The Dame Charmian O'Connor Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Our People - Auckland Council

Dr Craig Bishop


Dr Craig Bishop is a Senior Scientist for the Environmental Monitoring and Evaluation Team (RIMU).

Craig is also a terrestrial ecologist, focusing on plants, with 20 years’ experience - including work in both the private and public sectors - in the identification, protection, measuring, monitoring and restoration of New Zealand’s indigenous land ecosystems. His work at RIMU is focussed on developing and implementing programs to measure the condition and biodiversity values of the Auckland Region’s forest and wetland ecosystems at a range of different spatial scales.  One area of particular research interest, which has received little attention in New Zealand to date, is measuring the linkages between the policies and rules in district and regional plans, and the actual effect of land management on biodiversity and the wider environment.  Craig’s other research areas include developing better measures of ecosystem services and restoration success, biodiversity offsets, urban ecology and biodiversity monitoring for Mana whenua.

Dr Laura Buckthought

Laura Buckthought

Dr Laura Buckthought is a Scientist (aquatic chemistry) in the Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU) at Auckland Council.  Laura’s role includes freshwater state of the environment monitoring, including the rivers, lakes and groundwater programmes as well as targeted water quality research projects.

Laura’s key research interests include nutrient cycling and the transfer of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, from land to water, and denitrification and nitrous oxide losses from agricultural soils.  Laura has recently completed her PhD (2013) investigating nitrogen cycling dynamics and losses from urine patch deposition and fertiliser application in dairy farming systems.

Dr Fiona Curran-Cournane


Dr Fiona Curran-Cournane is a land and soil scientist for the Environmental Science team, RIMU, at Auckland Council. Previously  Fiona undertook a PhD at AgResearch in Mosgiel, Dunedin looking at the impacts of livestock grazing on soil physical quality and phosphorous and sediment losses in surface runoff (2007-2010 - Lincoln University).

Fiona’s current role is diverse and includes State of Environment Monitoring and research which involves the management of various programmes such as soil quality, sediment quantity and soil moisture.

Dr Edda Kalbus


Dr Edda Kalbus  joined Auckland Council in July 2014 and is a Senior Scientist in the Hydrology team. 

Edda studied civil engineering and worked as a consultant in urban hydrology before completing a MSc in environmental and esource management. Her PhD (University of Neuchatel, Switzerland) research focused on groundwater and was carried out at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ (Germany). Subsequently, Edda worked in the scientific coordination of a collaborative project on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in hydrologically sensitive regions. In 2011 she moved to the Sultanate of Oman and worked as Assistant Professor of Hydrogeology at the German University of Technology. During that time Edda undertook research on seawater intrusion in coastal agricultural areas.



Dr Todd Landers


Dr Todd Landers is a behavioural ecologist who has focussed primarily on seabird systems with an emphasis on answering questions with regards to their behaviour and space use, with the ultimate goal of informing and improving the conservation management of this highly threatened group of birds. Todd's major research projects include the foraging ecology of Black petrels, reproductive productivity of Australasian gannets (using a ‘citizen science’ approach), space use of kaka and kereru, as well as several studies on the biology of a variety of seabirds in the Auckland region (namely in the Hauraki Gulf and specifically on Burgess Island in the Mokohinau Island group). As a Scientist at Auckland Council Todd co-manages the regional Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Programme (TBMP) as well as conduct research and evaluations in a variety of ecological areas with the key aims of testing and improving council’s policies and operations. One of Todds primary focuses in the TBMP is to monitor the state and change of biodiversity across Auckland using a variety of animal indicators (namely birds), as well as the key threats to biodiversity (E.G. pest mammals), and he is interested in developing novel and innovative ways to ‘track’ biodiversity more effectively and efficiently.

Nick Reid


Nick Reid runs the Air Quality Monitoring Programme at Auckland Council. His area of expertise is assessing, monitoring and managing Auckland's air quality.


Dr Nick Waipara


Dr Nick Waipara is a Principal Advisor for Biosecurity at Auckland Council. Currently he coordinates and implements biosecurity research to underpin the council’s policy development related to the Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP).  Nick also contributes his knowledge and scientific expertise to national and regional biosecurity programmes including the Kauri Dieback programme, Treasure Islands (Protecting the Hauraki Gulf Islands) and National Biocontrol of Weeds Collective. His previous research is in plant pathology, mycology and environmental microbiology.  As part of the Auckland Environmental Observatory Nick is working on the Soil Research Theme.

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Dr Jarrod Walker


Dr Jarrod Walker is a Senior Marine Scientist and works in the Research, Investigations and Monitoring Unit (RIMU) at Auckland Council. Jarrod is a marine ecologist with 14 years’ experience working in marine ecosystems. He has a broad range of research interests and has produced and contributed to research into subtidal rocky reef ecosystems, impacts of anthropogenic stressors on near shore marine environments, effects of marine reserves, temporal and spatial variability in near shore marine water quality and designing innovative methods for mapping and monitoring complex marine seascapes and water bodies.