Centre student receives Fulbright Award

Hanareia and her whānau celebrating her success at the Fulbright New Zealand ceremony held at Parliament, Wellington. Credit: Fulbright New Zealand.

Bio-Protection Research Centre Master’s student Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu has received a 2017 Science and Innovation Graduate Award from Fulbright New Zealand.

The Award will help support her while she completes a PhD specialising in plant pathology at Penn State University.

“I am very priviliged and humbled to recieve the Fulbright Award. My whānau and whānau whānui are very proud and look forward to my journey to the state of Pennsylvania,” says Ms Ehau-Taumaunu. “This award is allowing me to study overseas, learn from some of the world leaders in science, interact with indigenous and minority communities in America, and create long-lasting networks.”

Out of the 60 grantees, 13 received Science and Innovation Awards, which aim to support New Zealand’s economic, social, environmental and cultural needs, and to build international science connections.

“My Fulbright whānau heading over to America with me are very inspirational people and I hope I can encourage others to follow in my footsteps. On my return to Aotearoa I desire to work on projects with Māori to continue the role of kaitiaki for our whenua,” says Ms Ehau-Taumaunu.

Ms Ehau-Taumaunu recently completed a Master’s project with the University of Auckland where she studied gut bacteria in pest porina caterpillars and mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge) with scientists at Lincoln University and AgResearch.

The Awards were presented in a ceremony at Parliament on 19 June.

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith congratulated the recipients. “Fulbright New Zealand provides opportunities for promising graduate students to complete a postgraduate degree at an American university in areas targeted to support growth and innovation in New Zealand”, said Mr Goldsmith.

The grantees are each awarded up to US$31,000 towards one year of study or research in the United States.