Lead scientists



Dr Alec Mackay

Principal Scientist
AgResearch Farm Systems & Environment

Team leader

Dr Alec Mackay

With hundreds of refereed journal and conference paper publications to his credit, Alec is considered an expert in soil biology and soil carbon, resource management, land evaluation and farm planning. He completed his PhD in soil science at Massey University and is a Fellow and Past President of the New Zealand Society of Soil Science. Recently, his outstanding national contributions to pastoral farming industries were recognised by the New Zealand Grasslands Trust. Among a long history of notable research projects, he was heavily involved in the development of the Land and Environment Plan (LEP) tool for Beef + Lamb New Zealand and, more recently, in the development of NZFAP Plus.

“This project will expand soil measures to include the soil’s biological health, along with a soil carbon sampling approach, enabling farms to complete a carbon budget. Another goal is the integration of indigenous biodiversity outcomes into the farm planning process. This will require extending measures of the benefits we obtain from our landscapes, beyond food and fibre, to include social and environmental outcomes. This will support the red meat story of ‘taste pure nature’ and further recognise the wider benefits sheep and beef operations provide to the community.”