As part of the recent Annual Meeting of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin, a special ceremony was held to confer this year’s Humboldt Research Awardees. At the ceremony, 2 awards were presented to New Zealanders.
Prof Leo Cheng from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute of the University of Auckland, will use his award to work with colleagues at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation in Stuttgart on developing methods for non-invasively recording and interpreting the weak electrical and magnetic fields that result from the heart, gastrointestinal smooth muscle and skeletal muscle.
Prof Barry Scott from Massey University’s Institute of Fundamental Sciences is using his award to work with colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg on his speciality of plant-microbe symbiosis and understanding how each partner communicates with one another. The plants provide nutrients for the microbe and in return the microbe provides benefit to the plant such as increased growth or protection form insect herbivory. These associations are widespread and in both natural and agricultural ecosystems so it is important to understand how they function.
Prof Hemut Schwartz, left, with the New Zealand Humboldt Research Awardees, Prof Leo Cheng and Prof Barry Scott and the President of the NZ Humboldt Association, Dr Andrew Matthews.