New Director of Joint Graduate School in Plant and Food Science

16 July 2013

Associate Professor Andrew Allan, an expert in plant molecular physiology, has been appointed the new Director of the Joint Graduate School in Plant and Food Science. Established by The University of Auckland and Plant & Food Research in 2010, the Joint Graduate School was the first of its kind in New Zealand. 

The school was created to give postgraduate students the opportunity to undertake research of direct relevance to New Zealand’s primary production and food industries. It now has more than 50 masters and PhD students and 35 to 40 potential supervisors, and has the goal of increasing this student body.  

“The school arose from the desire to have coordination of plant and food science in Auckland,” Dr Allan explains. “It brings together the many good projects and momentum of the Crown Research Institute with the University’s’ bright young scientists and ideas.” 

Like many scientists affiliated with the school, Dr Allan holds co-appointments at the two institutions and spends time at both the University’s city campus and the Plant & Food Research Mt Albert campus.

Dr Allan has been involved with the school since its inception and was appointed to its leadership when inaugural Director Associate Professor Mike Pearson completed his two year term. 

“Dr Pearson took the lead with the school and really bedded it down,” he says. “My focus will be on continuing to grow our student numbers while maintaining its high quality of research, and cultivating public awareness of our work. I look forward to raising the profile of plant biology and food science in Auckland.”

Dr Allan has been a plant researcher for 30 years, studying the physiology, cell biology, and genetic makeup of crop plants. Much of his research focuses on new apple and kiwifruit varieties, understanding how the plants will behave, for instance in different environments or with different horticultural practices. 

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
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