Scientist wins international recognition with top award

A Palmerston North scientist has scooped international honours for his research, earning him a $100,000 grant and a trip to Germany.

Massey University molecular genetics scientist Professor Barry Scott has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award worth nearly $100,000.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany grants research awards annually to renowned academics in recognition of their research.

Scott was named a recipient this week for his work, which has underpinned a lot of modern science and aided the advancement of New Zealand's agriculture sector.

Scott's four-decade-long career has seen him peering down microscopes, pruning grass in greenhouses, sitting on world-leading boards, guiding government policy makers on potential international dilemmas and mentoring aspiring scientists.

Scott also received the Marsden Medal at New Zealand's annual Association of Scientists awards this year. The medal recognises a lifetime of science, research, service and success.

Scott has worked on issues such as nitrogen fixing, genetic engineering and the relationship between fungus and perennial ryegrass.

His world-leading research looks at how an endophyte fungus protects ryegrass from drought, disease and insects.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has invited Scott to spend six months working on a research project of his choice with German scientists.

He will be hosted by Dr Regine Kahmann from the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg and will work with scientists from Gottingen, Freiburg, Munster and Braunschweig universities.

Scott said he was looking forward to the experience.

"One of the huge benefits of the award will be the opportunity to interact with several world-class groups working on related research and to be able to access some of the best research facilities in the world."

Manawatu Standard