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. 

  • Getting to the bottom of a beneficial bacterium


    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


    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


    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


    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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  • Anne Wecking


    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


    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


    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


    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?


    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


    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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  • Dr Peter Janssen, Principal Investigator


    Dr Peter Janssen is the Principal Investigator of the PGgRc-NZAGRC 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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  • 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...

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  • Comparative genomics of rumen methanogens


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    "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


    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...

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  • Introducing Dr Jha


    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


    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


    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


    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


    "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


    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


    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


    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


    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


    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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