New agriculture and environment institute at Massey

Tuesday 5 February 2013, 4:59PM
By Massey University

Massey University has established a new Institute of Agriculture and Environment.

The institute will provide knowledge to maximise the potential of the primary sector while protecting New Zealand’s precious natural resources.

Massey Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says a highly productive and environmentally sustainable agricultural system is vital to the nation's future economic wellbeing.

“Massey has an ambitious strategy to inspire change in New Zealand and take what is special about our country to the world,” Mr Maharey says. “Massey continues to be at the forefront in defining sustainable practices. There is a global discussion about the impact of agriculture on the environment and Massey is ideally placed to lead the debate. Massey’s research and teaching programmes play an integral part in stimulating thought leadership and generating evidence-based solutions to on-going challenges.”

The Institute of Agriculture and Environment is one of five new institutes or schools that now form the College of Sciences. Pro Vice-Chancellor Robert Anderson has led the changes to the college. He says the future of science and technology will increasingly – but not exclusively – be driven by interdisciplinary teams addressing real-life problems.

“We have made the changes to build critical mass in defined areas that constitute the signature of science and technology at Massey University,” Professor Anderson says. “Furthermore, having strong intellectual teams in key priority areas is essential to both research and the learning experience we provide for the future.”

Professor Peter Kemp heads the new Institute of Agriculture and Environment. He says it will provide education, science, technology and advice across the primary industries – including pastoral agriculture, crops, horticulture and forestry – and for the management and conservation of New Zealand’s ecosystems.

“We have more than 100 staff working on a diverse range of projects both within the institute, with other staff across the University and with leading groups internationally,” Professor Kemp says. “Our links to industry and conservation in New Zealand and offshore inform our teaching programmes.”

The changes in the College of Sciences are complemented by other strategic initiatives across Massey University including the establishment of the College of Health and the new Institute of Education in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The new College of Sciences includes:
•    Institute of Agriculture and Environment 
•    Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences
•    Institute of Fundamental Sciences
•    Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences
•    School of Engineering and Advanced Technology

The New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study remains unchanged.