18 June 2021

Six scientists with the Bio-Protection Research Centre, or who are part of the new Bioprotection Aotearoa research team, have been awarded $4.9 million in research funding in the 2020 Marsden Fund round.

​BPRC Director Prof Travis Glare says their success shows the importance of bioprotection research to New Zealand, and the calibre of the scientists involved in the new Bioprotection Aotearoa Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE). Bioprotection Aotearoa will be replacing the BPRC from July 2021.

“Most of the funded research relates directly to the work we have been doing at the BPRC, or will be doing as Bioprotection Aotearoa,” Prof Glare said. “The projects look at issues such as how climate change will affect biodiversity in our mountains, and how new pathogen incursions evolve during host infection.

“Marsden funding is very highly contested among New Zealand researchers, so the success of so many of our scientists affirms the importance of our work to our environment, society and economy – and how highly regarded the scientists doing that work are,” Prof Glare added.

“I want to congratulate our researchers, and all the successful applicants, and look forward to seeing what comes out of their research.”

Successful BPRC/Bioprotection Aotearoa researchers:

Researcher ​Marsden funding Research project​ ​BPRC/BA
Prof Peter Fineran ​$960,000 ​How do bacterial CRISPR-Cas defences protect against nucleus-forming phages? (Principal investigator) ​BPRC/BA
​Prof Ian Dickie ​$960,000 ​Mycorrhizas, alternative stable states, and landscape partitioning in south-temperate forests (Associate investigator) ​BPRC/BA
​Dr Julie Deslippe ​$960,000 ​Changing climate and biodiversity in mountains: understanding the interactive effects of warming, species extinctions and invasions on ecosystem function (Principal  investigator) ​BA
​Prof Murray Cox ​$960,000 ​Unravelling the 3D structure of archaic hominin DNA in the human genome (Principal investigator) ​BPRC/BA
​Prof Philip Hulme ​$799,000 ​Nursery Crimes: Does the popularity and pricing of alien plant species traded in New Zealand ornamental horticulture markets determine the risk of introducing environmental weeds? (Principal  investigator) ​BPRC/BA
​Dr Jay Jayaraman ​$297,000 ​How do new pathogen incursions evolve during host infection? (Principal investigator)​ ​BPRC/BA


Full list of Marsden Fund awards for 2020​