Researchers at the top of their fields elected as Fellows

Two Massey University academics have been elected to the Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi for their distinction in research advancement of science, technology or the humanities.

Professor Dorian Garrick and Professor Qiao Wang have both been announced as Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellows.

Professor Dorian Garrick and Professor Qiao Wang, both from the School of Agriculture and Environment, are two of the 34 new Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellows.

Being made a Fellow is an honour that recognises distinction in research, scholarship or the advancement of knowledge at the highest international standards. Fellows can use the post-nominal ‘FRSNZ’ after their name to indicate this honour.

Professor Garrick is recognised for his major research contributions to the theory and application of genetic evaluation for animal breeding. His work is recognised as remarkable not just for fundamental contributions to methodology but also for its national and international implementations, across a range of animal species. He has also engaged significantly with quantitative issues of plant improvement.

He is the chief scientist at the AL Rae Centre of Genetics and Breeding, which is named after the first Massey staff member to be honoured with a Royal Society Fellowship.

“Al would be proud that the work he founded combining math, stats and computing theory with knowledge of biology and genetics to create applications that allow farmers to manage sheep and cattle, that use fewer environmental resources to achieve the same level of productivity, has continued in his legacy.

“I am privileged to be part of that legacy along with my graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and that those endeavours have been recognised by the Royal Society,” Professor Garrick says.

Professor Wang is recognised for his contributions to insect science and plant protection. His internationally renowned research on insect behaviour and biological control has advanced understanding of sexual selection, cue-induced reproductive investment and parasitoid-host interactions, providing knowledge for the development of behaviour-based and environmentally friendly pest management measures.

He is also a world-leading authority on longicorn beetles. His discovery and introduction of parasitoids into the USA have successfully controlled an invasive longicorn pest there. He has developed expert documents and identification tools on quarantine longicorns for the Ministry of Primary Industries, and his expertise has made major contributions to a quarantine pest regulation for the European Union and provided scientific evidence for a World Trade Organization recommendation on international market access.

Professor Wang has been appointed to various national and international expert panels and committees. His research excellence has been ranked world-class several times by the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission and recognised by the Entomological Society of America Distinguished Scientist Award.

Professor Wang says it’s a great honour to be elected as a Fellow.

“I am very grateful for the major contributions of my students and colleagues from around the world and the platform and support of Massey University, which has made my research successful.”

Massey University Provost Professor Giselle Byrnes says the university is incredibly proud of the recently announced Fellows.

“Both Professor Garrick and Professor Wang are outstanding researchers in their fields and demonstrate research excellence at the very highest level. Research excellence is a key theme in our new university strategy and I sincerely congratulate our new Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellows.”

Professor Charlotte Macdonald FRSNZ, Chair of the Academy Executive Committee, said it was impressive to see the strength of Aotearoa New Zealand’s research communities in the cohort of New Fellows.

“The newly-elected Ngā Ahurei Fellows have made contributions to knowledge at the highest levels in their different fields and across disciplinary boundaries. Their election adds significantly to the breadth of knowledge held within the Academy and will support Te Apārangi to engage and inform New Zealanders on a diverse range of important topics.”

“The election process is rigorous and new Fellows can be rightfully proud to be recognised by their peers in this way. On behalf of the Academy and Society, I heartily congratulate all the new Fellows.”

The new Fellows will be formally inducted at an event in Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington on 27 April.

A full list of the recent Fellow recipients is available on the Royal Society website.