Canterbury based student, Marine Aubert, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the QEII National Trust Dr Brian Molloy doctoral scholarship.
The scholarship selection panel, comprising the Trust’s CEO Mike Jebson, Dame Anne Salmond (New Zealander of the Year, academic and QEII covenantor), Professor Bruce Clarkson (Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Waikato University), Megan Balks (QEII Trust Director and senior lecturer in soil sciences at Waikato University) and Dr Brian Molloy, unanimously agreed that Marine’s scholarship proposal fully met the objectives of the scholarship programme.
Marine will be studying the interactions between plants and birds, and evaluate plant regeneration success in isolated forest patches of varying sizes, which may be at risk because of the need for mutualisms with birds for pollination and seed dispersal. She will complete her study at Canterbury University under the supervision of Professor Dave Kelly.
“We are confident Marine’s research will add to New Zealand’s scholarship on forest ecology and eventually assist with the development of conservation management strategies once results have been published,” Dr Molloy said.
“We are also very pleased that Marine’s study will be supervised by Professor Dave Kelly. Dave has an outstanding record in ecological research, the supervision of students, and the successful publication of their work,” he said.
The QEII National Trust Dr Brian Molloy Scholarship provides for an allowance of $30,000 per annum, to be applied to living expenses, tuition fees and associated student services levies and a research and travel allowance of $20,000 per annum.
“We have allocated a generous sum for the scholarship’s research component. This will give Marine and future scholarship students the freedom to travel around New Zealand to research sites, and be in a position to afford the latest research methods which can be quite expensive,” Dr Molloy said.
CEO Mike Jebson said the panel received a number of very good applications and thanked all applicants for submitting their study proposals to the Trust for consideration.
“Studies funded by this scholarship will lead to a greater understanding of the core values of open space covenants and their management.
“We look forward to receiving Marine’s results in due course, which will be of particular benefit to the QEII National Trust and its covenantors, but also for conservation in general,” he said.
Funded by the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust to support a full time supervised doctoral research degree, the scholarship has been established in recognition of Dr Molloy’s contribution to the Trust and to promote and advance ecological science and conservation in New Zealand.
Contact: Dr Elizabeth Heeg, QEII National Trust, Telephone: 04 471 4190