2008 Media Releases

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22 Dec 2008  Sixty Years of Defence: Biological Style
Protecting New Zealand’s borders and pristine environment is a tireless business, no more so than for those dedicated men and women who spend their days in the company of bugs, moths and diseases.

8 Dec 2008  Bright Birthday Girl Wins Scion Scholarship
Rotorua secondary school student Tracey Bates will be celebrating her birthday on 6th December, with an extra special present courtesy of Crown Research Institute Scion.

5 Dec 2008  Biopolymer Network Wins International Bioplastics Award
New Zealand researchers have again been honoured on the international stage with a new environmentally friendly biofoam winning a prestigious annual International Bioplastics Awards in the “Best Innovation in Bioplastics” category.

31 Oct 2008  Public's Input on Forest Use Sought
Crown Research Institute Scion and its partners, Timberlands and Future Forest Research Ltd, are carrying out research to understand how different people use the area of Whakarewarewa forest managed by Timberlands, by conducting an on-site survey.

20 Oct 2008  Award winning designs expand the potential application of bioplastics
Students at Unitec’s School of Design recently took up a challenge, outlined by Crown Research Institute Scion and the Designers Institute of New Zealand, of creating stylish, functional products using bioplastics derived from sustainable resources.

1 Oct 2008  Scion Posts Solid Year-End Profit
Crown Research Institute Scion today announced a significant positive turnaround in financial position for the company, posting a solid year-end net profit of $1.113 million, the highest it has been in a number of years and a $1.563 million improvement on the previous year’s result.

5 Sep 2008  MacDiarmid star launches scholarship - and next generation scientists
Fresh from her success in the MacDiarmid Young Scientists of the Year Awards, Scion’s Dr Tripti Singh is now lending a helping hand to start the scientists of tomorrow along their career paths.

4 Sep 2008  Gorse a potential water pollutant
A potential source of nitrogen pollution in New Zealand’s lakes and waterways has been identified and measured by a leading water and soil quality scientist. Dr Guna Magesan, a senior scientist with Crown Research Institute Scion, recently completed a two-year study on nitrogen leaching from mature gorse stands in Rotorua lakes catchments.

27 Aug 2008  BioFuels Sustainability Review Puts Forests Ahead of Food Crops
A scientific review of options for the production of bioenergy in New Zealand, their economic viability and sustainability, provides further weight to the argument that energy from forests is one of New Zealand’s best option for producing its own biofuels. Crown Research Institute Scion today released its second Bioenergy Options for New Zealand report, as part of the EnergyScape programme.

15 Aug 2008  Two Scion Scientists Honoured by MacDiarmid Awards
Two Scion scientists have been recognised as rising stars in the MacDiarmid Young Scientists of the Year Awards, winning national recognition for their work in wood and wood fibre. Karen Love has won the Masters Award as the best Masters level entry for her research into wood fibre while Dr Tripti Singh was named runner-up in the Adding Value to Nature category for her work into developing an environmentally friendly treatment for protecting wood from fungal infection.

9 Jun 2008  End of live GM tree field trial at Scion - The Science continues
The chainsaws were out today at the site of Crown Research Institute Scion’s genetically modified (GM) Pinus radiata field trial, only this time the trees’ destruction was being celebrated by everyone involved.

29 May 2008  Science Collaboration Spells the End for Algal Bloom
A volcanic mineral modified to enhance its ability to absorb phosphorus could provide the solution to reducing New Zealand’s summer-time plague of algal blooms in lakes and waterways. The latest monitoring results from a product trial in Rotorua’s Lake Okaro, where water quality is perceived to be the poorest of all Rotorua lakes, has revealed a 40-60% reduction in the lake’s phosphorus levels since 112 tonnes of modified zeolite was applied in September 2007.

26 May 2008  Ground-breaking research helps save lives and livelihoods on NZ farms
New research into New Zealander’s on-farm handling of quadbikes has revealed how an incompatibility between design and use, plus a tendency for farmers to learn by ‘trial and error’, has turned this common farm vehicle into a $8.3 million annual liability. Recently completed research by Dave Moore, ergonomics scientist with Scion’s Centre for Human Factors and Ergonomics (COHFE), is helping farmers and industry bodies reduce fatalities and injuries resulting from work-related quadbike accidents on New Zealand farms.

15 May 2008  Rotorua scientist shares Nobel Peace Prize honour
A Rotorua scientist’s contribution to international efforts aimed at building world-wide understanding of human-induced global warming, has been recognised with a Nobel Peace Prize. Crown Research Institute Scion’s Dr Peter Beets provided expert knowledge on forestry carbon stocks and land use change, to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organisation established by the United Nations in 1988 in response to growing international debate about the risks of anthropogenic climate change.

2 May 2008  No Environmental Impact from Genetically Modified Research Trees
New Zealand’s most comprehensive, independent scientific field trial of genetically modified trees has been completed, with results showing no environmental impact from the trial and no evidence of gene transfer to other organisms. Scientists at the site of Crown Research Institute Scion’s genetic modification field trial were today celebrating the end of a successful scientific trial and the contribution the results will make to the ongoing discussion on genetic modification in New Zealand.

8 Apr 2008  Ensuring the sustainability of New Zealand's forests
Ensuring the sustainability of forestry production in New Zealand is now possible thanks to productivity indicators identified by Crown Research Institute, Scion. Forestry scientists at Scion have for the first time developed the key soil and environmental indicators that show the productive capacity of sites in every part of New Zealand where someone may want to plant a forest.

18 Mar 2008  Purpose Grown Energy Forests the Key to Self-Sufficiency
Purpose-grown energy forests if planted today could meet all of New Zealand’s future transport fuel and heat energy needs, without threatening the country’s important agricultural industry, according to a study completed by Crown Research Institute, Scion.

3 Mar 2008  Transport fuels from New Zealand biomass a reality
Biofuels generated from New Zealand-grown softwood feedstocks have been identified as a feasible, large scale option for meeting both the low-carbon transport vision of the Government’s 2007 Energy Strategy (NZES) and Biofuels Sales Obligation (BSO), say the authors of a report by the New Zealand Lignocellulosic Bioethanol Initiative.

3 Mar 2008  New Zealand Research Expertise Sought at International Renewable Energy Conference
Dr Tom Richardson, chief executive of Crown Research Institute Scion, is one of a 10-strong New Zealand delegation heading to the United States this week, presenting at the U.S. Government hosted Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008).

21 Feb 2008  Rain puts dampener on experimental burns
A major research experiment on wild fire in Canterbury scrubland has been hampered by this summer’s temperamental weather, ranging from drought to floods. Fire researchers from Crown Research Institute Scion, supported by numerous rural fire agencies, have conducted a large research project that involved setting fire to privately owned Canterbury scrub to improve understanding of fire behaviour on steep slopes.

11 Feb 2008  Scientists shed light on new quarantine methods
Sightings of strange lights in the forests of Nelson’s Pigeon valley could increase this week, but the reason behind this unearthly illumination is less mysterious than it appears. Scientists at Crown Research Institute Scion have chosen Moutere Forest near Nelson to trial new lighting systems designed to repel insects and reduce the risk of pest contamination at wood processing sites.