Heidi Dungey



Dr Heidi Dungey specialises in tree breeding and genetic resource characterisation for commercial forestry species including radiata pine, Douglas-fir, cypresses, eucalypts and redwoods. Her research encompasses quantitative and ecological genetics and breeding. As leader of Scion’s genetics research programme, Heidi works closely with New Zealand seed producers and forest growers to ensure breeding strategies are tailored to meet consumer needs.


  • PhD (Plant Science/CRC for Temperate Hardwood Forestry), University of Tasmania, Australia - 1997.
  • BSc (Hons) (Plant Science), University of Tasmania, Australia - 1991.
  • BSc (Major in Botany), University of Tasmania, Australia - 1989.

Research capabilities

  • Forest tree breeding, breeding strategy, hybrid breeding, theory and practice.
  • The interaction of insects and pathogens with genetics.
  • Quantitative and ecological genetics.
  • Seed-to-product research for planted forests in New Zealand, particularly radiata pine, Douglas-fir, cypresses, eucalypts, redwoods.
  • Breeding for carbon sequestration.

Career highlights

  • Science Leader, Genetics, New Forests, Scion 2011-present
  • Scion sabbatical to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia – October 2011.
  • Foundation for Research, Science and Technology funding for Diverse Forests research – species other than radiata pine for production forestry – 1.6 million per year for five years-2008.
  • Pacific Governance Support Program (PBSP) Governance Capacity Building for Socio-economic Change and Ecological Sustainability in Fiji – 2005.

Selected papers

Kennedy SK, Dungey HS, Yanchuk AD, Low CB. In press. Eucalyptus fastigata: its current status in New Zealand and breeding objectives for the future. Silvae Genetica.

Dungey HS, Low CB, Ledgard NJ, Stovold GT. 2011. Alternatives to Pinus radiata in the New Zealand high-country: Early growth and survival of P. radiata, P. attenuata and their F1 hybrid. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 41: 61-69.

Dungey HS, Brawner JT, Burger F, Carson M, Henson M, Jefferson P, Matheson AC. 2009. A new breeding strategy for Pinus radiata in New Zealand and New South Wales. Silvae Genetica 58: 28-38.

Watt MS, Palmer DJ, Dungey HS, Kimberley MO. 2009. Predicting the spatial distribution of Cupressus lusitanica productivity in New Zealand. Forest Ecology and Management 258: 217-223.

Baltunis BS, Wu HX, Dungey HS, Mullin TJ, Brawner JT. 2009. Comparisons of genetic parameters and clonal value predictions from clonal trials and seedling base population trials of radiata pine. Tree Genetics and Genomes 5: 269-278.

Dungey HS, Matheson AC, Kain D, Evans R. 2006. Genetics of wood stiffness and its component traits in Pinus radiata. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36: 1165-1178.

Dungey HS. 2004. Early selection for Pinus radiata in New Zealand using a farm-field experimental design. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 34: 121-138.

Dungey HS, Carson MJ, Low CB, King NG. 2003. Potential and niches for inter-specific hybrids with Pinus radiata in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 33: 295-318.

Dungey HS, Dieters MJ, Nikles DG (Editors) 2000. Hybrid breeding and genetics of forest trees. . Proceedings of an international symposium. Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane, Noosa, Queensland, Australia.

Dungey HS, Potts BM, Whitham TG, Li HF. 2000. Plant genetics affects arthropod community richness and composition: Evidence from a synthetic eucalypt hybrid population. Evolution 54: 1938-1946.

Dungey HS, Potts BM, Carnegie AJ, Ades PK. 1997. Mycosphaerella leaf disease: Genetic variation in damage to Eucalyptus nitens, Eucalyptus globulus, and their F1 hybrid. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 27: 750-759.