21/09/2009

Dr. Neil Macgregor's death leaves a lifetime of integrity and scientific excellence 1939-2009

 

“We would like to extend our sympathy to the family of Dr Neil Macgregor at this time. Dr Neil Macgregor was a well respected scientist and his death has left a great void in the scientific community that will be difficult to fill. He was always willing to give advice and help in the areas of his expertise which ranged from Organics to Genetic engineering.” said Claire Bleakley president of GE free NZ in Food and Environment.

“As an educator and colleague his work had integrity and no matter how serious the subject, his information was balanced and reliable. We will miss him greatly.”

Dr Macgregor was a scientist with primary expertise in soil biology and biochemistry, soil microbial ecology, and microbial genetics. He held appointments at the US Universities of Cornell, Arizona and Wisconsin, and Makerere in Kampala, Uganda, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Montpellier, and Massey University, Palmerston North (Tiritea Campus).

He was the author/co-author of over 70 refereed publications and conference papers. He contributed ‘Footprints of Genetic Engineering in Agriculture’ to Designer Genes and frequently spoke to community groups on the effects of transgenic crops on soil biology, and on further soil research in the organic and vermiculture industries. He was the editor of the Journal of Organic Systems.

His research led to valuable understanding on the biological decomposition of herbicides, the nitrogen cycle and the role of microbial inoculants in biological nitrogen fixation and sulphur oxidation andbiochemical transformations of nitrogen and carbon in lake sediments. soil biological activity in alternative land-use systems, soil and water quality following disposal of urban and rural wastes, and the use of reporter genes in soil microbial ecology.

He was a member of the Organic Biodynamic Association, Soil and Health, Royal Society of New Zealand and a trustee of the Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR) and a valuable scientific adviser for Te Kotuku Whenua, and the GE Free movement. His smile and twinkle will be greatly missed by all of us.

ENDS:

Claire Bleakley – 06 3089842 / 0273486731
jon Carapiet -


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