Speaker Bios

Dr Megan Carbines, Marcus Cameron, and Kristi Holland 

Environmental Monitoring Team Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU). The environmental teams carry out the physical monitoring of Auckland’s environment: the rivers, sea, land and air – as required by law. In addition, they focus on understanding human generated impacts on the natural environment, report on environmental quality, and develop indicators to represent and communicate current and future environmental states.


Bernadette Papa from Ngati Whatua o Orakei – Kaihautū Whakatūturu Puni, Senior Advisor Māori Effectiveness. Bernadette is the Māori responsiveness advisor to the Infrastructure and Environmental Services Directorate of the Auckland Council.


Dr. Peter Maddison – BSc(Hons) in Zoology (1965), Ph.D. in Applied Entomology (1968) University of London, UK. Peter is an entomologist and Environmental Consultant with many years’ experience in New Zealand and in the wider Pacific. Peter is considered one of New Zealand’s foremost experts on the painted apple moth and Hochstetter’s frogs.


Claire Cunningham – Senior Storm water Specialist in the Auckland Council Healthy Waters Team. Claire has experience in water quality analysis, environmental compliance, and development of monitoring programmes and continuous improvement tools and systems.


David Greig – Principal Environmental Specialist, Environment and Urban Design Team, Highways and Network Operations, New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA). Working within regulatory, consulting and asset management fields David has focused on navigating the regulatory environment by ensuring comprehensive assessments are competed for projects. David works in the Highway and Network Operations National Office Environment and Urban Design Team, providing advice to the Transport Agency on managing effects on natural systems to ensure projects can meet statutory needs and also good practice.


Chris Ferkins – Biodiversity Advisor, Biodiversity Team Auckland Council. Chris is also one of the founding members of several not for profit organisations including Gecko and Friends of the Whau. Chris has been instrumental in launching numerous environmental programmes throughout Auckland.


Dr Colin Meurk – Research Associate, Landcare Research. Colin’s interests lie in biogeography, ecological restoration and design, landscape dynamics, urban ecology, subantarctic islands, conservation biology, integration of biodiversity into cultural landscapes, and citizen science. He has major involvements with community restoration projects in and around cities (Travis Wetland Trust President, Quail island Trust Board Member, Ernle Reserve restoration committee, Maronan kanuka restoration adviser), is a board member of The 50Degrees South Trust, and promotes integration of biodiversity within production landscapes – Greening Waipara and Te Ara Kakariki (green pathways across the Canterbury Plains).


Kim Jones – National and Regional Coordinator, Whitebait Connection. Kim is the national coordinator for the Whitebait Connection programme and trustee of its founding trust the Mountains to Sea Conservation trust. Kim has been involved in environmental education since 2003 and is also an experienced coordinator of WBC’s sister programme, Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR), and co-founder of the Whangarei Drains To Harbour stormwater awareness campaign and Mangrove Discovery Programme.


Shelley Hackett – Senior Community Waterways Specialist, Customer and Community Team, Healthy Waters Infrastructure & Environmental Services Auckland Council. Shelley also works as the Wai Care Community coordinator and provides support for community groups and organisations to plan and deliver programmestailored to their needs. Shelley has worked as an Environmental Educator on a number of other programmes run by Auckland Council, including Wastewise, Trees for Survival, and Community Shellfish Monitoring


Dr Al Glen – Researcher, Landcare Research. Al is a Wildlife Ecologist with broad research interests in ecology and wildlife management. Much of his research has focused on the ecological interactions between native and invasive plants and animals and his current research focuses on restoring highly invaded ecosystems. This includes managing multiple invaders on islands, and applying landscape ecology principles to manage invasive species on continents. In 2007 he was awarded the Chairman’s Prize for Scientific Excellence by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, and in 2013 was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Australian Wildlife Society.


Parker Jones – Chair GIS in Conservation (GIC). Parker brought Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Smart Mapping to New Zealand in the 1980s, when he was working as a salesman for New Zealand-owned IT company Eagle Technology. Parker sold it to lots of organizations, including the Department of Conservation, Ministry for the Environment, OSPRI, Landcare, NIWA, Local and Regional Governments etc. Conservation groups can now access the same GIS technology for just US$100 a year, thanks to the generosity of the American developer Esri. But using the complex computer-based technology was a barrier for many conservation groups. Upon retiring, Parker decided to solve the complexity issue by setting up a charity to help conservation groups and Iwi use the GIS tools without worrying about the technology.


Philip Solaris – CEO of X-Craft. Philip is the CEO and founder of X-Craft, a New Zealand company that focuses on the design, development and application of robotic craft. He was recently one of three innovations awarded $25,000 prizes at this year’s WWF’s Conservation Innovation Awards. The project known as Drone Count (developed with John Summich) is an aerial drone that can detect and locate the radio signals from a bird or animal that has an attached radio frequency transmitter. A prototype has been deployed already capable of detecting one signal but the goal is to be able to sequentially detect, differentiate and locate several such signals.

Audios and Videos coming soon!

Symposium Flyer 2017

Symposium 2017 Programme & Flyer