Lincoln University researchers elected as Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellows

22 March 2021 | Research News

Distinguished Professor Caroline Saunders and Professor Charles Eason have been elected to the Academy of the Royal Society Te Apārangi as Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellows.

The Lincoln University pair, among 27 new Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellows announced last week, have been elected in recognition of their exceptional expertise, distinction in research and the advancement of knowledge at the highest international level.

In announcing the new Fellows, chair of the Academy Executive Committee of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Professor Charlotte Macdonald FRSNZ, congratulated them on their elections and on their outstanding contributions to the advancement of science.

“The newly-elected Fellows have made amazing contributions to knowledge in their fields and across disciplinary boundaries. Their election adds significantly to the breadth of knowledge held within the Academy. They will help support the purpose of Te Apārangi to engage with and inform New Zealanders on topics important to all.”

The new Fellows will be formally inducted at an event in Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington on 29 April.


Distinguished Professor Caroline Saunders – Director, Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University

Caroline Saunders has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of science by creating new knowledge in her research field of agriculture and economics. She initiated a transdisciplinary study that contributed to the ‘food miles’ debate, which argued that long-distance food transport is unsustainable due to greenhouse gas emissions. This work has helped to inform other scientists, policy advisors and the public.

In Caroline’s later work, she created a pilot survey to test if overseas consumers in developing markets are willing to pay a premium for attributes associated with New Zealand agri-food exports such as animal welfare, environmental sustainability and cultural authenticity. This work has led to a sustained and expanding research programme that has transformed New Zealand’s global agri-food value chains.

Throughout her work she has been devoted to communicating her research. This has further advanced science and economics and their application both in New Zealand and internationally and has been influential for scientists, policymakers and the wider public.

Caroline Saunders was awarded Lincoln University’s most prestigious title of Distinguished Professor in November 2020, in recognition of her international influence, reputation and achievement in her field of trade and environmental economics.

She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009.


Professor Charles Eason – Lincoln University, Senior Science Strategy and R&D Advisor at Wakatū Incorporation

Charles Eason is internationally recognised as a leader in toxicology and biotechnology. He has successfully delivered new drugs and safer pest control. Charles pioneered ‘red blood cell toxicants’ and R&D, leading to the registration of the lead compound in this class for stoat control in New Zealand. This was the first of its kind and was explicitly designed with humaneness as a focus. This and other products have made a material difference nationally in the creation of predator-free zones. New Zealand’s fauna would not be as secure as it is today without his work. He is recognised as a key player behind New Zealand’s global reputation as a leader in the protection of endangered species. With several humane, low residue target-specific pest control products on the market, his research on these new and traditional tools, has also had a lasting impact on how rodenticides can be used more carefully to protect threatened species across the globe.

Early in his career, and more recently, his initiatives have led to the advancement of novel classes of drugs targeting cardiovascular and infectious diseases, pain and depression. His research has delivered biocides and drugs frequently inspired by natural compounds.

Charles Eason is renowned for his ability to innovate and see beyond challenging impediments, which have led to various technological breakthroughs.


More information about the 2021 Royal Society researchers and scholars is available here