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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. Two 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.

Sarah Moss - Co-Chair (Plant & Food Research)

Sarah is a Scientist at Plant and Food Research, based in Palmerston North. She is a plant molecular biologist, specialising in plant development. Sarah received her BSc in Science (majoring in plant biology) from Massey University in Palmerston North, her Masters from the University of Auckland and she completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide, which was awarded in 2018. After returning to New Zealand, Sarah completed a post-doctoral scientist position at Plant and Food Research, before taking up her current role as an objective leader. She has worked on kiwifruit flowering, grape berry development, flower colour patterning, and now works on kiwifruit colour. Sarah is passionate about conducting research that will help to boost the New Zealand horticultural industry. Sarah has been involved with Plant and Food Research’s Emerging Career Researchers group, which holds yearly two-day workshops encouraging networking and empowering emerging researchers. 

Karly Burch - Co-Chair (University of Otago)

Karly Burch (she/her) is a research fellow at the University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability. In February 2023 she will transition to the role of lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Auckland. Karly 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 (in both disaster and design). Her current research projects explore the material politics of nuclear pollution, artificially intelligent robotics in agriculture and collaborative research for sustainable technofutures. Karly 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. She was recently awarded a Critical Nuclear Weapons Scholarship Grant from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The grant is funding collaborative research for the academic paper, “What is the nuclear future we want? Collaborative, anticolonial mapping as a tool to imagine Indigenous and settler futures beyond nuclear imperialism and nuclear colonialism.” You can learn more about Karly and her research at www.karlyburch.com.

Gergely Toldi (University of Auckland)

Gergely 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.

Sereana Naepi - (University of Auckland)

Sereana 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. 

Kristie Cameron - Committee Member (Unitec)

Kristie 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.

Shannon Davis - Committee Member (Lincoln University)

Shannon is a Lecturer in the School of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University. Having worked on urban design and landscape planning projects as a professional Landscape Architect in the UK, she returned to New Zealand and completed her PhD investigating Euro-western tourist experience of the post-genocide memoryscapes of Cambodia and Rwanda, in 2010. She currently lectures in the areas of landscape planning, design theory, and food landscapes. Her current research interests focus on productive landscapes and spatial design, particularly exploring the rural – urban transect and how it relates spatially to regenerative food production, urban form, and community wellbeing. She is a Theme Leader within the Designing Future Productive Landscapes Centre of Excellence, a multi-disciplinary research team seeking to conceptualise, design, create, implement and test alternative agroecosystems and other productive landscape systems that improve ecosystem-societal services.

Dr Htin Lin Aung Committee Member (University of Otago) 

Dr 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.    

Kiely McFarlane - Committee Member (Cawthron Institute)

Kiely 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. 

Lydia Liew - Committee Member (Auckland Cancer Research Centre)

Lydia Liew is a research fellow at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre. She is a medicinal chemist contributing to a multidisciplinary research environment in cancer drug discovery. She uses molecular modelling approaches for pharmacophore development, virtual screening, ligand and structure based drug design, as well as to generate new hypotheses for novel drug targets. To date, Lydia has worked on a number of drug targets in infectious diseases and cancer including GPCRs, kinases and other targets within the tumour microenvironment. She obtained her BSc (Hons) and then PhD in chemistry from The University of Auckland and has recently completed a Masters in Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship at The University of Auckland. During this programme, Lydia has been working alongside scientists and commercial partners across New Zealand to develop early-stage science and technologies with the aim of bringing them to market. Lydia is passionate about connecting scientist to the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem in New Zealand and would love to hear from you! 

Darren Powell - Committee Member (University of Auckland)

Darren Powell is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland. He uses critical ethnographic methods and critical social theory to interrogate the privatisation of public health and public education. Darren completed his PhD at Charles Sturt University, Australia, where he examined the ‘childhood obesity epidemic' and the ways in which corporations and charities are re-inventing themselves as 'part of the solution' to obesity. He is currently the Principal Investigator on a Royal Society Te Apārangi Marsden Fund Fast-Start Grant to study how the marketing of ‘health’ shapes children’s health knowledge, actions, and identities. 

