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4 June 1997
New Zealand's dairy, wool and horticulture sectors, as well as the environment will benefit from the research projects to be undertaken by the five recipients of this year's Trimble Trust Agricultural Research Fellowships announced today. The recipients will be looking at a range of topics, which include the provision of
economic alternatives to the use of conventional chemical plant disease control measures, the production of improved wool length, diameter and strength, and an early warning system for environmental pollutants.
The Trimble Trust was established by the late Miss Ruth Elizabeth Ellison Trimble of New Plymouth, and is administered by the New Zealand Guardian Trust. It enables agricultural research overseas which is likely to benefit New Zealand's agricultural industry.
Fellowships were awarded to:
Dr Charles Eason, Landcare Research, Lincoln
Dr Eason will travel to Britain to study ‘biomarkers' to help in the development of a biochemical fingerprints technique to be used as an early warning system for detecting potentially serious effects of pesticides and pollutants on the environment. Dr Eason's study will be carried out at Monks Wood in Cambridgeshire, where he will see first hand new ways of studying the biological responses of animals to pollutants in the environment.
Dr Warren McNabb, AgResearch Grasslands, Palmerston North
The Trimble fellowship will enable Dr McNabb to travel to Scotland to work on biochemical factors influencing milk production in lactating dairy cows on fresh pasture. He aims to study the processes in a lactating cow which control the supply of nutrients, particularly amino acids, which are necessary for milk protein synthesis at different stages of lactation. He will visit the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Dr Alan Pearson, AgResearch, Ruakura
Improved length, strength and diameter for specific wool types to enable New Zealand growers to meet market demands, is the goal of Alan Pearson's research. He will study developing wool production-related biotechnologies overseas, with the view to developing practical systems for on-farm use. Research has already clarified that reproduction and seasonal changes in a day's length affect wool growth rates. Methods of effectively applying this knowledge are being investigated to improve the consistency of wool characteristics and increase animal productivity.
Dr Alison Stewart, Lincoln University
New Zealand horticulture will benefit from Alison Stewart's research which aims to provide economic alternatives to the use of conventional chemical plant disease control measures. Dr Stewart will work with Dr John Whipps, a leading researcher in the field of biological control of pest diseases, at Horticulture Research International in Wellesbourne, Britain. The trip will be the first step in developing a major collaboration between New Zealand and British research groups, and enable joint research to be conducted in the field of plant protection.
Dr Graeme Attwood, AgResearch, Palmerston North
The Trimble Award will enable Palmerston North AgResearch scientist, Graeme Attwood to genetically engineer a new strain of rumen bacteria, which could help reduce the loss of protein in sheep and cattle. Rumen bacteria breaks down plant material in the stomachs of sheep and cattle. Dr Attwood is seeking to genetically engineer a new strain of a common rumen bacteria, Streptococcus bovis, which has detrimental effects on protein metabolism in New Zealand ruminants. The new strain will be engineered without the enzyme which breaks down peptides (protein sub-units), enabling a reduction in protein loss in sheep and cattle. He will travel to South Australia's Waite Agricultural Research Institute to undertake his research.
For further information individual recipients can be contacted at the number given below:
Dr Graeme Attwood, AgResearch, Palmerston North (06) 3568019
Dr Charles Eason, Landcare Research. Lincoln (03) 3256700
Dr Warren McNabb, AgResearch Grasslands, Palmerston North, (06) 3568019
Dr Alan Pearson, AgResearch, Ruakura (07) 8562836
Dr Alison Stewart, Lincoln University (03) 3252811 ext:8196