Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme

The Department of Conservation has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural and social sciences.

“DOC received 82 eligible applications for Te Papa Atawhai postgraduate scholarship programme – a great response, considering this is the scholarship’s inaugural year,” Kiri Allan said.

“The students who won the scholarships will help build New Zealand’s conservation science capacity and capability, contributing to research to tackle the biodiversity crisis and planning for more sustainable tourism.”

Research on the endangered tarapirohe/black-fronted tern, impacts of climate change on Fiordland ecosystems and COVID-19 impacts on outdoor recreation are just a few examples of the topics being funded.

“I’m told the selection panel was impressed by the high quality of the applications, and found it challenging to choose just 10 recipients. The importance of research in this field can’t be underestimated, so it is hugely encouraging to see the interest this programme is generating,” Kiri Allan said.

The DOC postgraduate scholarship was one of largest scholarship application rounds administered by Universities New Zealand in 2020.

NameUniversityArea of research
Jennifer Alderton-MossVictoriaUtilising mycorrhizal fungi in the conservation of an endangered native orchid.
Charles ChingCanterburyObservational analysis of the Mt Ruapehu crater lake, volcano tourism risk.
Gemma CouttsLincolnExploring local ecological knowledge in an ‘At Risk’ catchment as a resolution to shifting baselines: a case study from Pelorus/ Te Hoiere, Marlborough.
Britney FordMasseyOvercoming barriers to biodiversity protection in Mōtu, New Zealand: A catchment-based study assessing tools and perspectives for overcoming net loss of areas of high biodiversity value.
Fraser GurneyLincolnBreeding movements and winter dispersal of Black-fronted Terns (Chlidonias albostriatus)
Callum LongVictoriaModelling the effects of climate change on the Fiordland marine food web.
Josie MainwaringVictoriaTo develop a detailed understanding of Phytophthora agathidicida oospores and identify microbial antagonists for biocontrol in Kauri Dieback disease.
Amy NorrisVictoriaCovid tourism planning.
Samuel PurdieOtagoEcology and habitat use of skinks in North Otago with a focus on the newly discovered alpine rock skink (Oligosoma sp.) and the scree skink (Oligosoma waimatense).
Alana ThurstonLincolnImproving techniques to manage Phytophthora agathidicida, the causal agent of Kauri Dieback disease.
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