We are world renown for our work in border biosecurity and we lead research into microbial biopesticides, weed and pest management and plant-soil microbial interactions.

Our science

Improving disease resistance

We use a broad range of nutrition, physiology and genomics-based research tools to improve disease resistance while minimising environmental impact and use of chemicals in ruminant livestock production.


Weed research strategy

AgResearch scientists are developing weed management solutions to support New Zealand’s food and fibre economy.

Their research focuses on reducing the financial and social capital risks from weeds, and is designed to address the three highest ranking challenges identified in the Pastoral Sector Weed Research Strategy 2018-2028. Learn more by downloading the most recent update below.

Pastoral Sector Weed Research Strategy - Progress 2024

Download (pdf 1.1 MB)

High-quality, science-driven research

Our researchers worked alongside colleagues from Government agencies including the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) to eradicate the unwanted invader, great white butterfly (Pieris brassicae).

The butterfly was discovered in Nelson in 2010 and posed a significant threat to other native butterflies and brassica crops. We provided technical advice, modelling and data analysis expertise as well as experience mass rearing a parasitoid wasp biocontrol for release into the Nelson area.

The last sighting of the pest was in December 2014 and DOC discontinued the eradication programme in June 2016.


Attempting to eradicate any pest is a lofty goal, requiring total committment, excellent management, smart planning, effective techniques and intensive monitoring.

Senior Scientist Craig Phillips

Biosecurity awareness and security

AgResearch is aligned to New Zealand’s Biosecurity 2025 strategy, enabling our scientists to work on minimising the risk of incursions and develop technologies to detect and mitigate them.

AgResearch is a key member of the Better Border Biosecurity (B3) programme. B3 has been set up to be a world-leading provider of biosecurity research, knowledge and tools that have wide application in Aotearoa New Zealand and across the world.

  • Additional capabilities

    • Invertebrate interactions
    • Biosecurity
    • Infectious disease
    • Parasitology
    • Weeds
    • Digital tools
    • Modelling
    • Statistics

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Send an email to one of our team or check out our facilities located across Aotearoa New Zealand.

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