Plant Protection Chemistry NZ Ltd



About Us

PPCNZ has been active in the field of improving agrichemical use and efficacy since 1984, originating as one of Forest Research Institute (now Scion, a Crown Research Institute) operational research groups. It has been an independent, privately owned company since January 2005.

Our expertise has been gained through extensive fundamental and applied research, to understand the nature of agrichemicals, how they work, and how they interact with target and non-target species. Visit our publication list.

PPCNZ works with a wide range of international clients (in Australia, USA, Europe, South America and South Africa) and NZ clients in the forestry, agriculture, horticulture and agrichemical supply sectors.

PPCNZ undertakes fundamental and applied research for chemical suppliers and manufacturers, grower groups, spray equipment providers, consultants, NZ Crown Research Institutes and universities.

Our Team


Alison Forster - Executive Director
BSc. - Chemistry (NZ), MSc. - Forestry (USA), Dr. rer. nat. (Germany)  
Alison's key research emphasis has been the development of new (and enhancement of existing) spray adhesion and retention models, which have been implemented into research software. Further research interests include mechanistic interpretation and modelling of agrichemical uptake into plant foliage, as well as characterisation of plant surfaces, sprays, and their interactions. 


Robyn Gaskin - Executive Director
NZCS Chemistry (NZ), MSc. - Crop Protection (Bristol, UK)  
Robyn originally trained as a chemist and has worked as a research scientist specialising in spray adjuvant use for more than 30 years. Her professional specialty is the research, development and use use of agrichemical adjuvants to optimise pesticide use and to reduce spray residues and off-target drift. She has extensive international experience in the use of organosilicone surfactants in horticultural, forestry and arable applications.


David Horgan
BSc. - Plant Biotechnology (Otago, NZ)
David has a background in plant physiology. David's key research areas involve determining uptake and translocation of pesticides in plants, and characterising the physical properties of sprays, as well as tracksprayer and field trials to improve spray application efficiency. He is skilled in the use of radiochemistry and confocal microscopy to better understand the mode of action of pesticide-plant interactions.

Rebecca van Leeuwen
BDes. (Wellington, NZ)
Rebecca has a background in design and produces  PPCnz's graphics, videos and website. She is an accomplished photographer and video operator, both of which contribute significantly to our research capability. Her key areas of research include spray droplet adhesion and deposit analysis. Rebecca assists with field and laboratory trials, as well as maintaining plant stocks for all our experiments. 

Justin Nairn
BSc. –  Zoology and Ecology, Dip. Sc. – Chemistry (NZ),   MSc. – Chemistry (Electrochemistry), Ph.D. – Chemistry (Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry / nano-materials; USA)  
Justin has a strong background in chemistry and the biological sciences, and a keen interest in the environment and sustainability. Justin's current key areas of research include the characterisation of plant surfaces, sprays and their interactions, as well as developing models for spray droplet adhesion and spreading.