Namrata Chand

PhD (Otago). Ecosystem of red algal communities in the Otago Harbour. Nam’s research will focus on an endemic red seaweed called Adamsiella chauvinii. Despite being found around multiple places around the harbour, and in New Zealand, not much is known about it in terms of its habitat, biomass, and nutrient physiology. Nam’s PhD project will work to shine light on these aspects, and to scale it up to understand ecosystem functioning of soft sediment subtidal red algal communities. Through her research and knowledge, Nam hopes to contribute information to the large pool of “unknowns” about the ocean, and make its value more recognisable in the eyes of our people.

Duong Lê

PhD (Otago). Giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, a case study in New Zealand: Its vulnerability and adaptation strategy.  Duong’s work involves collecting Giant kelp around New Zealand and observing the quality and quantity of juveniles in a laboratory under a heatwave condition. Duong will complete a cross breeding study in order to determine the adaptation strategy of kelp in response to a changing climate.

Gaby Keeler-May

PhD (Otago). Optimal sampling methods and control strategies for Undaria pinnatifida in New Zealand harbors. Gaby’s work expands on research of the invasive seaweed Undaria pinnatifida by comparing its distribution over time and across localities. She is utilizing ecological sampling methods concurrently with molecular studies to compare haplotypes, physiology, and chemistry in different harbors, exposures, and depths. She will connect this research with a control project in the East Otago Taiāpure to guide non-indigenous species management in a valued fishery and to provide insight on the effect of large-scale Undaria removalto native kelp assemblages. Her intentions are to understand which methods are best suited for assessing its diversity and to determine if there are factors that make it more likely to recover after removal. She hopes this will improve the ability to detect, manage, and monitor Undaria in the future.

Isla Twigg

PhD (Otago). The bacterial ecology of kelp forests in southern New Zealand. Isla’s research focuses on characterising the relationships between macroalgae and their associated bacterial communities. Specifically, this involves assessing seasonal changes in bacterial productivity and abundance within beds of different species of macroalgae; characterising bacterial communities within and outside kelp forests, and assessing how kelp forests and their associated microbial communities respond to environmental stress as a result of climate change.

Louise Bennett-Jones

MSc (Otago). Pāua within the East Otago Taiāpure: assessment, enhancement, management. Louise is investigating the current state of pāua stocks within the taiāpure, by resurveying established monitoring sites and identifying populations trends from previous surveys conducted in 2008, 2012, and 2016. Her research will then focus on the potential for translocation as a stock enhancement tool. This will involve relocating some pāua from an area of high density to sites that have previously been exposed to high fishing pressure, the aim of improving success of broadcast spawning and, subsequently, local recruitment in over-fished areas. Louise then intends to investigate the wider matter of pāua management by reviewing management in New Zealand and comparing this with her own management experience of the abalone ‘ormer’ (Haliotis tuberculata) in Jersey.

Tim Howarth

MSc (Otago) Undaria pinnatifidas threat in the changing ocean. Tim’s project looks at the relationship of Undaria pinnatifida and native New Zealand seaweed species under the effects of climate change. He hopes to provide a greater understanding of Undarias threat to native species through looking at Undarias invasion strategy into new locations and examining if Undaria is energetically and physiologically better suited to tolerating the increasing ocean temperatures, and the predicted low light periods that come with climate change.

Will Pinfold

MSc (Otago) Quantifying an invasive seaweed (Undaria Pinnatifida) using underwater videography. Will plans to develop a more efficient method of calculating the biomass of different species within seaweed assemblages. This will involve constructing an underwater filming setup to allow the filming of underwater transects as opposed to counting individuals on site. The aim is to allow studies to carry out a much larger number of transects in the same time period as freedivers will not be limited by nitrogen build up. In the process, he also hopes to quantify the invasion of Undaria pinnatifida in sites around Otago as well as look at the regeneration of both natives and Undaria once Undaria has been harvested.

Finn Ryder

MSc (Otago) Population dynamics of pāua in Peraki Bay, Banks Peninsula: Population structure, growth and reproduction. Finn is using data sets from the 1970s to view changes in population dynamics of the Peraki Bay Banks Peninsula pāua. His project will involve SCUBA surveys of pāua and pāua tagging, then comparing these surveys to previous data sets. Finn will work to provide up to date information on pāua in this area, as well as information on how pāua populations may be changing over time. 


Lisa van Halderen

MSc (Otago). Investigating rāhui as a fisheries management tool.

Becky Kerr

Honours (Otago). Biofiltration by macroalgae as an ecosystem service in the Waikouaiti River Estuary.

