Our Team & Directors

Miruna Petcu

Miruna is the inventor of Ligar’s MIPs, a chemist with a very commercially focused approach and a track record of developing imprinted polymers that her academic peers would consider near-impossible. She is passionate about developing polymers that solve social problems as well as commercial ones, such as the removal of arsenic from drinking water in third world countries.

Nigel Slaughter

Nigel has been looking after MIPs business and company development since September 2011. He has managed the commercialisation and international launch of technologies since the mid-1990s, leading to a very broad market knowledge that is an ideal fit for Ligar. Nigel’s focused on building partnerships with national and international companies to make the most of the many opportunities.

Rebecca Ericksen
Operations Manager

Rebecca works closely with our scientists and business partners to develop and plan polymer development projects and helps to ensure the many project strands stay on track.  She’s also planning the scale up of polymer production and systems integration.

Rebecca Fow
Laboratory Manager

Alongside managing the lab and keeping us all in proper order, Rebecca works on proof of concept for new targets.  She co-leads the removal of targets from food and wine, currently focusing on removal of metals from wine.

Alexandra Foster
MIPs Researcher – Organics

Alex co-leads the removal of targets from food and wine with a focus on the removal of organic compounds from wine. She has participated in the production of polymer for industrial scale commercial use.

Norton Holtz
MIPs Researcher – Metals

Norton joined the MIPs research project in 2011.  His work has focused primarily on the development of imprinted polymers for the extraction of heavy metals from fluid matrices, relating to farming and agriculture.

Terekia Madden
MIPs Researcher – Metals

Terekia has been with the MIPs facility since early 2013 as part of the inorganic polymer development team, also contributing to the development of polymer processing and up-scaling. His projects include the development of rare earth element targeting MIPs, also assisting in the systems integration of both organic and inorganic MIPs.

Aaron Low
Process Engineer

Aaron leads the development and testing of filtration systems using our polymers.  He’s also scaling up production capacities and improving efficiencies all round.  Aaron’s background is in edible oil processing, following the completion of his PhD at Waikato University on the processing of biopolymers.

Amber McElroy
MIPs Developer

Amber is focused on the development and optimisation of some of our organic polymers.  Amber has been part of the MIPs development team since 2013.

Shiella Anastacio
MIPs Developer

Shiella is focused on the development of new polymer formulations and is laying the groundwork for some of our future developments.

Board of Directors

Sir James Wallace

Sir James established Wallace Corporation in 1996 consolidating a number of family companies and his own businesses which included the Wallford Meats processing plant at Waitoa. His early career was as a solicitor and company secretary working closely with Sir Robert Kerridge and Sir Woolf Fisher at Rank/Hanimex and Fisher & Paykel respectively. Sir James was knighted for his services to the Arts.

Graham Shortland

Graham joined Wallace Corporation in 2006 from the Randall Parker Food Group in the UK. He has an extensive history of senior leadership roles in the red meat and fishing industries in New Zealand and internationally. Graham is a current director of the International Fats and Protein Research Association (FPRF), Chairman of Aduro Biopolymers and a former Chairman of the Guild of Welsh Lamb and Beef Suppliers.

Duncan Mackintosh

Duncan is the Chief Executive of WaikatoLink Limited. He has founded or co-founded a number of new ventures based on University of Waikato IP. In addition Duncan co-founded the Kiwi Innovation Network, a consortium of 13 Research Organisations that are dedicated to taking a collaborative approach to research commercialisation. He is CEO and Director of Aldera Limited, a company focused on creating diversified solutions for the animal health industry. Duncan graduated from Massey University in 1995 with a BVSc in Veterinary Science and worked as a veterinarian for seven years. Duncan is currently the Vice Chair of Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA), an Advisory Council Member for NZBIO, and a member of the Investment Committee’s for KiwiNet and Return on Science.

John Birch

Until 2000, John was a shareholder and director of McClunie Birch Limited which grew over a ten year period to be New Zealand’s largest provider of process equipment and solutions to the dairy and food industries. During that time, John built a formidable network of contacts across various industries and countries. The McClunie Birch Group was subsequently sold to the Downer Group. Subsequent to exiting McClunie Birch, John became chairman and a director of Innovation Waikato Limited, assisting in its successful launch, Deputy Chairman – Habitat for Humanity (Central North Island), Chairman/Director/major shareholder – Get Smart Holdings Ltd; a company offering financial services products to accountants, Chairman/director/Shareholder – FeeSmart Finance Ltd; a niche finance company providing fee funding to accountants, Chairman – Perry Resources Ltd; the quarry and resource division of Perry Group, Chairman – LearningWorks Ltd; the commercialisation company operated by WINTEC and charged with commercialising their IP.