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Dr Barry O'Connor

PhD; MSc (hons)

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Professional Teaching Fellow

Research | Current


My research mostly concentrated on Radiolaria. I studied all aspects of mainly Southwest Pacific radiolarian faunas of Cenozoic age, including taxonomy, biostratigraphy, paleooceanography and paleoclimate. I intend, when time allows, to continue my research into this fascinating group of microfossils. I am also keenly interested in imaging techniques, with emphasis on microfossils.


Hollis, C.J., Luer, V., Aita, Y., Boltovskoy, D., Hori, R.S., O'CONNOR, B.M. and Takemura, A. Phylum Radiozoa: radiolaria. New Zealand Inventory of Biodiversity Volume Three: Kingdoms Bacteria, Protozoa, Chromista, Plantae, Fungi (ed. Gordon, D.P), pp.288-305, 2012.

O’CONNOR, B.M. Buryella (Radiolaria, Artostrobiidae) from DSDP Site 208 and ODP Site 1121. Micropaleontology, 47(1):1-22, 2001

O’CONNOR, B.M. Stratigraphic and geographic distribution of recently described Eocene – Miocene Radiolaria from the southwest Pacific. Micropaleontology, 46(3):189-228, 2000

O’CONNOR, B.M. Distribution and biostratigraphy of latest Eocene to latest Oligocene Radiolaria from the Mahurangi Limestone, Northland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 42(4):489-511, 1999

O’CONNOR, B.M. Radiolaria from the Late Eocene Oamaru Diatomite, South Island, New Zealand. Micropaleontology, 45(1):1-55, 1999

O’CONNOR, B.M. Lower Miocene Radiolaria from Te Kopua Point, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand. Micropaleontology, 43(2):101-128, 1997

O’CONNOR, B.M. New Radiolaria from the Oligocene and Early Miocene of New Zealand. Micropaleontology, 43(1):63-100, 1997

O’CONNOR, B.M. Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy: a new technique for investigating and illustrating fossil Radiolaria. Micropaleontology, 42(4):395-402, 1996

O’CONNOR, B.M. Seven new radiolarian species from the Oligocene of New Zealand. Micropaleontology, 40:337-350, 1994

Engineering Geology/Hydrogeology

Prior to coming to work for the University I was employed for 4 years as an engineering geologist for a large engineering consultant in New Zealand. I worked on a variety of projects in both the engineering geological and hydrogeological fields. Projects included: initial site investigations for the new University of Auckland Business School building; installation of the monitoring system, monitoring ground and groundwater conditions, and construction monitoring during the construction of the Britomart Rail Station; investigation of the tunnel alignment for the new Timaru Main Sewer Trunk Line; investigation and development of groundwater for town supply to the Western Bay of Plenty. It is this practical experience that I bring to much of my teaching.

Teaching | Current

As a Professional Teaching Fellow the bulk of my time is devoted to teaching, both in practical laboratories and lectures. I am involved with teaching from Stage 2 through to graduate level, and assist with supervising BSc Honours and Masters thesis students.  I teach a full range of subjects including structure, mapping, rocks and minerals, paleontology, engineering geology, hydrogeology, and field skills.

One of my key teaching interests is developing distance learning material, enabling students virtual access to material which is normally only viewable during laboratory sessions. As these laboratory sessions are a prelude to assessment by practical examinations, many students are disadvantaged by the lack of access to laboratory materials outside of laboratory hours. I recently led the development of a resource aimed at our Stage 1 rock and mineral course component. Among other things, students can review material seen in the laboratory over the internet via the use of high quality images of good rock and mineral specimens.

Postgraduate supervision

Thomas von Bothwell - Hydrogeological investigation of the Ostend and Onetangi catchments, Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

Sean Berry - Hydrogeological characteristics and numerical modelling of the Western Springs and Onehunga catchments.

Kori Lentfer - Engineering geology of the Northland allochthon, Silverdale, North Auckland, New Zealand.

Matthew Keam - Engineering geology and mass movement on the Omokoroa Peninsula, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Remalia Sharplin - Environmental geochemistry after partial site remediation at Tui Mine, New Zealand

Helen Cocker - Mineralogy and geochemistry of the Broken Hills epithermal Au-Ag deposit, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand


Undergraduate advisor - Earth Science (Geology); organisation and running of Earth Science UGSSCC; organisation and management of Earth Science teaching assistants

Areas of expertise

Micropaleontology (Radiolaria); Engineering Geology; Hydrogeology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • O'connor B (1999). Distribution and biostratigraphy of latest Eocene to latest Oligocene Radiolaria from the Mahurangi Limestone, Northland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 42 (4), 489-511. 10.1080/00288306.1999.9514857
  • O'Connor B (1999). Radiolaria from the Late Eocene Oamaru Diatomite, South Island, New Zealand. Micropaleontology, 45 (1), 1-55. 10.2307/1486201
  • O'Connor B (1997). New radiolaria from the Oligocene and early Miocene of Northland, New Zealand. Micropaleontology, 43 (1), 63-100. 10.2307/1485923


Contact details

Office hours

email for an appointment -

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
Level 4, Room 429B
New Zealand

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