Anna Kluibenschedl

PhD (Otago). Future Ocean and New Zealand Coralline Algae: Biological and Ecological Responses Under Elevated pCO2

Aless Smith

MSc (Otago) 2019. How robust is data gathered by citizen scientists for monitoring intertidal habitats?

Hang Thi Thuy Nguyen

PhD (Otago) 2019. The ecophysiology of coralline algae in Southern New Zealand.

Terina Raureti

MPhEd (Otago) 2019. Kia mārama ai te ihi, te wehi o Mukukai: The influence of swimming on whānau engagement with water

Chanel Phillips

PhD (Otago) 2019. A Journey to Belonging: Explorations of Māori Perspectives of Water Safety.

Justine Camp

PhD (Otago) 2019. Te Tautarinui o Matariki; A whānau health compass.

Simone Jarrett

MSc (Otago) 2018. Causes of coralline algae bleaching within the East Otago Taiāpure.

Lucy Coyle

MSc (Otago) 2018. Using Esri Story Map ArcGIS to Support Community-led Natural Resource Management.

Jack Hall

MSc (Otago) 2018. Bacterial production rates on macro-algal surfaces

Brenton Twist

MSc, 2015 (Otago). The ecology of the scallop (Pecten novaezealandiae) in Te Whaka ā Te Wera (Paterson Inlet) Rakiura (Stewart Island).
PhD (Auckland/Otago/NIWA) 2018. The Corallines of southern New Zealand

Isla Twigg

Hons, (Otago) 2017. Oxidative stress in baterioplankton within kelp forest canopies.

Levi McPherson

BAppSc Hons (Otago) 2017. Key Habitat of the New Zealand Black Flounder and Sand Flounder within Estuaries.

Mason Court

PG DipSCi (Otago) 2017. Influence of potting on Blue cod behavior.

Eugene Leahy

MSc (Otago) 2017. Expansion and Harvestability of Undaria pinnatifida throughout North Otago CPAs.

Nicole Foote

MSc (Otago) 2017. Eutrophication Environmental and biological characteristics of East Otago estuaries along a gradient of marine connectivity.

Matt Desmond

BSc Honours, (Otago) 2011. Impacts of sewage outfalls on local fishery health in the East Otago Taiāpure.
PhD, (Otago) 2017. Kelp forest response to light limitation.

Lana Young

PGDipSci, (Otago) 2016. Characteristics of Blackfoot Pāua (Haliotis iris) juvenile habitat.

Blair Thomson

Hons (Otago) 2016. Temperature and UV light affect the activity of marine cell-free extracellular enzymes.

Tiffany Stephens

PhD, (Otago) 2016. Nitrogen physiology of giant kelp in Otago and Stewart Island.

Ngahuia Mita

MSc, (Otago) 2016. Hauteruruku ki Puketeraki-Connecting to Te Ao Takaroa.

Emma Kearney

MSc, (Otago) 2016. 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).

Bridget Hardy

PGDipSci. (Otago) 2016. Urea in coastal seas, estuaries and rivers.

Pamela Fernandez

PhD, (Waikato) 2016. Impacts of elevated CO2 on the physiology of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera.

Georgia Bell

MSc, (Otago) 2016.  Dynamics of fecal indicators in estuarine environments after a rainfall event.

Cohen Stewart

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

Rocio Suarez Jimenez

PhD, (Otago) 2015. Ecology of Undaria pinnatifida

Jordan Housiaux

MSc, (Otago) 2015.  Exploring the murky world of the sevengill shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) in Southern New Zealand

Tom Gillespie

Hons (Otago) 2014.  Shell lesions of Haliotis iris.

Tasman Gillies

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

Peri Subritzky

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

Tom McCowan

PGDipSci (Otago) 2011. Feeding rates by greenlipped mussels Perna canaliculus.
PhD, (Otago) 2013. Genetic tools to improve reseeding success of wild pāua fisheries.

Gaya Gnanalingam

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

Rory Kyle

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

Gayle Somerville

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

Sorrel O’Connel-Milne

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

Chris Cornwall

PhD, (Otago) 2013. Susceptibility of near-shore temperate rocky reefs to ocean acidification.

Rory Kyle

MSc, (Otago) 2012. Roles of predatory starfish (Astrostole scabra) in structuring marine communities exposed to different degrees of water motion.

Rebecca James

MSc, (Otago) 2012. Effects of ocean acidification on macroalgal communities.

Sam Temperton

PGDipSci (Otago) 2011. Competition between juvenile pāua and other invertebrates.

Daniel Pritchard

PhD, (Otago) 2011. The ecophysiology of the deep-water macroalga Anotrichium crinitum (Kützing) Baldock

Caitlin Chew

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

Ani Kainamu

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

Derek Richards

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

Robert Win

MSc, (Otago) 2009. 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: