Change at research centre

Dr Janet Stephenson, (centre right ) director of the University of Otago's Centre for...
Dr Janet Stephenson, (centre right ) director of the University of Otago's Centre for Sustainability: Agriculture, Food, Energy, Environment (Csafe), at the centre's relaunch and renaming function on Thursday. With her (from left) are Dr Paul Stock, his wife Colleen Stock, Dr Rebecca Ford, Dr Kayla Russell, of Dunedin, Corey Bragg, and Geoff Mavromatis.
After almost 15 years in existence, a University of Otago research centre has relaunched itself with a new name, a new structure and a redesigned website.

The newly titled Centre for Sustainability: Agriculture, Food, Energy, Environment (Csafe) better reflected the centre's evolution and its present research focus on sustainability, director Dr Janet Stephenson told about 70 staff members and guests at the relaunch function last week.

The centre has 28 researchers and postgraduate fellows looking at issues such as sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, future energy trends, retail and consumer food trends, Maori agriculture and medicines, and healthy ecosystems.

Coming up with a new name for the organisation, which used to be called the Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment, had taken about a year of consultation and much debate around the staff morning tea table, Dr Stephenson said.

After considering about 10 serious options, settling on the new name had been "unbelievably simple".

"We couldn't understand why we hadn't gone there before. Many people thought the S in our name already stood for sustainability ... and we were able to keep the same acronym."

As part of the revised structure, a five-member advisory board has been established.

Its members are energy researcher and retired University of Otago staff member Prof Emeritus Gerry Carrington, former Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, Otago Polytechnic Maori adviser Dr Khyla Russell, Wellington-based Maori services consultant Rau Kirikiri, and Christchurch agribusiness consultant Geoff Mavromatis.

- allison.rudd@odt.co.nz

 

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