Anna Kluibenschedl

PhD (Otago). Future Ocean and New Zealand Coralline Algae: Biological and Ecological Responses Under Elevated pCO2. Anna’s work is focused on crustose coralline algae (CCA) and the impacts of the expected changes in our oceans. Her work is centered around the CCA occurring within the East Otago Taiāpure. Combining information from ongoing  pH-monitoring efforts in the Taiāpure and laboratory experiments, she tries to understand how CCA are going to be affected by increased carbon dioxide levels in the ocean. Studying the effects of increased carbon dioxide on these algae might help us to better understand implications for other organisms.

Lisa van Halderen

MSc (Otago). Investigating rāhui as a fisheries management tool. Lisa’s research looked at the practice of temporary closures on a fishery. Specifically, her research focused on a voluntary rāhui in Whareponga on the East Cape of the North Island, and a legal rāhui under s186B of the Fisheries Act 1996 in the East Otago Taiāpure. Lisa investigated whether either of these forms of management affirm the rights guaranteed under the Treaty of Waitangi by providing for rangatiratanga, and the authority to exercise kaitiakitanga. Her project aimed to identify a management method that provided for rangatiratanga, incorporated the values associated with kaitiakitanga, and was protected by law.

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.

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). Giant Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) as a biogenic engineer. 


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.

Simone Jarrett

MSc (Otago) 2019. Causes of coralline algae bleaching within the East Otago Taiāpure.

Lucy Coyle

MSc (Otago) 2019. Using Esri Story Map ArcGIS to Support Community-led Natural Resource Management.

Jack Hall

MSc (Otago) 2019. Bacterial production rates on macro-algal surfaces

Levi McPherson

BAppSc Hons (Otago) 2018. Key Habitat of the New Zealand Black Flounder and Sand Flounder within Estuaries

Eugene Leahy

MSc (Otago) 2019. 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, 2011 (Otago). Impacts of sewage outfalls on local fishery health in the East Otago Taiāpure.
PhD, 2017 (Otago). Kelp forest response to light limitation.

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).

Georgia Bell

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

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).

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: