AgResearch scientist Jenny Juengel was announced this week as one of 19 new Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand an honour which recognises true international distinction in research and scholarship.

Jenny is Principal Scientist with the Reproduction Team, based in Invermay and her research has focussed primarily on explaining how genetic mutations in sheep have influenced their reproductive outcomes.

A major outcome of her research is the identification of the oocyte as the major influence on increasing or inhibiting fertility. Her contributions have helped to explain why some species have large litters while others are restricted to only 1-3 offspring. This has led to the development of 5 patents.

Jenny says she is surprised but excited by the award.

“I’m passionate about New Zealand agricultural science and this fellowship is a nice recognition of my work but equally, it’s recognition of the work of many other people within AgResearch and further afield.

“I’ve had a great deal of support over the years from mentors and colleagues and there’s no way that I could have achieved this award – or undertaken my work – without their support and advice.”

AgResearch’s leader of the Animal Science Group, Dr Ian Sutherland, says it is a richly deserved reward for one of AgResearch’s top scientists.

“Jenny has an excellent track record, which spans the full spectrum from fundamental science through to the practical application of that science on-farm. I am sure that the whole of AgResearch shares my delight in Jenny’s success.”

The new Fellows include a majority of females – ten out of nineteen – two Fellows from Crown Research Institutes, one Fellow from a private research organisation, two Fellows with Māori ethnicity and one with Asian ethnicity.

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