Agriculture prof takes on new role

Prof Grant Edwards will take over as Lincoln University vice-chancellor in January. PHOTO:...
Prof Grant Edwards will take over as Lincoln University vice-chancellor in January. PHOTO: LINCOLN UNIVERSITY
A distinguished agricultural sciences academic will be Lincoln University’s next vice-chancellor.

Prof Grant Edwards will step up as the next vice-chancellor on January 1.

In announcing the new appointment, Lincoln University Chancellor Bruce Gemmell identified Prof Edwards’ outstanding leadership ability as chief among his many qualities.

‘‘Grant is an exceptional leader of people who encourages and inspires great team-building and collaboration through his authenticity, insight, empathy and unerring ability to articulate his vision.

‘‘He is particularly adept at gathering information from an expansive range of sources and individuals, while skilfully and decisively determining a course of action.

‘‘And it goes without saying that his intelligence, integrity and strength of character are second to none.’’

The recruitment process included consultation with Lincoln University staff and students to help identify the defining attributes of a new vice-chancellor.

‘‘When we asked our Lincoln whanau what kind of vice-chancellor they wanted, we were told they wanted someone with a value-based leadership style, a collaborator and effective team leader, with a demonstrable understanding of transdisciplinary research and education,’’ Mr Gemmell says.

‘‘Our global recruitment search yielded a number of extremely high-calibre people, but no other candidate ticked all those boxes more emphatically than our own Grant Edwards.

Prof Edwards was raised on a bull and beef farm, before completing an agricultural science honours degree in 1990.

Awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1991, he went on to complete a DPhil in behavioural ecology at Oxford University in 1994 and then completed postdoctoral fellowships at Imperial College, London, and AgResearch at Palmerston North.

After a stint lecturing at the former Wye College, now part of Imperial College, London, Prof Edwards returned to Lincoln University in 2004 as a senior lecturer in plant science.

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