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ECR Forum Committee Members


Committee members of the ECR Forum generally commit to serving a three-year term. Committee members will be selected with concern for the ECR Forum’s representativeness regarding gender, ethnicity, geographic location, occupational sector, and disciplinary affiliation. Co-chairs will be sourced from current committee members. Co-chairs will generally serve for two years and their terms will overlap with each other by one year to enable continuity.


Karly Burch - Co-Chair (University of Otago)

ECR Forum Committee Karly BurchDr Karly Burch (she/her) is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Auckland. She specializes in feminist and anticolonial science and technology studies (STS), ethnographic methods and collaborative research strategies, and her research agenda addresses questions of social and environmental justice related to health, food and technology. Karly’s current research projects explore the material politics of nuclear pollution, artificially intelligent robotics in agriculture and collaborative research for sustainable technofutures. She received a PhD in sociology from the University of Otago and an MSc in agroecology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and ISARA-Lyon. You can learn more about Karly and her research at www.karlyburch.com.


Ritodhi Chakraborty – Co-Chair (University of Canterbury)

ECR Forum Committee Member Ritodhi Chakraborty v2

Ritodhi Chakraborty is a parent, immigrant and political ecologist/interdisciplinary social scientist that collaborates with indigenous and agrarian communities to explore pathways of environmental and social justice. For the past decade, he has worked with various universities, think-tanks, public and civil society institutions across the world. Currently, his work and activism are focused on climate justice and building a more inclusive and empathetic science and research sector in Aotearoa. 


Louise Hennessy – Co-Chair (AgResearch)

 ECR Forum Committee Louise Hennessy

Sereana Naepi - Committee Member (University of Auckland)

ECR Forum Committee Sereana NaepiSereana Naepi is a lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Auckland. Sereana examines higher education systems in both Aotearoa and internationally. Sereana utilises a mixture of methods and methodologies including Pacific research methodologies and quantitative measurements to explore how higher education systems can deliver on their promise of success for all. Sereana completed her PhD at the University of British Columbia in Canada where she was a Public Scholar. Sereana went on to be the Associate Director of All My Relations, an Indigenous research centre at Thompson Rivers University in Canada where she coordinated national and international Indigenous research development projects including Knowledge Makers, which was recipient of the national Alan Blizzard university teaching award before returning home to lecture in Sociology at the University of Auckland. 


Gergely Toldi - Committee Member (University of Auckland)

ECR Forum Committee Member Gergely Toldi v2Gergely is a senior lecturer in neonatology at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. His research primarily focuses on early life development of the immune response and understanding the immunological background of complications affecting preterm and term neonates as well as pregnant women. He also has significant results on the pathomechanism of various autoimmune disorders. He contributed to developing novel flow cytometry based diagnostic and experimental methods. In his clinical role, he works as a consultant neonatologist at Starship Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He is an alumnus of the Global Young Academy.


Kristie Cameron - Committee Member (Unitec)

ECR Forum Committee Member Kristie Cameron v2Kristie is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Environmental and Animal Sciences at Unitec in Animal Behaviour Science and an emerging researcher in the field of experimental and applied animal behaviour. Kristie’ research focus is using behavioural economics and applied behaviour analysis to study captive, companion and laboratory animal behaviour and husbandry to improve and inform animal welfare science and educate owners and animal handlers.


Dr Htin Lin Aung - ECR Council Member (University of Otago) 

ECR Forum Committee Dr Htin Lin AungDr Htin Lin Aung is a Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellow at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago, Dunedin. Dr Aung obtained his BSc (Hons) in Genetics and then PhD in Microbiology from the University of Otago. A molecular biologist by training, Dr Aung is a firm believer in making a difference to society using a multi-sectoral approach assisted by innovative technologies. Dr Aung leads a multi-disciplinary research programme that is focused on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and health inequality using tuberculosis (TB) as an exemplar. Dr Aung’s research integrates molecular biology, clinical microbiology, molecular epidemiology, public health and social science disciplines. Dr Aung’s team work closely with key stakeholders such as communities and policymakers to translate their research into tangible health benefits.

Htin is a Councillor on the Royal Society Te Apārangi Council from 2024 until 30 June 2025.  


Kiely McFarlane - Committee Member (Cawthron Institute)

ECR Forum Committee Kiely McFarlaneKiely is a postdoctoral researcher in the Coastal and Freshwater Group at the Cawthron Institute. She has a background in environmental geography, with a focus on water policy and governance. Her research combines qualitative social science methods with critical policy analysis to examine the drivers, directions and outcomes of changes in environmental policy. Kiely completed her MSc in geography at the University of Auckland in 2012 and her PhD at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 2019. Her PhD research explored the development and early implementation of British Columbia’s new water legislation, revealing how water user security was prioritised over reforms to address environmental justice and sustainability. Kiely is currently working on a range of interdisciplinary projects, including the environmental history of New Zealand’s lakes, collective models of ecosystem regeneration, and the future of introduced fish in Aotearoa. Kiely is involved in Cawthron’s early career researcher group and helped coordinate Cawthron’s ECR submission on the government’s research strategy in 2019. Prior to completing her PhD, Kiely worked as a research analyst at Auckland Council. 


