NZ Lifetime Achievement award this month. John McEwan, a principal scientist at AgResearch Invermay, has devoted his career to genomic...

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  • Further international recognition for Andy Reisinger

    19/10/17

    The NZAGRC’s Deputy Director (International), Dr Andy Reisinger, has been invited to join an international scientific advisory panel that aims to address sustainable agriculture, food security and the impacts of climate change. Dr Reisinger...

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  • Anne Wecking

    22/09/17

    The opportunity to work with the Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) made it an easy decision for German PhD student Anne Wecking to move to the other side of the world. “It’s a privilege to work with a piece of technology like this—the...

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  • Congratulations to Dr Jack Pronger

    14/09/17

    Jack Pronger has completed his PhD defence to become a fully fledged scientist. Jack submitted his PhD investigating the water use and water use efficiency of mixed pasture swards at Troughton farm.  Jack has taken up a position at Landcare...

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  • Two vacancies at INRA Paris

    13/09/17

    Scientific Officer of the international research program on ‘Soils for Food Security and Climate’ 1 year position, based at INRA, Paris, France. The global initiative ‘4 per mil. Soils for Food Security and Climate’ of...

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  • New scholarship to support greenhouse gas research

    29/08/17

    A new $400,000 scholarship programme to build global expertise on climate change, agriculture and food security will boost New Zealand’s contribution to agricultural greenhouse gas research say Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett and...

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  • Do glucosinolate hydrolysis products reduce nitrous oxide emissions from urine affected soil?

    23/06/17

    S.F. Balvert, J. Luo, L.A. Schipper, Do glucosinolate hydrolysis products reduce nitrous oxide emissions from urine affected soil?, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 603, 2017, Pages 370-380, ISSN 0048-9697,...

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  • Dr Cecile de Klein: Principal Investigator

    16/05/17

    Cecile is an internationally recognised expert on nitrous oxide emissions from soils. Born and educated in The Netherlands, she came to New Zealand in 1995 following a postdoc in Cambridge, UK. As Principal Investigator of the NZAGRC she co-leads,...

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  • Professor Louis Schipper

    03/04/17

    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...

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  • Heather Went

    01/03/17

    Dr Heather Went, NZAGRC Operations Manager joined the NZAGRC in March 2010 from her role as a Business Development Manager at AgResearch.  Heather has a PhD in biophysical chemistry from Cambridge University and worked in London for a...

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  • Laura Kearney

    01/03/17

    Laura Kearney joined the NZAGRC team in March 2017 as Operations Manager (International), following two years contracting part-time to NZAGRC. Laura has previously worked for the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs...

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  • Sinead Leahy

    01/03/17

    Dr Sinead Leahy, NZAGRC International Capability and Training Coordinator Sinead joined us in October 2016 on secondment from AgResearch. Sinead supports the NZAGRC international team to deliver of its commitments outlined in...

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  • Comparative genomics of rumen methanogens

    01/01/17

    Li, Y. (2016). Comparative genomics of rumen methanogens, Massey University. Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry: 550. Abstract Methane (CH4) emissions from agriculture represent around 9% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The...

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  • Low spatial and inter-annual variability of evaporation from a year-round intensively grazed temperate pasture system

    01/08/16

    J. Pronger, D.I. Campbell, M.J. Clearwater, S. Rutledge, A.M. Wall, L.A. Schipper, Low spatial and inter-annual variability of evaporation from a year-round intensively grazed temperate pasture system, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment,...

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  • Potential for forage diet manipulation in New Zealand pasture ecosystems to mitigate ruminant urine derived N2O emissions: a review

    10/05/16

    Gardiner, C. A., T. J. Clough, et al. (2016). "Potential for forage diet manipulation in New Zealand pasture ecosystems to mitigate ruminant urine derived N2O emissions: a review." New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 59(3): 301-317....

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  • Camilla Gardiner

    24/03/16

    Camilla Gardiner moved to Canterbury from the USA at the end of July 2015. Originally from Seattle, Camilla has had a passion for agriculture since high school. "I spent a term at a farm school in rural Vermont in my third year of high...

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  • Sheree Balvert

    24/03/16

    Providing funding to students and early career scientists to increase capability in the agricultural greenhouse gas emissions mitigation research area and boost international collaboration is a key activity for the NZAGRC. The NZAGRC nitrous...

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  • KuDos to Aaron Wall of Waikato University

    24/11/15

    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...

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  • KuDos to Jiafa Luo of AgResearch

    24/11/15

    "Humbled and surprised” is how AgResearch Senior Scientist and NZAGRC Project Leader Dr Jiafa Luo describes his reaction to hearing his name read out as the winner of the Gallagher Agricultural Science Award at this year’s...

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  • Co-leader of breeding programme keen to make a positive contribution to farming

    15/09/15

    Dr Suzanne Rowe, co-leader of the NZAGRC-PGgRc programme to breed low methane ruminants, has always been passionate about farming. Originally from Devon, in the UK, she grew up in the city and left home at 16 to work on a horse breeding stud....

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  • Introducing Dr Jha

    12/03/15

    The NZAGRC would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr Neha Jha on recently completing her PhD and thank her for her contribution to date to the NZAGRC's nitrous oxide research programme. Neha's PhD study involved steep learning...

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  • Honours Student: Larissa Kingsbury

    14/08/14

    Larissa is in her fourth year (Honours) of a Bachelor of Agricultural Science in the  Agricultural life sciences (AGLS) department at Lincoln University. Larissa is supervised by Dr Rachael Bryant. Larissa is undertaking a...

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  • Masters Student: Olivia Jordan

    14/08/14

    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...

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  • Honours Student: Daniel Martin-Hendrie

    24/07/14

    Daniel Martin-Hendrie is a fourth year agricultural science student at Lincoln University. Under the supervision of Professor Tim Clough, Daniel is investigating DCD and ammonium in a lowland Canterbury Stream and what effect stream bed...

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  • Undergraduate Student: Martina Alvarez Camps

    19/05/14

    "My name is Martina Alvarez. I am 19 years old and about to start my second year of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland."   Martina spent the summer with Dr Carolyn Hedley and Dr...

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  • Undergraduate student: Alex Tressler

    13/05/14

    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...

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  • Honours Student: Bianca Dias

    07/04/14

    Bianca's Honours year was funded by the NZAGRC Student Scholarship Fund. For her Honours project, Bianca worked on diurnal fluctuations of nitrous oxide from the soil. She was supervised by Professor Tim Clough. Bianca was also a Future...

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  • Summer Student: Calvin Ball

    07/04/14

    Calvin Ball worked with Professor Jacqueline Rowarth, Professor Tony Parsons and Dr Susanne Rasmussen during the summer. The research Calvin undertook, to examine the way gibberellic acid could make plant growth and metabolism more nitrogen...

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  • Summer Student: Priya Soni

    07/04/14

    Priya  has a BSc in Biotechnology from India and came to New Zealand to study for a graduate certificate in Science and Technology specialising in microbial biotechnology. Priya's NZAGRC funded summer research placed her in Dr...

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  • Changes in denitrification rate and N2O/N2 ratio with varying soil moisture conditions in New Zealand pasture soils

    01/07/12

    Jha, N., Saggar, S., Tillman, R., & Giltrap, D. (2012). Changes in denitrification rate and N2O/N2 ratio with varying soil moisture conditions in New Zealand pasture soils In: Advanced Nutrient Management: Gains from the Past - Goals for...

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