New appointments to Marsden Fund Council


Source: National Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: New appointments to Marsden Fund Council

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced the appointment of three new members to the Marsden Fund Council.

Professor Gillian Dobbie, Professor David Bilkey and Professor Roger Nokes will join the Council for three years from 1 March.

“All three appointees are highly regarded researchers, both domestically and internationally. Their roles on the Marsden Fund Council will involve assessing and recommending funding for research proposals each year, providing strategic direction, and ensuring the relevance and importance of Marsden-funded research is clearly understood,” says Mr Joyce.

Gillian Dobbie, of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Auckland, is a researcher in data management, database systems and software engineering.  Professor Dobbie will convene the Mathematical and Information Sciences panel.

David Bilkey is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Otago. His general research area is systems neuroscience, with a particular focus on the role of the temporal cortex regions of the brain in memory and learning processes. Professor Bilkey will convene the Economics and Human and Behavioural Sciences panel.

Roger Nokes, from the University of Canterbury, is a Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics in the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering. His fields of research include tsunami generation, jets and plumes, gravity currents, and mixing in stratified flows. Professor Nokes will convene the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences panel.

Mr Joyce has also announced the reappointment of Professor Juliet Gerrard as Chair of the Marsden Fund Council, Dr Ian Ferguson as Convenor of the Cellular, Molecular and Physiological Biology panel, and Professor Robert Hannah as Convenor of the Humanities panel.

The reappointments are for three-year terms from 1 March.

“I welcome the contribution these top researchers can make to New Zealand’s science and innovation system,” says Mr Joyce.

“The Marsden Fund supports excellent investigator-initiated research and has been instrumental in building advanced research skills, as well as attracting and retaining top research talent.  This is essential for a high-performing science and innovation system.”

About the Marsden Fund

The Marsden Fund is administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It is overseen by a Marsden Fund Council appointed by the Minister.

The Marsden Fund Council comprises 11 eminent researchers – a Chair, and 10 other members. Each member leads a panel in their academic field.  Proposals are assessed by the 10 specialist panels covering the range of research disciplines.

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the Fund with $56m invested in 101 new projects. 

More information is available at:

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.