NZAGRC Science Leadership Team

The role of NZAGRC Science Leadership Team (SLT) is to play a key part in the development, implementation and monitoring of all of the Centre’s science programmes and strategies.  It consists of respected New Zealand-based researchers with excellent science credentials accompanied by strong leadership, communication, strategic and inter-personal skills with expertise in those areas of science covered in the NZAGRC Strategy and Science Plan.

Membership is agreed by the Steering Group and includes the NZAGRC Principal Investigators in addition to the NZAGRC Director and NZAGRC Operations Manager.  

Dr Graeme Attwood  AgResearch  
Dr Cecile DeKlein   AgResearch 
Professor Hong Di  Lincoln University 
Dr Robyn Dynes  AgResearch  
Dr Peter Janssen  AgResearch  
Dr David Whitehead   Manaaki Whenua


Science leadership & capability building 

The NZAGRC is committed to providing opportunities for researchers to be trained and work with leading experts in New Zealand.  Some students go on to continue their studies or enter a postdoctoral position under guidance from NZAGRC science leaders, other enter into industry based positions.

The NZAGRC supports more than 50 researchers and students by providing funding via its core research programme or via its student scholarships programme.

Below are profiles of our scientists and past students. 

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

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 Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 1-9.


Plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.), a forage used in grazed pastures, contains active secondary metabolites that could potentially inhibit nitrification, a key step in nitrous oxide (N2O) production from grazing ruminant livestock urine patches. A field study was performed to determine the effects of aucubin, a secondary metabolite in plantain, on nitrification and soil N2O emissions under a ruminant urine patch. Soils were treated with bovine urine (700 kg ha−1) and either a plantain leaf extract (PLE), which contained all extractable compounds in plantain including aucubin, or an aucubin solution (AS). PLE and AS were applied at the same rate of aucubin (47 kg ha−1). N2O emissions were reduced by 50% and 70% in the PLE and AS treatments, respectively; however, there were no significant differences in soil inorganic nitrogen concentrations when urine was applied with PLE or AS.

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