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Guest lecture

The Role of Science in New Zealand's Innovative Future

Event series: 

Dr Jacqueline Rowarth

University of Melbourne

Dr Jacqueline Rowarth has been the Director, Office for Environmental Programs, The University of Melbourne since April, and is a Board Member of Crop and Food Research. She was President of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Science Council from 2000 – 2003. Jacqueline obtained an Agricultural Science degree with first class honours in Agronomy, has a PhD in Soil Science from Massey University (given the Morice Fieldes award by the NZ Society of Soil Science for ‘exceptional merit’), worked in Plant Improvement with AgResearch for 6 years and then taught Plant Science at Lincoln University for 6 years. Throughout her career she has been an active scientist, with a strong commitment to technology transfer. She has also been dedicated to promoting awareness of science and the importance of research to schools, interest groups and society in general. For her work in all these areas, she received the Zonta Award for excellence in science in 1994, a New Zealand Science and Technology Medal in 1997 and in 2001 was elected as a Companion of the Royal Society of NZ, recognising ‘pre-eminence in the promotion of science and technology’. In 2003 she was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural Science in recognition of her contribution to the profession (Honorary) and to agricultural science (Fellow).
Her research over the past twenty years has focussed on efficient use of fertiliser (product yield and quality with minimum environmental impact), and evaluation of new plant species and cultivars (seed yield, animal growth and wool growth).


Economic development in New Zealand’s past has resulted from innovation in the primary resource sector creating new markets and increasing efficiency gains. Global developments in technology in the 1970s in areas where the country could not take optimum advantage (particularly in manufacturing) because of population base and geographical location, has meant that other countries have outpaced New Zealand in economic development. Attempts to improve the innovation system have not had the anticipated or desired effects in the short term. Impacts are being observed in tertiary education and employment in the science sectors. In this seminar, information from a wide variety of economic, business and education sources, examines trends, will be presented and set within the context of the New Zealand science environment. Implications will be considered and recommendations for the future made.

Last updated: 
Monday, 15 October 2007