Otago researchers made fellows of Royal Society

Two Otago researchers have been elected fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

John McEwan, from AgResearch Invermay, and Prof Gerald Tannock, from the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Otago, were among 12 New Zealand basic and applied science and humanities researchers elected fellows in Auckland yesterday.

Mr McEwan has been the intellectual and technical driving force behind the introduction of modern molecular genetics to the New Zealand sheep industry.

Prof Tannock is a world-leading authority on gastrointestinal microbes and their role in health and disease who has pioneered the amalgamation of traditional methods with DNA-based technologies.

Prof Richard Blaikie, who starts work in Dunedin next month as research and enterprise deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Otago, was also made a fellow.

Prof Blaikie, who is in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Canterbury, is a leading international contributor to the rapidly developing field of nano-scale optics.

Being elected as a fellow was an honour given to the country's top researchers for showing distinction in research or in the advancement of science, technology or the humanities, the society's academy chairman, Dr Stephen Goldson, said.

From universities and crown research institutes, the new fellows were leaders in fields as diverse as earthquakes, drug addiction, genetically modified plants and the study of reasoning, he said.

The society now had 376 fellows and 57 honorary fellows, who provided specialist advice, promoted best research practice and disseminated science and humanities information.

 

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