Strategic Science Advisory Group

Science is critical to the Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) response. The Strategic Science Advisory Group strengthens New Zealand's efforts to eradicate the disease.

Role of the group

The Mycoplasma bovis Strategic Science Advisory Group (SSAG) provides independent, expert scientific advice to the Mycoplasma bovis Governance Group. Drawing on a wide range of expertise, it is also developing a science plan to prioritise eradication research and guide funding decisions. 

The group is focusing on: 

  • prioritising M. bovis eradication research 

  • finding and addressing any gaps in our knowledge – including looking into new technologies and ideas to get rid of M. bovis 

  • ensuring alignment of current and future science 

  • learning from other research in New Zealand and internationally. 

Science plan will help speed up eradication

The SSAG science plan prioritises research needs and suggests the achievable outcomes if the research is undertaken. It will be used to inform any funding decisions on Mycoplasma bovis eradication research.

The science plan identifies 9 key science areas and prioritises the science needed to help us better understand the disease and speed up the eradication of the disease. Successful implementation of the science plan relies on science organisations, government agencies, and educational organisations working together to deliver the science in the 9 priorities. It requires putting farmers and rural communities at the heart of all eradication efforts and actively applying successful research findings into practices as quickly as possible.

SSAG science plan [PDF, 1.2 MB]

SSAG members 

Members include local and international expert scientists, vets, and government representatives.

John Roche

Departmental science adviser – Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Nigel French

Distinguished professor and executive director – Infectious Disease Research Centre, Massey University.

Axel Heiser

Senior scientist – AgResearch. 

Trish McIntosh

Director – North Canterbury Vets.

Hamish Gow

Professor of Agribusiness – Massey University. 

James Turner

Resource economist and senior social scientist – AgResearch.

Shaun Hendy

Director – Te Pūnaha Matatini, University of Auckland.

Prue Williams

General manager – Science System Investment and Performance, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

Mary van Andel

Principal adviser – MPI.

Glenn Browning

Professor and director Asia-Pacific Centre for Animal Health – Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Cameron Stewart

Senior research scientist – Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO.

William McMillian

Independent agribusiness consultant and scientist – Kaiārahi Ahuwhenua, Federation of Māori Authorities.

Roger Ayling

Private consultant with extensive M. bovis research experience, UK. 

Find out more 

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