BSc (Massey University, New Zealand).
PhD (Plant Biotechnology. University of Nottingham, UK).
Research interests & activities
As the Science Team Leader for the Plant Biotechnology Team I provide personnel and project oversight for the Team, as well as having scientific input into the various research projects underway. Working with Team members includes: performance, leave applications, recruiting, expense claims, redundancies, promotions, health and safety, engagement, etc. Liaising with Project Leaders, Human Resources and the Finance Team I facilitate balanced spending and staff allocations to ensure delivery of contracted work within budget.
The Plant Biotechnology Team has developed a genetic modification that enables forages - and possibly any plants - to grow significantly faster with higher energy content, and reduced environmental impact. The modification is built around two genes. The first (based on DGAT) results in increased plant oil production, and the second (based on oleosin) encapsulates that oil to form biologically neutral small oil globules. The combined effects of these changes results in increased photosynthetic efficiencies, with subsequent higher growth rates and altered nitrogen requirements.