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We are delighted to welcome Luise Schulte to the Biocontrol & Molecular Ecology team at Manaaki Whenua.
Image: Luise Schulte

Image: Luise Schulte

Luise joined MWLR in September 2023 as a researcher – plant pathology and is based at our Tamaki site in Auckland.  She will mostly be working on plant pathogens as biocontrol agents for invasive weeds in New Zealand.

Luise has a background in molecular biology and environmental ecology, with experience in genetics, data analysis and fieldwork.  She has spent time in Siberia, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast, working in multinational teams.  She completed her PhD in 2022, at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, in Potsdam, Germany. For her research she extracted ancient DNA, up to 50,000 years old, from lake sediment cores.  This was used to unravel the glacial history of larch forests and how they colonised Siberia after the last glacial maximum. Following her PhD, Luise worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the public health institute of Germany. Here she contributed to a project analysing infectious diseases in West African countries and sequencing selected pathogens. 

At MWLR Luise is currently working on the Chilean needle grass rust fungus (Uromyces pencanus) and is analysing data from the rural decision-makers surveys about future weeds of the productive sector. Luise is also developing informational material on weed biocontrol, using terminology and concepts from Māori world views to ensure they are meaningful and relevant to holders of te ao Māori. The purpose of these resources is to support Māori participation in decision-making processes and to facilitate more effective communication and engagement between councils and iwi and hapū involved in weed biocontrol consultations.