Archived Seminars

Food security and other opportunities for New Zealand agriculture toward 2030
Dr Solis Norton
Centre for Sustainability Seminar Room, Thursday 26 July, 4-5pm


There is now irrefutable evidence that, in broad terms, global growth is peaking.

Physical resource constraints dictate that we now pass through a plateau of static growth before entering a period characterised predominantly by contraction.

A clear explanation of the underlying physical processes responsible is not yet available in the public forum. An explanation will be offered in this presentation that combines powerful international research by Bartlett (2004), and Murphy & Hall (2010) with current research at the University of Otago. It will use EROI theory (Energy Return On Investment) as a platform.

Conservation of global food supply in the face of contraction will become a growing challenge.

New Zealand agriculture is ideally positioned to lead the world in refining its processes to suit a future of contraction rather than growth. There is tremendous scope to enhance our competitive advantage and profitability.

The refinement process will be explored from the perspective of an industry based company which is focussed on technology transfer, raising awareness of farmers to important issues, and assisting management change. 


Solis Norton took on the role of Project Manager for Johne?s Management Limited in July 2010 after twelve years of epidemiological and agricultural research work focussed mostly on mycobacterial disease.

After completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Massey in 1996 and working as a shepherd for two years Solis joined the EpiCentre (centre for the study of veterinary epidemiology) at Massey University and completed a Masters in Applied Science focussing on tuberculosis in wild possums (2001) and a PhD on the epidemiology of Johne?s disease in New Zealand dairy herds (2008). During this time he assisted with a wide range of other epidemiological projects including Tb vaccine research in wild possums, RHD virus in wild rabbits, rabies in dogs in Thailand and Bhutan, sheep pneumonia, and e. coli in beef.

From 2008 to 2010 Solis worked at the University of Otago in the Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food, and Environment (CSAFE). His main focus there was researching the energy efficiency of agricultural production systems, as part of the Agricultural Research Group On Sustainability (ARGOS), and he also managed the Otago Energy Research Centre.

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