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2019 Seminar Speakers

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Lincoln University 9.15am-5.00pm

Eventbrite - Braided Rivers Seminar 2017

Meet the speakers

Dr. Jan Wright: Te Manahuna Aoraki

Nick Ledgard: Chair Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group Inc (ARRG) and BRaid Inc: Nick is a retired forestry researcher (Scion/NZFRI) returning to ornithological roots put out as a youngster. He is a long-time OSNZ member. Currently, he spends most of his time trying to improve the lot of native birds on braided rivers (particularly on the Ashley-Rakahuri River), and pursuing his interests in farm forestry and wilding trees. He is the chairman of the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group and BRaid.

Sonny Whitelaw: Manager, BRaid Inc.: With a background in coastal geomorphology and climate change (primarily sea level rise), Sonny has worked on environmental management projects in Vanuatu, Australia, and New Zealand. She was the joint winner (with Lincoln University, DOC, and Hurunui College) of the 2014 Supreme Green-Ribbon Award for the Nina Valley Ecoblitz. The author of several novels, in 2014 she collaborated with over 100 children to produce the book Celebrating Biodiversity in the Hunurui District. Sonny has managed BRaid since 2015 while developing project plans for other organisations, including the recently announced ‘Predator-Free Hanmer Springs’ project for Te Tihi o Rauhea Conservation Trust.

Dr. Murray Hicks: NIWA: Principal Scientist for River and Coastal Geomorphology at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA) in Christchurch, he specialises in sediment transport by coastal and river processes. Over recent decades, he has focussed on measuring and modelling national suspended sediment loads and the morphodynamics of Canterbury braided rivers and applying results to assessing the effects of water-use schemes, dams, and gravel extraction on river morphology and physical habitat. He has also used coastal sediment budgets, remote-sensing, and morphological models to investigate the effects of changing river sand/gravel yields on the stability of the coast in the context of rising sea level and changing wave climate.

Bronywn Simmonds: Environment Canterbury

David Owen: Environment Canterbury

Grant Davey: Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group Inc (ARRG): A mineral exploration geologist and hydrogeologist, Grant’s career has taken him to Indonesia, Australia, and most recently here in New Zealand with ECan. He has had a longstanding interest in birds, primarily as a photographer. Living on a bank of the Ashley River, he is now applying his technical and IT skills to support the work of the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group.

Dr. Frances Schmechel: Environment Canterbury: Frances has been involved with braided rivers and shorebirds (wader species) since she moved to NZ in the early 1990s. She studied Chatham Island oystercatchers as part of her thesis while at Lincoln University, and has since been involved with waders via the black stilt recovery programme, braided river bird surveys, as a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Braided River birds, and is currently involved via her work at Environment Canterbury where she helps to implement the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) and manages one of the Regional Flagship Programmes for Braided Rivers.

Dr. Jean Jack: Environment Canterbury :A Land Ecologist at Environment Canterbury, Jean provides advice to Ecan staff, particularly for consent processing. In the past: a student and tutor of ecology at Lincoln University where she gained a PhD in Ecology looking at Ecosystem Services of native plants in agricultural landscapes. Originally Jean is from Oakura in Taranaki with family connections back to Timaru & Lyttelton – where she now calls home.

Dr. Richard Maloney: Department of Conservation:

Donna Field: Environment Canterbury

Dr. Tara Murray: University of Canterbury :Tara is a senior lecturer in the University of Canterbury where she teaches biosecurity, forest health, insect biology, and insect conservation in the School of Forestry, School of Biological Sciences, and Environmental Science degree programmes. Tara grew up helping out her dad who worked to protect the threatened birds of the Mackenzie braided rivers, particularly Kaki, but has always been fascinated with the diversity of insect life. In 2015 she established a research programme focused on insect conservation which centres around Threatened and At Risk grasshoppers and other braided river insects in the Mackenzie basin. Tara is also the secretary of the New Zealand Entomological Society.

Jemma Welch: Department of Conservation : Jemma completed her BSc and MSc at Auckland University studying the breeding ecology of grey-faced petrels. She has worked with numerous other seabird species during and since throughout New Zealand. This eventually brought her down to the braided rivers of the upper Waitaki basin where she took up monitoring black-fronted terns on the Tasman River. She has since become the biodiversity ranger for Project River Recovery, managed by DOC and funded by Meridian and Genesis Energies, where she spends her time galivanting around the upper Waitaki basin’s rivers chasing birds, insects and lizards and stumbling across the occasional plant.

Ailsa Howard: Forest & Bird / Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust : Ailsa graduated in Botany (with a Biogeography leaning) from Otago in 1983. A keen tramper and birder, she is currently Chairperson of Forest and Bird, Kaikoura Branch, and Secretary and Trustee of The Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust. Alisa is also a freelance photographer, with a particular interest in advocacy for wildlife. She is currently undertaking 5-year research project: The Banded Dotterels of South Bay – the empty nest syndrome, a project born from the influx of weeds into the braided river systems forcing dotterels to nest (almost entirely unsuccessfully) on the beach.

Claudia Mischler: Claudia completed a BSc in Environmental Sciences/Conservation Biology in Canada, and worked with various seabird species around the world for ten years. Since coming to New Zealand in 2012, she has taken a special interest in the black-billed gulls. Continuing on from the work Mike Bell had started in Marlborough in 2009, Claudia has been actively monitoring all gull colonies in Marlborough and Tasman. She recently coordinated surveys of black-billed gull colonies for Marlborough, Tasman, Canterbury, and the West Coast. As a keen seabird ornithologist, she continues to be involved in the monitoring and conservation efforts of many species.

Brad Edwards: Department of Conservation : Brad studied Zoology at Massey University before starting a career with DOC. Residing in Geraldine, he works predominantly on Braided Riverbed Ecosysytem Recovery in the Rangitata and Waitaki. His career has been orientated towards threatened species work and is a strong supporter of whole ecosystem management to preserve them.

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