Governance Board

The Governance Board has responsibility for leading strategic development for the Allan Wilson Centre. Members have a broad range of governance, legal, financial and management skills and are appointed for three years. The board’s members are:

Jim McLean

An Auckland-based company director who is currently Chair of R J Hill Laboratories Ltd., Mesynthes Ltd., Prevar Ltd., Infotools Ltd., and Pictor Ltd., Mr McLean was previously an Executive Director of Genesis Research and prior to that, a partner with Ernst & Young. He is a Member of the Institute of Directors and is an Associate Chartered Accountant.

Professor Carolyn Burns
Deputy Chair

Professor of Zoology at the University of Otago, Professor Burns is an aquatic ecologist with a keen interest in conservation. She is the former President of the Royal Society of New Zealand Academy Council and the current Chair of the Governance Board for Genetics at the University of Otago. She has served on governance boards of a number of national organisations with research focused on environmental science and on international panels to review centres of research excellence overseas.

Professor Kathy Belov

Kathy Belov is Professor of Comparative Genomics at the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney. She leads a team of 20 researchers studying immunity in health and disease of Australia’s wildlife, and has participated in the genome projects of the opossum, platypus and tammar wallaby. Her team showed that low diversity in immune genes facilitated the spread of a contagious cancer in Tasmanian devils. They are now focused on understanding the cancer and saving the species from extinction. Professor Belov is currently an ARC Future Fellow, and has won two Eureka awards for her research.

Professor Hugh Blair

Professor Blair is a quantitative geneticist with recent interests in developmental biology through his membership of Gravida (National Centre for Growth and Development). He is Professor of Animal Science and Deputy Head of the School of Veterinary Science at Massey University.

Professor Merryn Gott

Merryn Gott is the Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and Director of Research for the School of Nursing, University of Auckland. She has been involved in conducting research with older people for over 15 years and has a particular interest in developing models of palliative and end of life care to meet the needs of ageing populations. Her research programme has been supported by substantial grants from the HRC, UK Department of Health, Research Councils and Health Charities. She leads the Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group.

Rau Kirikiri

A national and international public servant with extensive Maori and science networks and experience in the assessment of research proposals and quality assurance audits in both New Zealand and Australia, Mr Kirikiri is a consultant with RK Associates Ltd. Prior to this, he spent 12 years as the Treaty Responsibilities Manager at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, increasing Maori engagement in science research generally.

John Naylor

A Fellow of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants, Mr Naylor is Director of Naylor Lawrence & Associates Ltd., Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors in Palmerston North. He is a former partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Host Institution Liaison

Professor Brigid Heywood

Brigid Heywood is the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise), at Massey University. She has held senior executive posts as Assistant Vice-Chancellor at the Open University (UK) and Keele University in Staffordshire (UK). As a Professor of Materials Chemistry her interests are focused upon crystal engineering and the tailored design of inorganic solids to optimise their physico-chemical properties. Professor Heywood has served on a number of national and international committees and review bodies in support of research policy development, researcher development and knowledge transfer activities. She is an active champion for equity and diversity in tertiary education.