Remarkable boost to Marine Science research
8 March 2012
Marine Science research has been given a remarkable boost with a gift of $210,000 for PHD scholarships from respected international business woman and philanthropist, Dr Beate Schuler.
Dr Schuler is the German-born co-founder of Irish pharmaceutical company Iropharm Ltd. Since the 1970s, she has been a regular visitor to our shores, aware of the economic and cultural similarities between Ireland and New Zealand, two island nations. It was our vast marine estate and innovation in marine stewardship that inspired her to support Marine Science research at The University of Auckland.
"New Zealand is a prime location for this research. The Leigh laboratory also has internationally recognised science staff, including the current director Professor John Montgomery."
Dr Schuler established Iropharm with her father Dr Wilhelm Schuler in 1981. She attributes much of the success of the company to their emphasis on research and development.
"For this reason, we built up strong relations with Ireland's Trinity College and University College Dublin for the employment of PhD chemists, as well as with Regional Technical Colleges for chemical technicians."
Since the sale of her company, Dr Schuler has donated generously to science research at Trinity College. She is also a member of Business Angels Frankfurt, an organization that offers young entrepreneurs financial and advisory support.
"Since I have no children, I want to pass on my estate to society. Giving with 'warm hands' is not only more fun but ensures that the funds are used according to my wishes."
The new Marine Science scholarships will support two PHD students for three and a half years study and research. Professor Montgomery appreciates the importance of philanthropic support such as Dr Schuler's. It has helped redevelop the Leigh Marine Campus and is vital to continue the world-class teaching and research.
"Dr Beate Schuler's generous gift of two PhD scholarships will support the core of our marine science vision: to link together researchers across disciplines; to address novel and important research questions; and to attract world class graduate students to our marine science programme."