Te Rerekohu Tuterangiwhiu - Committee Member (Cawthron Institute in Nelson)

Ehara ahau i te purupuru i te takā. Pātaua ia ko ō tama purupuru he tama purupuru marire, ko
āhau ko Ngati Rangi, nō te angaanga tītī iho i te rangi’. Ka tukuna mā tāku Ngāti-Rangitanga,
otirā, mā tāku aroha nui ki tāku Ngāpuhitanga, e wāwāhi i āku nei kōrero taki. I tupu ake ahau i
roto i te Tai Tokerau, i Moerewa, i Kaikohe. Ā, ko te reo te mauri o tōku mana Māori i te ao i te
pō. Ko te ao Māori te tāhuhu nui o āku mahi katoa. Ko tāku nei kaupapa, ‘kia eke te maiaiō ki
runga ki ngā here katoa o te Tai-ao, kia tupu ritorito, kia tupu wanawana. 

I am currently a Kaiārahi Rangahau Kaimōana at Cawthron Institute in Nelson. I hold formal qualifications in Mātauranga Māori, Marine Biology and Aquaculture. I have special interests in areas where Science and the building blocks of the natural world interact
with ngā Pūtaiao and mātauranga Tuku iho. In particular the re-emergence of traditional and
customary practices and those practices that are encompassing of Manaakitanga and Kaitiakitanga
in Te Ao Tūroa. I am a Marine Biologist and Researcher in several projects at the Cawthron
Institute that is spread across Shellfish and Finfish Aquaculture, Aquatic Animal Health, and
Seafood Safety, and I believe there is a place for te reo o Te Ao Māori to be heard in these kaupapa.
I am the project co-leader for the Whakaika-Te-Moana project, supported by the Innovation Fund
of the Sustainable Seas Science Challenge, and the co-leader of the Te Kete Rau-Kotahi project
supported by the VMCF in 2021.


Kwasi Adusei-Fosu - Committee Member (AgResearch)

Kwasi is the Science Team Leader & Senior Scientist Pathologist (Plant-Endophyte) in the Resilient Agriculture Group for AgResearch-NZ. He has experiences in plant/forest disease epidemiology, disease control, genomics, detection/diagnostics and pathogen adaptation. He has worked as a Plant Pathologist in England, Canada, and New Zealand on soil-borne and foliar pathogens especially for oomycetes (e.g. Phytophthora agathidicida, Phytopthora pluvialis) and fungi (e.g. Fusarium spp. , Austropuccinia psidii, Dothistroma septosporum) as well as beneficial microbes. He earned his PhD in England at the University of Nottingham-UK after receiving his master’s degree in his homeland, Ghana. Kwasi was awarded as a Commonwealth Scholar in UK and with stints of post-doctoral positions in Canada and New Zealand, has enjoyed working with ECR’s. He loves science outreach activities programmes and exploring opportunities in the plant pathology space relevant to New Zealand’s Agriculture sector.


Yvonne Ualesi - Committee Member (Auckland University of Technology)

ECR Forum Committee Yvonne UalesiYvonne Ualesi is a Lecturer at the School of Education, Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland University of Technology. Yvonne’s PhD research developed culturally responsive multi-methods, drawing on Va Relational theory and Pasifika methodologies in youth mentoring as a strategy of adolescent development. Her PhD mahi also developed key ingredients in youth mentoring practice to enact culturally responsive, sustaining and safe practice. Yvonne completed her PhD in 2021 at the University of Auckland, where she was a Doctoral Scholar. Her interests include the amplification of Indigenous knowledge systems both in adolescent development and initial teacher education. She is a staunch advocate for research that is authentically grounded in familial and communal approaches.


Tia Haira (Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao, Ngati Whakaaue, Ngati Pikiao, Tuwharetoa) - Committee Member (ESR)

Tia Haira cropKo Tuturu te maunga
Ko Puarenga te awa
Ko Te Arawa te waka
Ko Te Pakira te marae
Ko Tuhourangi te iwi
Ko Ngati Wahiao te hapū
Nō Rotorua ahau
Ko Tia Huia Haira ahau 

Tia is a Biomedical Scientist having completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Victoria University of Wellington. She has a research background in chemical genetics, immunology, establishing, and managing biobanks and working at the interface of mātauranga Māori and western science systems.

Tia currently holds a unique position at ESR as a science leader, in this role she leads Hauora for Māori impact. She is currently involved in the development of research with iwi in infectious diseases and Rongoa Māori. She strongly advocates for Māori engagement in the research sector and enabling access to data and governance of data that best serves the needs of Māori.