Dr Gradon Diprose
Dr Gradon Diprose has been invited to join the reference group for the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor’s project on food rescue and waste. To support other work addressing waste and emissions reductions, the OPMCSA is undertaking a major project on combatting food waste in Aotearoa. Gradon will contribute expertise on food rescue, based on research he has done funded through the Resilience to Natures’ Challenges National Science Challenge.
Weeds Biocontrol team
Our Weeds Biocontrol team has been much in demand. Dr Angela Bownes, Arnaud Cartier, Dr Amy Vaughan and Dr Ronny Groenteman gave webinars during the 2022 Biosecurity Bonanza in June, showcasing the latest biosecurity research being undertaken at Manaaki Whenua. The Bonanza, a virtual event, was attended by 961 people across the country, with 2,692 registrations across nine webinars, which were watched over 2,100 times either live or via the recording. Hugh Gourlay assisted with hosting the event. The team has also reached the finals of the 2022 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards, run by MPI.
Eco-index, a BioHeritage National Science Challenge programme, which counts Manaaki Whenua researcher Dr Rachelle Binny as a team member, has recently qualified as the first Digital Public Good from Aotearoa New Zealand. This qualification describes an open-sourced digital tool designed for public good. The Eco-index Biodiversity Dashboards can be used for monitoring the current state of, and changes in, biodiversity levels. They also allow for the correlation of those changes with economic investments being made to improve biodiversity outcomes. The tool has its foundations in Te Ao Māori concepts and is intended to aid decision-making for land managers across Aotearoa.