Matthew Desmond

MattPhD (Otago). Sediment influences on coastal fisheries productivity.  Matt’s research looks at the flow on effects caused by land modification to important and productive coastal marine ecosystems. This work compares the productivity of subtidal reef habitats which are linked to a range of differing catchment uses within the areas of East Otago, Catlins coast and Stewart Island. This research has the aim of providing information which allows a joint management approach for interconnected marine and terrestrial environments

Georgia Bell

7d3a1672602b06bb4325db7f486e80c9MSc (Otago).  Dynamics of fecal indicators in estuarine environments after a rainfall event. Georgia’s research looks into fecal contamination of Cockles (Austrovenus stutchburyi) and Mussels (Perna canaliculus) as a result of rainfall events in the east coast community of Karitane (Otago).  This work is carried out to better understand the survival and ecology of fecal contaminants in the water, sediment and in shellfish within marine environments. The results will give locals an indication on the health of their Awa (river), as well as a safe shellfish harvesting time.

Ani Kainamu

PhD Student, Ngāi Tahu Researchani Centre Doctorate Student at the University of Canterbury.

Tāua ki uta, tāua ki tai: the cultural, recreational and ecological values of shellfisheries in New Zealand and Hawai`i. Ani’s research looks at shellfisheries as indicators of their environment, and surrounding land uses. This will be done by measuring contaminant (trace metals and microbial) levels in the environment, as well as interviewing local cultural and recreational participants (including local managers, kaitiaki, ‘beach goers’) to understand the changes in fisheries, values and indicators of health, and effectiveness of current management systems.

 Nicole Foote

MSc (Otago). Eutrophication and food web structure in coastal lagoons in East Otago.


Emma Kearney

MSc 2016 (Otago). Environmental and biological factors associated with the recruitment and abundance of the scallop (Pecten novaezelandiae) in Te Whaka ā Te Wera (Paterson Inlet) Rakiura (Stewart Island).

 Tiffany Stephens

PhD 2015 (Otago).  Nitrogen use by the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera.

Brenton Twist

MSc 2015 (Otago). The ecology of the scallop (Pecten novaezealandiae) in Te Whaka ā Te Wera (Paterson Inlet) Rakiura (Stewart Island).

Cohen Stewart

MSc 2015 (Otago). Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) trials in Big Glory Bay, Rakiura (Stewart Island).

Tasman Gillies

MSc 2014 (Otago). Pāua reseeding at East Otago taiāpure. A comparison of traditional vs. aquaculture approaches.

Peri Subritzky

MSc 2013 (Otago). Identifying critical nursery habitat for pāua juveniles in locations around New Zealand.

Tom McCowan

PhD, 2013 (Otago). Genetic tools to improve reseeding success of wild pāua fisheries.

Gaya Gnanalingam

MSc, 2013 (Otago). Reproductive output of pāua (Haliotis iris).

Rory Kyle

MSc, 2013 (Otago). Roles of predatory starfish (Astrostole scabra) in structuring marine communities exposed to different degrees of water motion.

Gayle Somerville

MSc, 2013 (Otago). Exploring harvest regulations of New Zealand abalone (Haliotis iris) via population modelling.

Sorrel O’Connel-Milne

BAppSci Honours, 2013 (Otago). Sustainability of a traditional harvest method for Karengo.

Caitlin Chew

BAppSci Honours, 2011 (Otago). The effects of sedimentation on the growth and survival of juvenile Haliotis iris and their living habitat (crustose coralline algae).

Matt Desmond

BSc Honours, 2011 (Otago). Impacts of sewage outfalls on local fishery health in the East Otago Taiāpure.

Ani Kainamu

MSc, 2010 (Otago). The fishery trend of the Littleneck Clam, Austrovenus stutchburyi, the filtering capacity, and phytoplankton flux within an East Otago Inlet.

Derek Richards

MSc, 2009 (Otago). Subtidal rocky reef communities of the East Otago Taiāpure.

Robert Win

MSc, 2009 (Otago). Kelp forests: Crucial habitat for fish and invertebrates on the East Otago Coast.


Chris Hepburn, Marine Sciences Department, University of Otago
Office: 310 Castle Street, Room 144  |  Tel: 64 3 479 7462  |  Email: