Monday, March 4, 2024

DOC names 10 conservation scholarship recipients

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has announced this year’s 10 postgraduate scholarship recipients.

DOC Chief Scientist, Ken Hughey said he was heartened by the high calibre of the Te Papa Atawhai Postgraduate Scholarship recipients, which bodes well for conservation capability and capacity-building in the face of the biodiversity crisis.

“We need top-notch natural and social science research to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and the search for better tools to boost collective conservation action.”

“I’m particularly pleased to see a broad range of research topics. The funded research ranges from the demographics of marine taonga species in Kaikoura right through to the study of paryphanta land snails in Northland,” Mr Hughey said.

Other topics supported by the scholarships include research into inanga/whitebait, the threatened mohua/yellowhead, and invasive paper wasps’ biology and invertebrate conservation at Farewell Spit.

This year DOC has funded nine of the scholarships. The newly established Tiakina Kauri – Kauri Protection Agency within Biosecurity New Zealand has funded the remaining scholarship, which has gone to an investigation of the relationship between kauri health and soil conditions at a landscape level.

Te Papa Atawhai Postgraduate Scholarship 2022 recipients

NameUniversityTopic
Reason, AidenTe Herenga Waka – VictoriaInvasive paper wasp biology and invertebrate conservation on Farewell Spit
O’Malley, EmmaTe Herenga Waka – VictoriaInfluence of nocturnal illumination on the early life history traits and behaviour of inanga
Ward, CailieOtagoResolving phylogeographic structure and taxonomy of Paryphanta land snails in Northland, New Zealand
Fenton, KatieOtagoThe influence of human-induced stressors on Austrovenus stutchburyi (tuangi/tuaki/New Zealand cockle) population structure
Kann, JohannaOtagoConservation genomics of the mohua (yellowhead/bird)
Stone, JessicaCanterburyThe demographics of early life histories of marine taonga species in Kaikoura, New Zealand
Harcombe, ElysiaCanterburyEarly warning signs of community collapse in drying streams
Lip, MarrickAucklandChordata: an open platform to accelerate the adoption of machine learning for conservation
McElvein, AnnAucklandLandscape level framework visualizing the linkages between kauri tree health and soil conditions
Shapcott, IanLincolnDevelopment and refinement of a bicultural tool for assessing the impacts of tourism on te taiao in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The recipients of last year’s inaugural scholarship round are finalising their research for publication mid-year.

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