Meet our Team

Programme Board

Mr Ian Gear has extensive experience in biosecurity management and is director of In Gear Global Ltd. Mr Gear is Chair of the programme management committee for this research. He is STIMBR’s executive officer and Research Director for STIMBR’s research programmes.

Dr Jack Armstrong, Director of Quarantine Scientific Ltd, is an internationally recognised entomologist engaged to perform the role of Subject Matter Expert to this research programme. Dr Armstrong, now based in New Zealand, is a specialist in quarantine treatments and market access.

Barbara Waddell is business manager with Plant and Food Research, primarily aligned with the BioProtection portfolio. Barbara has a career in disinfestation science and the development of phytosanitary treatment protocols.

Dr Allan Miller, a director of the University of Canterbury’s Electrical Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre), Dr Miller has a background in power measurement, economic analysis, product development and information systems. The EPECentre specialises in research into new power system technologies and applications.

Russell Dale is Research and Development Manager with the Forest Owners Association.

Mr Ivan Veljkovic is Market Access Counsellor within the Market Assurance Directorate, Standards Branch of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Dr Steve Pawson, Research Leader Entomology, Scion is the Technical Lead for the programme and Scion’s representative on the Project Board.

Research Team Leaders

The research will be delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of leading scientists from Scion, Plant and Food Research, Bayesian Intelligence and the University of Canterbury.


Dr Steve Pawson, Research Leader Entomology, Scion
Dr Pawson is a forest entomologist with specialist skills in the impacts of forest management on biodiversity and the application of ecological based quarantine treatments.

Dr Eckehard Brockerhoff, Principle Scientist Forest Protection, Scion
Dr Brockerhoff is an internationally respected expert in forest entomology and biosecurity. He is currently a member of the international Union of Forest Research Organisation’s international board and leader of its Forest Health Division.

Plant and Food

Dr Matt Hall is the Disinfestation team leader and Plant & Food Research in Palmerston North with a research focus on development of more environmentally acceptable fumigation treatments.

Dr Adriana Najar-Rodriguez is the entomologist in the Disinfestation team based in Palmerston North. She has work experience from Australia, Europe (Germany, Spain and Switzerland) and South America and has worked on plant-insect interactions, biological control of insects, and insect pest management.

University of Canterbury

Dr Bill Heffernan  is a senior engineer at the University of Canterbury Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre) working on joule log heating. The EPECentre specializes in research into new power system technologies and applications.

Bayesian Intelligence

Ann Nicholson, a Director and Senior Consultant at Bayesian Intelligence specialises in Bayesian network modelling. She is an expert in dynamic Bayesian networks, planning under uncertainty, user modelling, Bayesian inference methods, and knowledge engineering with Bayesian networks.