Annette Bolton - Committee Member (ESR)

Annette Bolton is a Senior Scientist at ESR based in Ōtautahi. She is an interdisciplinary scientist working in cross-cutting areas of climate science, environmental science and health. She started her career as an environmental scientist working in occupational and environmental health at the University of Manchester in the UK. A commonwealth scholarship took her to Victoria University of Wellington where she studied palaeo-oceanography and developed the first surface ocean temperature calibration using foraminifera geochemical techniques. Foraminifera are tiny marine organisms that are used to reconstruct climate variability in the past. She then took off to complete a post-doc at The University of Hong Kong and The Earth Observatory of Singapore applying her geochemistry knowledge to tropical corals in the South China Sea. Most of her time was spent working on one of the longest coral records recovered in that region. Annette returned to Aotearoa in 2016, became a graduate of the science-policy exchange at the office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor and now works in the climate, environment and health space at ESR. She also has a soft spot for stygobites, which are important ecological critters that live in groundwater and have no eyes!

Sylvia Nissen - Committee Member (Lincoln University)

Sylvia Nissen is a Lecturer in Environmental Policy in the Department of Environmental Management at Lincoln University. Trained in political science, sociology and human geography, her research centres on youth political participation, social movements and sustainable transitions. She holds a Master of Environmental Science from Monash University in Australia and a PhD in political science from the University of Canterbury, for which she was awarded the Kate Sheppard Memorial Prize. Sylvia is the Primary Investigator of a Marsden Fast-Start funded project that examines the political legacies of the student mobilisation following the Christchurch earthquakes. She is also a Research Fellow in an international project examining young people’s everyday lives in seven diverse cities, coordinated by the University of Canterbury and the University of Surrey, UK.

Lucy Kaiser - Committee Member (GNS and Massey University)

Lucy (Kāi/Ngāi Tahu/Kāti Mamoe/Waitaha) is a Social Scientist at GNS Science and the Joint Centre of Disaster Research at Massey University. She is also a Pukenga of Te Toi Whakaruruhau o Aotearoa the EQC Maori Disaster Risk Reduction Research Centre. Lucy is studying her PhD part time, investigating how Murihiku/Southern Tangata Whenua view and respond to the impacts of climate change. She completed her Masters, specialising in Sociology of Disasters at Colorado State University in 2016, through a Fulbright Science and Innovation scholarship. Lucy is interested in indigenous emergency management, disaster risk reduction and risk communication research. Recently, she has completed work (Kura E Tai Āniwhaniwha/Schools and tsunami) developing bicultural geoscience and disaster preparedness curricula activities for kura and school students in Aotearoa for which, she was awarded a 2020 New Zealand Science Early Career Award. Lucy is passionate about engaging with rangatahi and tamariki to develop more equitable opportunities for Māori and indigenous representation in science.

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 (Scion Research in Rotorua)

Kwasi is a Forest Pathologist and currently the Team Leader for Pathogen Ecology & Control at the CRI-Scion. He has experiences in forests/plant 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) over the years. He was part of the team that researched the control of myrtle rust in NZ during the first incursion. His research work has been focused on the commercial forests and other research on the native forests protecting iconic species such as kauri trees, pohutukawa. 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 is currently exploring other opportunities to research into emerging areas of interest and relevance to NZ’s forestry sector and native plants.

Yvonne Ualesi Committee Member (Manukau Institute of Technology)

Yvonne Ualesi is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Curriculum Lead teaching on the B.Ed (Primary, Pasifika), School of Education, MIT Te Pūkenga. She uses culturally responsive multi-methods, va relational theory and Pasifika methodologies to amplify and prioritise Indigenous knowledge systems in adolescent development. Yvonne completed her PhD at the University of Auckland, where she developed key ingredients in youth mentoring practice for programmes ensuring culturally responsive, sustaining and safe practice. Her research work advocates for research that is authentically grounded in a familial and communal approach in response to programmes that aim to ‘fix’ rangatahi underpinned by Euro-centric approaches.