Dr Tim Harwood appointed NZFSSRC deputy director
Marine toxin specialist at the Cawthron Institute, Dr Tim Harwood, has been appointed the deputy director of the Centre. Tim has been involved with the Centre since its inception in 2016 and leads the chemical diagnostics capability platform. He is very experienced in the detection and prevention of food safety risks, especially those associated with shellfish, which are a big export earner for New Zealand. The competitive advantage enjoyed by New Zealand’s seafood exports relies on our clean waters, safe products and the ability to demonstrate the integrity of our seafood safety to international regulators and consumers.
Tim is highly regarded in his field. Last November, he was invited by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to advise at a special meeting in Rome on Ciguatera Fish Poisoning. Tim leads the New Zealand Seafood Safety research programme funded by MBIE, which is constantly assessing new and emerging food safety threats. The programme shares his vision for New Zealand to be a world leader in the safety of seafood exports and development of tools/systems for ensuring safety. This programme is a partnership between industry and scientists across multiple science organisations, and Tim ensures the programme makes an impact by ensuring research implementation through the New Zealand seafood industry, regulators, and international bodies.
Nigel says that Tim’s addition to the Centre will be another boost to its standing with industry, the government and public. His experience as an analytical chemist will complement Director Prof Nigel French’s specialisation in microbiology, and associated forensic methods. Tim, for his part, says that the opportunity to work with Nigel was a significant factor in his accepting the role. He thinks the Centre is absolutely necessary given the export focus of most New Zealand’s food industries, and has a bright future. It now has the established infrastructure and reputation to further expand its research programme.
Read more about Tim, his personal background and research, at