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HMF Fellows

In 1986 the Hans Merensky Foundation instituted a Fellowship scheme to further its objectives.  The published announcement (South Africa Forestry Journal – No. 137, June 1986) is replicated below:

Hans Merensky Fellowship

The trustees of the Hans Merensky Foundation recently decided to create a number of Fellowships as part of the Foundation’s programme towards the achievement and implementation of its main objectives.

Readers [of South Africa Forestry Journal] are invited to nominate Fellows whom they consider to be suitable candidates.  The objectives and conditions of the Fellowship are as follows:

A number of Fellowships are to be created as part of the Foundation’s programme towards the achievement and implementation of its main objectives.  These are to promote and assist in the development of resources of the Republic of South Africa and neighbouring territories, especially soil, water, flora and fauna and to promote the welfare of the inhabitants, more specifically by research, experiment and demonstration and through the correlation and application of scientific knowledge.

In pursuing its objectives, the Foundation has applied its finances, assets, expertise and efforts almost exclusively to the fields of

  • Forestry
  • Nature Conservation
  • Wood Science
  • Agriculture (Subtropical fruits)

It is a condition that the proposed Fellowship should serve to enhance the work and achievements in the aforementioned fields.

Candidates will be academics or executives who are active and acknowledged leaders in the fields listed in the introduction above.

Preference in the award of Fellowships will be given to Fellows from overseas, although local Fellows of merit will not be excluded.

Obligation of Fellows
Fellows will be expected to:

  • Follow an agreed programme of visits;
  • Consult with and advise scientists or industry managers;
  • Participate in workshops or seminars in one or more centres;
  • Deliver a Hans Merensky lecture wherein the relevant field should be reviewed and discussion centred around current and likely future developments.

The lecture will normally be given at the University of Stellenbosch or it may take place, or be repeated at another appropriate venue.

The lecture will be published in an appropriate journal or in a Hans Merensky lecture series, or both.

South African Forestry Journal – No. 137, June 1986

Fellows were nominated every two years.

Currently, every year, the Hans Merensky Foundation sponsors industry experts in focus areas with Hans Merensky Holdings (HMH).  The HMF Fellows are nominated by the HMH RDE Committee in the preceding year.

Dr Andy Zygna (2017)
Andy joined NineSigma in February 2008 as CEO of NineSigma Europe where he established and grew the company’s presence across Europe.  NineSigma is a global leader in Open Innovation Services, working with Fortune 500 clients to identify and acquire technologies that help them shorten product development cycles.  Andy has overseen the introduction of several new offerings that help innovation-driven organisations accelerate product development, reduce risk in their innovation progamme, and dramatically expand their capabilities.  The company has 70 professionals across five countries in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.  Reporting to and member of a Venture Board of Directors:

  • Doubled Revenues, and achieved EDITDA in excess of 15% of revenues
  • Defined Company Strategy including introduction of highly scalable web-based social media enabled collaboration platform.

Andy is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr Helmuth Gunter Zimmerman (2016)
Helmuth holds BSc and a MSc degrees in agriculture from the University of Pretoria and a Ph.D. degree from Rhodes University.  A professional entomologists, Helmuth specialises in weed science and weed control.  His research interest initially focused in biological and integrated control of alien invasive cacti in South Africa which also included research into chemical control and wider ecological aspects affecting invasions and efficacy of control methods.  Personal interests continued to focus on cactus invaders, cactus-feeding insects and improving their biological control through innovative approaches including utilisation of the resource using host-adapted insect biotypes and integrated control.  He has recently become involved in wider issues of invasive alien species.  He has published than 50 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals, written seven chapters in books by international publishers and co-authored two hand books.

