Advisory Group

Dr Chris Cornelisen: Marine Scientist, Cawthron Institute

Chris is a marine scientist with expertise in physical biology, coastal water quality and source tracking land-derived contaminents in the marine environment. Chris obtained his doctorate specialising in nutrient dynamics in tropical marine ecosystems, spent two years addressing coastal resource management issues as a U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fellow, and conducted research in New Zealand fjords as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Otago. Chris also has a keen interest in public education and spent several years as a marine educator and expedition leader at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

Professor Chris Battershill: Chair of Coastal Science, University of Waikato

Chris was the leader of the Marine Biodiversity Team at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) for twelve years, and responsible for research into tropical reef conservation, monitoring, risk prediction and sustainable use of biodiversity including biodiscovery. He has led teams in marine biotechnology and microbiology at AIMS and in New Zealand.  Following a number of overseas fellowships early in his career, Chris returned to New Zealand for a period with the Department of Conservation as their senior marine scientist and then spent ten years with the NZ Oceanographic Institute/NIWA where he established a biodiversity program linking with existing chemistry capability around the country. Recent work has involved leading the MV Rena oil spill environmental recovery program.

Professor Andrew Jeffs: Institute of Marine Science, The University of Auckland

Andrew's research interests are highly varied and include aquaculture, lobster biology, and the biological role of underwater sound. He particularly enjoys working closely with the seafood industry on applied research projects, as well as more esoteric marine ecological issues. Some examples of current projects are investigating the biology of mussel larvae, aquaculture of lobsters, and the biochemistry of oceanic plankton. Andrew has a particular interest in the mysterious nature of cross-continental shelf transport of lobster larvae and this research is using a mix of field and laboratory techniques.    

Dr Jacquie Reed: Aquaculture Group Manager, Cawthron Institute  

As Cawthron's Aquaculture Group Manager, Jacquie manages the Cawthron Aquaculture Park at Glenduan, Nelson, home to the world's largest mussel hatchery (SPATnz) and to the only Pacific Oyster hatchery and nursery, and the first flat oyster breeding programme in NZ. She works with a team of 34 scientists who are focused on understanding and improving shellfish and finfish health from early larval stage rearing to full-scale commercial production. Species include Greenshell mussels, flat oysters, pacific oysters and eels for the NZ aquaculture industry. Cawthron's Aquaculture Group is a Centre of Excellence for shellfish and has platform skills in shellfish physiology, selective breeding, genetics, cryopreservation, aquaculture engineering, micro-algae production to feed early life-stage animals, feed conversion rates and hatchery technology to undertake succesful shellfish and fish production. Jacquie also initiated and led the succesful restoration of seagrass beds in Whangarei Harbour with iwi and the local community. This was funded through the Ministry for the Environment with co-funding from NorthPort, Regional Council and in-kind contribution from Whangarei Terenga Paraoa Kaitiaki Roopu in particular with help from Patuharakeke Te Iwi Trust Board. 

Dr Shaun Ogilvie: Director, Eco Research Associates Ltd, Te Arawa (Natai Whakahemo), Ngati Awa (Ngati Pukeko)

Shaun has a PhD in Ecology from the University of Canterbury and is the Director of Eco Research Associates Ltd, a private environmental research company. He is also the Maori Business Development Consultant for the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, and a contractor to other organsiations including Lincoln University and the Environmental Protection Authority.

Dr Rosemary Hurst: Chief Scientist - Fisheries, NIWA

Rosie has a PhD in Zoology and has worked in fisheries research in New Zealand for over 30 years. She is a specialist in deep water and inshore fisheries, fisheries resource surveys and stock assessment, climate effects on fisheries, and fish communities. 



Dr Judi Hewitt: Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology, NIWA

Judi is a soft sediment benthic ecologist, with a statistical background and a PhD from Abo Akademi in finland. She has worked mainly on issues of scale, study design and merging ecological theory with empirical observations. Her interests include: Coastal and estuarine marine ecology; Biological and ecological mapping; Spatial and temporal variation in populations and communities; Ecological impact assessment - particularly of diffuse source and/or broad-scale effects; Design and implementation of ecological monitoring programmes; and functional community and habitat biodiversity. 

Rowan Strickland: Pacific Island Liaison

Rowan is of Cook Islands ancestry and is based in Aitutaki. Until 2014 he managed Cawthron Institute's Coastal and Freshwater Group, and he has over 35 years' experience in the New Zealand environmental science sector. His experience includes freshwater/native fish distribution and ecology, management solutions and monitoring of aquatic plants, and environmental impact assessment. He has been an RMA Consents Commissioner, and presented evidence at a variety of Water Conservation Order and consent hearings on fish distribution and passage issues. Rowan's interests include scientific SCUBA diving and natural photography including underwater video and stills, and he is passionate about facilitating the provision of effective science for a healthy pacific ocean.

Dr Chad Nelsen: Chief Executive Officer, Surfrider Foundation

Chad Nelsen is the Chief Executive Officer of the Surfrider Foundation, the largest grassroots nonprofit organisation dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our oceans, waves and beaches. He spent over a decade as Surfrider’s Environmental Director and was responsible for strategic guidance for environmental campaigns at the local through national level, and oversees environmental programs focused on water quality, coastal preservation, surf and ocean protection. Prior to joining Surfrider, Chad was a NOAA Coastal Zone Management Fellow working with Oregon's state coastal zone management program. He is an alumnus of Brown University and Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment and earned his doctorate at UCLA’s Environmental Science and Engineering program focused on the economics of coastal recreation and surfing. He is an avid surfer, swimmer, and beach enthusiast who lives in Laguna Beach, California with his family.