Detecting movement in a hatching kiwi egg, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Image: Sabine Bernert | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is continuing to boost conservation research with the announcement of this year’s ten postgraduate scholarship recipients.

Date:  17 March 2022

DOC Chief Scientist Ken Hughey says he is heartened by the high calibre of the Te Papa Atawhai Postgraduate Scholarship recipients, which bodes well for conservation capability and capacity-building in the face of the biodiversity crisis.

“We need top-notch natural and social science research to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and the search for better tools to boost collective conservation action.

“I’m particularly pleased to see a broad range of research topics. The funded research ranges from the demographics of marine taonga species in Kaikoura right through to the study of paryphanta land snails in Northland.”

Other topics supported by the scholarships include research into inanga/whitebait, the threatened mohua/yellowhead, and invasive paper wasps’ biology and invertebrate conservation at Farewell Spit.

This year DOC has funded nine of the scholarships. The newly established Tiakina Kauri – Kauri Protection Agency within Biosecurity New Zealand has funded the remaining scholarship, which has gone to an investigation of the relationship between kauri health and soil conditions at a landscape level.

The recipients of last year’s inaugural scholarship round are finalising their research for publication mid-year.

Te Papa Atawhai Postgraduate Scholarship 2022 recipients

Postgraduate scholarship recipients




Reason, Aiden

Te Herenga Waka – Victoria

Invasive paper wasp biology and invertebrate conservation on Farewell Spit

O'Malley, Emma

Te Herenga Waka – Victoria

Influence of nocturnal illumination on the early life history traits and behaviour of inanga

Ward, Cailie


Resolving phylogeographic structure and taxonomy of Paryphanta land snails in Northland, New Zealand

Fenton, Katie


The influence of human-induced stressors on Austrovenus stutchburyi (tuangi/tuaki/New Zealand cockle) population structure

Kann, Johanna


Conservation genomics of the mohua (yellowhead/bird)

Stone, Jessica


The demographics of early life histories of marine taonga species in Kaikoura, New Zealand

Harcombe, Elysia


Early warning signs of community collapse in drying streams

Lip, Marrick


Chordata: an open platform to accelerate the adoption of machine learning for conservation

McElvein, Ann


Landscape level framework visualizing the linkages between kauri tree health and soil conditions

Shapcott, Ian


Development and refinement of a bicultural tool for assessing the impacts of tourism on te taiao in Aotearoa New Zealand


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