Our amazing students and their projects
PhD. Waikato UniversitySupervisors: Ian Hawes, Susie Wood, Xavier Pochon, Marcus VandergoesMaïlys’s project is using environmental DNA extracted from lake sediment cores to reconstruct historic biological communities and observed how these have changed over the last 1,000 years. Her focus is on exploring the impact of introduced species, in particular trout and perch on lake health. She has completed her first chapter which explored changes in cyanobacterial community composition over time in six lowland lakes with contrasting land-use and invasive species histories.
PhD. University of AdelaideSupervisors: John Tibby, Marcus VandergoesJulia’s study is using diatoms to infer and reconstruct the environmental history of lakes, with a focus on lakes in the Canterbury region and Lake Oporoa. Using diatoms, she will establish the response of lakes to changes in land use and varying human activities. The lakes chosen in Canterbury are varied in their ecology, morphology and recreational activity, but are in the same region which should aid in the ecological understanding of lakes . She will explore how palaeolimnological data can be used to inform lake management, restoration and policy
PhD. Auckland UniversitySupervisors: Xavier Pochon, Kevin Simon, Anastasija Zaiko, Jamie Howarth, Susie WoodKatie’s first study is exploring how the biological communities in Lake Paringa have responded to repeated natural disturbance from earthquakes. Katie will also explore eDNA degradation rates and test different DNA extraction kits and genetic markers to determine which are most effective for detecting bacteria, aquatic plants and fish in sediment core samples. These methods will then be applied to investigate the impacts of land-use change and lake tipping points on a selection of lakes.
PhD. Griffith UniversitySupervisors: David Hamilton, Bofu YuGebiaw’s research uses sediment cores, and data on historic water flows and climate models, to estimate changes in lake water quality and sediment composition over the past 1,000 years. To do this, he will used temperature and rainfall data which will be incorporated into catchment and lake models. He plans to model streamflow and sediment and nutrient inputs into the lakes, which will be validated using the sediment core data. The validated models will then be applied to predict how lake health might change under climate change predictions.
PhD. Auckland UniversitySupervisors: Kevin Simon, George PerryRose’s PhD combines paleolimnology and contemporary ecology to better understand the drivers and mechanisms behind lake ecosystem response to human impacts. Using diatoms, she aims to investigate the effects of historic impacts on lake ecosystem conditions and provide important context to contemporary ecosystem state. Her research also aims to develop novel ways of interpreting community change to better inform lake ecosystem management.
PhD. Victoria University of WellingtonSupervisors: Jamie Howarth, Susie WoodGeorgia’s study is investigating historical changes in the presence and abundance of culturally and ecologically significant species in New Zealand’s lakes. This research will focus on eels (tuna), and other native fish species and how they respond to natural (e.g. climate, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions) and human induced (changes in land use) disturbances. She will explore shifts in these species using molecular techniques applied to lake bed sediments.
PhD. Northern Arizona UniversitySupervisors: Nick McKayEthan’s project will focus on developing analytical frameworks to integrate data generated by the hyperspectral scanner, and on analysing hyperspectral datasets at regional and national scales.
Masters in Science. Victoria University of WellingtonSupervisors: Jamie HowarthJake’s study is investigating the effectiveness of riparian management in mitigating agricultural run-off at Lake Nganoke, located in southern Wairarapa. He will apply a range of techniques to analyse the sediment cores including geochemical methods, environmental DNA, hyper-spectral scanning, historical accounts and radiometric dating.
Masters in Science. Victoria University of WellingtonSupervisors: Rewi Newnham, Amanda Thomas, Susie Wood, Xavier Pochon, Charlotte ŠundeRuss’s study focuses on historical knowledge about tuna populations at Lake Moawhitu, aiming to uncover the factors underpinning declining numbers. His approach draws from mātauranga Māori (indigenous knowledge) as well as data produced from analysis of sediment cores.
Masters in Science. Victoria University of WellingtonMckayla is undertaking a Masters degree in Science and Society. Mckayla is building upon her background in environmental science and visual design to focus on helping scientists convey their findings through stories and data visualisation. She will apply the knowledge and skills gained through her Masters study to better convey the findings from the Lakes380 project to our iwi and public audiences.
Masters in Science. Victoria University of WellingtonSupervisors: Andrew Rees, Marcus Vandergoes,Susie WoodStuart is investigating how lake communities respond and recover following volcanic eruptions. He will apply a range of techniques including morphological analysis of organisms, environmental DNA, hyperspectral scanning, and radiometric dating.
Masters in Science. University of OtagoSupervisors: Chris Moy, Marcus Vandergoes
Kaeli’s research focusses on the integration of iTrax and hyperspectral data to characterise past climate change over the last millennium. Kaeli will be working on cores collected from several alpine lakes in Fiordland and Kahurangi National Parks.
Masters in Science. Lincoln UniversitySupervisors: Jenny Webster-Brown, Sean WatersLughano’s study will focuses on down-core chemical analysis, with an emphasis on exploring the use of trace elements, such as cadmium and zinc, for identifying significant catchment land-use changes.
Masters in Science. Massey UniversitySupervisors: Ian Henderson, Jonathan PuddickCarrie will help calibrate GNS’s hyperspectral scanning system against traditional pigment techniques to analyse phytoplankton (algae and cyanobacteria) communities in lake cores.