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Biographies of the Rutherford Foundation Trustees

Read about the Rutherford Foundation Trustees

Professor Wendy Larner FRSNZ FAcSS FNZGS


Prof Wendy Larner2

Professor Wendy Larner is provost at Victoria University of Wellington and is one of New Zealand's most visible and influential professors in the international human geography and sociology disciplines. A New Zealander by birth, Professor Wendy was elected to Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2009, when she was resident in the United Kingdom. She was bestowed her Fellowship upon her return to New Zealand in 2016.

She established herself as a leading scholar through her leadership of Marsden and Foundation for Research Science and Technology research programmes whilst at the Sociology Department at the University of Auckland. She has shaken and altered the intellectual landscape in both human geography and sociology through significant conceptual, theoretical and methodological developments. She continues to have an active involvement in building New Zealand Social Science capability and is known for her active support of early career colleagues, and commitment to equity and diversity.



Dr Dianne McCarthy CRNZ ONZM

 Dianne mccarthy2

Dr McCarthy was Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand from 2007-2014, where she oversaw the establishment of the Rutherford Foundation. Dr McCarthy has over 20 years’ experience in various management and governance roles in the tertiary education, science and health sectors. She is currently the Director of Powerhouse Ventures Ltd and holds several governance roles related to education, science and the health sector, including but not limited to member of Governance Board of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum technologies, two National Science Challenges, Ageing Well and Healthier Lives, Trustee of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and the Deafness Research Foundation (NZ), and member of the Council Nomination Panel for Victoria University of Wellington. Dr McCarthy was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008 for services to education, and a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2015 for services to science.


Dr Brent Clothier FRSNZ

 brent clothier2

Dr Brent Clothier is Science Group Leader, Systems Modelling, in the Sustainable Production Portfoloi at Plant & Food Research.  Brent is a soil physicist and environmental scientist.  He is based in Palmerston North. Brent is an Adjunct Professor at both the University of Western Australia (Soil Science) and Massey University (Life Cycle Management Centre).

 Brent has a BSc (Hons) (1974) from Canterbury University, and a PhD (1977) and DSc (2002) in from Massey University. Brent is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and is a Fellow of four foreign academies; the Soil Science Society of America, the American Agronomy Society, the New Zealand Soil Science Society, and the American Geophysical Union. He received the Don & Betty Kirkham Soil Physics Award from the Soil Science Society of America in 2000, and the Prescott Medal of the Australian Society of Soil Science in 2001.

In his 38-year research career, Brent has published over 210 scientific papers on the movement and fate of water and chemicals in production systems and the environment, as well as on studies of the valuation of natural capital and ecosystem services, and on sustainable policy development. He has led projects on risk assessments of land-use practices and the protection of soils, surface waters, and groundwaters from over-exploitation, both in New Zealand, and in the Pacific and Indian Ocean islands. Brent is the Programme Leader of New Zealand’s major soil-science research programme SLURI (Sustainable Land Use Research Initiative www.sluri.org.nz)

Brent is a Joint Editor-in-Chief of Agricultural Water Management, and he is on the Editorial Board of the Spanish Journal of Soil Science.