A number of B3 researchers have been recognised by their peers for their outstanding professional contribution to bioprotection and biosecurity on invasive species.
- Max Suckling was awarded the 2017 New Zealand Plant Protection Society Medal for exceptional contribution to plant protection including border biosecurity. Max is a former B3 Theme Leader and is recognised for his innovative approach to plant border biosecurity challenges.
- Kerry Everett received the 2017 NZ Avocado Service to Industry Award for her work on avocado diseases. This included work in B3 that developed diagnostic markers for avocado scab that restored unfettered avocado exports to Australia in 2007. In October 2011 tools developed by Dr Everett’s team in B3 were used by MPI to prove a misdiagnosis of avocado scab on NZ avocados by USDA in Hawaii, which allowed continued market access to the USA.
- David Teulon was awarded a Fellowship of The NZ Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science in recognition for his research, management and leadership for biosecurity and bioprotection. David has been B3 Director since April 2013.
- AgResearch’s Clover Root Weevil Biocontrol Team won both the 2016 AgResearch Technology Prize for achievement of an outstanding scientific output contributing to sector outputs and the 2017 NZ Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science Canterbury Section PGG Wrightson’s Significant Achievement Award. The clover root weevil, which invaded New Zealand in the 1990s, is a major pest of New Zealand’s pastoral systems.
- Scion’s Biosecurity Team picked up a team award at the inaugural 2017 Science New Zealand Science Awards for the management of several new-to-science diseases and the development of a forestry biosecurity surveillance system.
- Mark McNeil was a Foreign Expert as part of the ‘Overseas High-level Talents Programme’ administered by the Chinese government. Mark has initiated a number of key contacts with Chinese researchers on plant border biosecurity.
- Aimee Harper received a Margaret Hogg-Stec award from PFR to visit the USDA ARS Beltsville for cooperative research on brown marmorated stink bug.
B3 also played a small part in the PSA response which recently received the Prime Minister’s Science Prize 2017. The initial diagnostic primers for PSA that were used in the MPI response were developed within B3, and B3 researchers (Kerry Everett and Jonathan Rees-George) used those primers to correctly diagnose the first samples in which PSA was detected in New Zealand on November 5 2010