I welcome students and collaborators from a range of different backgrounds, including those who have partners and families, and those with diverse experience.
Prospective post-docs who are interested in working with me, either by applying for a postdoctoral fellowship or writing a grant to support a postdoctoral position, should contact me.
I support incoming graduate students in collaborative research with others, to enable students to develop research skills, value critical thinking, engage in respectful relationships, communicate their work, and publish papers.
Masters and PhD students are welcome in the following areas:
- Wētā behaviour and ecology. Otago stone weta (Hemideina maori) are large sexually dimorphic insects are found in subalpine and alpine areas of Otago. Projects could include aspects of anti-predator behaviour, foraging, or communication.
- Kākā behaviour. You will undertake a field study to explore evolutionary questions focused on kākā behaviour and communication.
- Using museum collections. These collections are an excellent way to explore questions about ecology, behaviour, distribution and morphology.
- Research that weaves mātauranga and conservation research methods to explore socioecological relationships.
Students may also develop their own research projects for their dissertations with my assistance. I support students to work both independently and in collaboration with others.
Students interested in applying to work with me should send me a brief statement of interests, CV, and summary of previous experience.
Masters scholarships available in 2022 or 2023
Antarctic research opportunities
There are a number of Masters scholarships (fees and stipend for the thesis year) centred on Antarctic research. At least one of these is tagged for a Māori student. Anei ngā kaupapa e whai ake nei:
- Antarctic narratives.
Māori have visited Antarctica in a range of roles, from fishing, through to the armed forces, service and science roles. You will interview a number of these Antarcticans, asking questions about their experience and drawing out their perceptions of Antarctica. These narratives will contribute to a larger project on Antarctica and kaitiakitanga. The project will be co-supervised by Dr Krushil Watene (Massey University).
You may have a background in fishing; environmental sciences; social sciences; Māori studies; geography or some other discipline. You will enjoy talking to people and be curious about their experience. You will also be flexible, pay attention to detail, enjoy working as part of a team, and have a sense of humour, but also be able to work independently. Mature students with broad life experience are most welcome.
- Inter-generational relationships using isotopes and behaviour.
You will help to answer evolutionary questions by building a network of mother and chick feeding and nutrition using stable isotope analysis. You will explore the stable isotope signatures of materials such as feathers and eggshell. Initially, you will test techniques using materials from a common bird species, but we hope to eventually analyse material from Antarctic birds in museum collections.
For this project, you will have a biological or environmental sciences background, be willing to learn some basic chemistry, and to understand more about Antarctic avian feeding patterns. You will be interested in big picture questions and have the capacity to think laterally. You will probably enjoy lab work and learning new things: you will be willing to learn data analysis with guidance and help from others and enjoy the sense of satisfaction that comes from achieving new tasks.
Stretching philosophical concepts.
This project explores kaitiakitanga and how this idea might stretch to Antarctica. Co-supervised by Assoc Prof Krushil Watene at Massey University (Albany), you will most likely be based at Albany.