Dr David Crowley (2015)
David Crowley in the Department of Environmental Science at the University of California at Riverside.   His major interests are in the area of microbial ecology, specifically Rhizosphere ecology of plant beneficial microorganisms, the bioremediation of organic soil contaminants and petroleum hydrocarbons, microbial community structure and function on plant leaf surfaces and the effect of salt on flooding of avocado crops.  He holds a BS degree (University of Kentucky), MS in Horticulture (University of Kentucky) and a PhD in Forest and Wood Science Interdisciplinary Program in Cell and Molecular Biology (Colorado State University).  David has written more than 120 articles in peer reviewed journals as well as various chapters in relevant industry publications.

Mr Evans Shields (2014)
An Australian citizen, Evan studied forest science at the University of Queensland (in Brisbane) and later at the Australian Forestry School (in Canberra) culminating with the respective awards of a BSc (Forestry) degree and a Diploma of Forestry with Distinction.  He also completed a post-graduate Diploma in Forestry at the University of Oxford. He was initially employed as a forester in the public service in Papua and New Guinea, then Australian territories. His work has a particular strong focus on eucalypt management, silviculture, utilization and marketing.  As a consequence of this specialisation, he has been invited to make presentations on the topic of eucalypt plantation management, silviculture, utilization and marketing to Australian and international conferences and seminars in USA., South Africa, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.   An.agricultural economist, his current activities centre on enhancing the investment rewards from managed-for-sawlog eucalypt plantation projects.    He has identified eight higher value eucalypt species that merit investigation as candidates to use in partial diversification away from E. grandis.

Professor Iñaki Hormaza (2013)
Professor Iñaki Hormaza is Spain’s leading horticultural scientist focussing on avocado and other subtropical fruit crops and has substantial experience in specific areas relevant to the WTS R&D program.  Prof Hormaza is currently Head of Department at IHSM La Mayora – CSIC, Malaga, Spain.  He obtained his BS degree (Biology) at the Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain and a PhD (Plant Biology) at the University of California at Davis.  The ‘La Majora’ research station in Southern Spain remains a very important centre for applied avocado research.  The focus of his research is on a sustainable use of genetic resources to optimize production in subtropical fruit tree species both under the current environmental conditions as well as taking into account climate change predictions. Basic and applied approaches are combined to study germplasm for its conservation and use in breeding programs, analyse the implications of reproductive biology in fertilization and fruit set or optimize cultural techniques to improve productivity.  Prof Hormaza has published over 121 peer-reviewed articles, presented over 11 conference papers and has authored/co-authored over 21 books and chapters.

Professor Robert A Blanchette (1991)
Robert A Blanchette is a Professor in the Institute of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Minnesota and holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Plant Pathology and Forest Resources.  His major interests are in the area of forest pathology with research in host-parasite interactions, wood decay processes, biotechnological uses of forest fungi and the conservation of archaeological wood.  He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science and is the author or co-author of over 100 technical publications, two books and several patents. He holds a BS degree in Biology (Merrimack College), MS in Forest Science (University of New Hamp shire) and a PhD in Plant Pathology (Washington State University).

Professor SM Zedaker (1989)
Shepard M Zedaker holds the degrees of BS Forest Science (Humboldt State), MS Forest Biology (Purdue) and PhD Forest Ecology (Oregon State).  He is at present an associate professor of Forest Ecology and Chemical Silviculture at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia.  His primary research interests are in pollution.  He is a world leader in forest vegetation management and competition control and assessment.  Dr Zedaker serves on numerous national committees in the USA.  He has published extensively nationally and internationally.

Professor Dietman W Rose (1987)
Dietmar W Rose is a professor in the College of Forestry at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.  His major interest and expertise are in the area of forest economics, quantitative resource analysis including operations research and computer applications to natural resource management problems, timber management planning and management information systems.  He is the author or co-author of more than 80 technical publications and is a member of the Society of American Foresters, the Interactional Society of Tropical Foresters, the Interactional Union of Forest Research Organizations, Phi Kappa Phi, Xi Sigma Pi, Sigma Xi, and Gamma Sigma Delta and Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA). He has 18 months experience working and travelling in 11 Latin American countries and has worked and travelled extensively in Europe and Japan.