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. 


Research to help address the impact of the climate crisis on biodiversity is a notable feature amongst topics that received DOC postgraduate scholarship funding this year.

Date:  03 February 2023

DOC Chief Science Advisor Michael Bunce says, “I’m excited by the scope and innovation across the research projects in this year’s successful scholarship applications.

“The research these students have chosen to embark upon is urgently needed in the face of the dual climate and biodiversity crises. The work is highly topical, and DOC is pleased to support scholarships in these areas.”

Nine scholarships have been awarded of up to $15,000 each. DOC has funded seven of these scholarships and partnered with Tiakina Kauri (the Kauri Protection Agency within Biosecurity New Zealand) and the Environmental Protection Authority, which funded one additional scholarship each.

The research topics on climate change include understanding climate change and fire resilience in gumland ecosystems and predicting the composition of native forest under a changing climate.

Other topics supported by the scholarships include the ecological consequences of stream sedimentation in Te Awanui/Tauranga Harbour catchment and determining estrogenic (substances that are or act like estrogen) contaminants in Otago surface waters.

This year’s scholarship recipients represent the third funding round since the DOC postgraduate scholarship programme began in 2020.

Applications for the next founding round will open in August 2023.

DOC Postgraduate Scholarship 2023 recipients:



Research topic

Anna Zrinyi-Morgan


Ecology of the Kahurangi skink and the application of species distribution modelling for alpine lizards

Brooklyn Lea


The ecological consequences of stream sedimentation in the Te Awanui/Tauranga Harbour catchment

Dannielle Cripps


Understanding resilience to climate change and fire in critically endangered gumland ecosystems

Eva De Jong


What are the impacts of different management strategies to native fish on braided rivers and what are the best practices?

Iona Grigor


Determination of estrogenic contaminants in Otago Surface Waters (funded by Environmental Protection Authority)

Laura van Ginkel


Predicting the composition of New Zealand native forest under climate change using species functional traits

Nia Weinzweig


What's bugging Otago's sea lions? Parasites and pathogens of a synanthropic sea lion population

Shana Jade Te Iaa Tarere Edgecombe


Monitoring Te Mana o te Wai. Integrating nutrient dynamics, scientific biomonitoring metrics, and Cultural Health Index for improved freshwater ecosystem management

Taylah Dagg


Ally, adversary or something else: Do co-occurring Phytophthora pathogens influence each other in culture? (funded by Tiakina Kauri)


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