2019 Nuffield Scholar profile – Ben Hancock

Our Scholars

Dr. Ben Hancock

2019 Scholar


Ben was raised on his family’s South Wairarapa hill country sheep and cattle farm. He is now based in Wellington working for Beef + Lamb New Zealand as a Whole Farm Data Lead. He is still near the family farm and often heads back home to lend a hand. After working in research and conservation roles in New Zealand, USA and Panama, Ben completed his PhD investigating eco-system services. Before joining Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Ben worked for the Ministry for Primary Industries in biosecurity policy. Ben has also been heavily involved in industry, including participating in the JENESYS program hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture for future leaders of New Zealand agriculture, and presenting at international and domestic academic conferences and industry congresses.

Ben’s research ‘Rural leadership: taming the wicked problems’ explored how agriculture could get ahead of social and political issues facing the industry, to lead the conversation, rather than react, while at the same time retaining social capital. 


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Current employment

Beef + Lamb NZ
Whole Farm Data Lead 

Other Affiliations



Sheep & beef

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Philosophical Doctorate in Ecology (Ph.D.)
Bio-Protection Research Centre – Lincoln University


JENESYS programme for future leaders of New Zealand agriculture


Master of Science in Ecology & Biodiversity (Honours)
Victoria University of Wellington


Bachelor of Science in Conservation & Ecology
Lincoln University

Scholarships & Awards


Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand travel award.

2010 - 2012

Bio-Protection Research Centre Ph.D. Scholarship


Freemasons Ph.D. Scholarship


Murray King Scholarship


Rural Women New Zealand Scholarship

Our programmes work in partnership with some of New Zealand’s leading agribusiness organisations – click here for more.​