New fellowship to fund research into future productive landscapes

29 October 2021 | News

A key figure in New Zealand’s agricultural sector has committed to funding a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship at Lincoln University.

Nelson-based John Barnes, founder of NZ Global Ecosystems Ltd, is passionate about sustainable agriculture and his fellowship will allow Lincoln students to research and design more sustainable farming systems.

It will be based with Professor Pablo Gregorini, head of Lincoln’s Centre of Excellence, Designing Future Productive Landscapes, which focuses on testing and creating alternative sustainable landscape systems that embrace Mātauraka Māori, thereby building ecological health and facilitating economic, social and cultural wealth.

"Our approach is to continually transform by trans-disciplinary design and to influence by example future land-use options and practices," said Professor Gregorini. "We also work in partnership with key local and international research entities and industry stakeholders."

Research students are key contributors to the centre and explore topics as diverse as adaptive agricultural systems, agroecosystems design, landscape sociology, animal design, culture mapping and resilience.

Mr Barnes has met with Prof Gregorini several times and is excited by his research.

"I already support a postgraduate scholarship in alternative agroecosystems and productive landscape systems, and I am delighted to extend that support to such a worthy research centre," he said.

"New Zealand depends heavily on producing agricultural products and we cannot survive if the farms that produce them are not profitable. Animals, crops and soil must be healthy, enabling a flow-on effect that creates healthy produce for humans to consume.

"The Centre of Research Excellence, Designing Future Productive Landscapes, is carrying out crucial research to help farmers achieve this."

Mr Barnes is pleased to work with Lincoln University in the long term.

PHOTO: Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Edwards, fellowship donor John Barnes and Professor Pablo Gregorini.