Distinction awards presented to top environment researchers

09 October 2017
The School of Environment 2017 Research Distinction Award winners (or proxies)| left to right: Alicia Wong, Paul Kench, Meg Parsons, Ayrton Hamilton, Bryan Drake, Jennifer Salmond, Murray Ford, Hayley Sparks, Agnieszka Leszczynski, Simon Barker and Jan Lindsay.
The School of Environment 2017 Research Distinction Award winners (or proxies)| left to right: Alicia Wong, Paul Kench, Meg Parsons, Ayrton Hamilton, Bryan Drake, Jennifer Salmond, Murray Ford, Hayley Sparks, Agnieszka Leszczynski, Simon Barker and Jan Lindsay.

The School of Environment hosted its annual Research Distinction Awards evening on 5 October 2017.

After an official welcome from Head of School Professor Paul Kench, the Chair of the Research Committee Associate Professor, Jan Lindsay, provided a brief overview of our research year.

This was followed by the awards ceremony, with awards for outstanding publications, theses, early career contributions and research communication.

The prize-giving was peppered with presentations from some of our winners, who gave short overviews of their award-winning research publications.

 

2017 Award winners


Simon Barker (right) joint recipient of the Earth Sciences Research Award with Paul Kench (left)
Simon Barker (right) joint recipient of the Earth Sciences Research Award with Paul Kench (left)

Earth Sciences Research Award

Awarded to the author/authors of an outstanding contribution to Earth Sciences published in the past calendar year.

2017 joint recipients

Simon Barker: Simon J Barker Colin JN Wilson Daniel J Morgan Julie V Rowland (2016) Rapid priming, accumulation, and recharge of magma driving recent eruptions at a hyperactive caldera volcano. Geology 44(4): 323-326

Murray Ford: Murray R Ford Paul S Kench (2016) Spatiotemporal variability of typhoon impacts and relaxation intervals on Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands. Geology 44(2): 159-162

Murray Ford (right) joint recipient of the Earth Sciences Research Award with Paul Kench (left)
Murray Ford (right) joint recipient of the Earth Sciences Research Award with Paul Kench (left)
Bryan Drake (left), accepting the Research Communication Award on behalf of Kathleen Campbell, with Paul Kench (right)
Bryan Drake (left), accepting the Research Communication Award on behalf of Kathleen Campbell, with Paul Kench (right)

Research Communication Award

Awarded to a staff member who shows an interest and aptitude for communication and public engagement related to their own research, or other research carried out in the School.    

2017 recipient - Kathleen Campbell

Kathy receives this award for her efforts to engage with the community and communicate science, via both outreach events and the mainstream media.

Kathy regularly appears on TV, the radio and in the newspaper to discuss her own research on the oldest life on land and hot springs and also to comment on scientific topics of interest (recently hurricanes and paleo climate). She also features in a dedicated New Zealand Geographic article. 

She is involved in Spaceward Bound for Youth, a project funded by MBIE’s unlocking Curious Minds fund that brings together NZ school teachers and students with NASA scientists to learn about how research is done in astrobiology. 

Agnieszka Leszczynski (left), recipient of the Early Career Research Award with Paul Kench (right)
Agnieszka Leszczynski (left), recipient of the Early Career Research Award with Paul Kench (right)

Early Career Research Award

Awarded to an early career staff member who has made significant progress towards establishing a research programme since joining the School.

2017 recipient - Agnieszka Leszczynski

Agnieszka receives this award for her work as pioneering architect of the newly established subfield of ‘digital geographies.’ Her work has been central in carving out this new space in disciplinary human geography.

She was a co-author on a foundational, ground-breaking paper published in Progress last year (‘Digital turn, digital geographies?’, Progress in Human Geography) that is the first to name ‘digital geographies’ as a new area of geographical scholarship.

This paper catalysed the formation of two specialty groups of the RGS-IBG and the AAG – She is a Founding Council Member of the Digital Geographies Specialty Group of the AAG.

She was invited to give an opening plenary talk at the Inaugural Symposium of the Digital Geographies Working Group of the RGS-IBG in London (June 30th).

She currently has a book under contract with SAGE (with James Ash and Rob Kitchin) entitled Digital Geographies, which will the first book of its kind in this new area of geographical scholarship.

Meg Parsons (left), recipient of the Geography Research Award with Paul Kench (right)
Meg Parsons (left), recipient of the Geography Research Award with Paul Kench (right)

Geography Research Award

Awarded to the author/authors of an outstanding contribution to Geography published in the past calendar year.

2017 recipient - Meg Parsons

Meg Parsons & Nalau, J. (2016). Historical analogies as tools in understanding transformation. Global Environmental Change 38: 82-96. 

Jennifer Salmond (left), recipient of the Environmental Science Research Award with Paul Kench (right)
Jennifer Salmond (left), recipient of the Environmental Science Research Award with Paul Kench (right)

Environmental Science Research Award

Awarded to the author/authors of an outstanding contribution to Environmental Science published in the past calendar year.

2017 recipient - Jennifer Salmond

JA Salmond, M Tadaki, S Vardoulakis, K Arbuthnott, A Coutts (2016) Health and climate related ecosystem services provided by street trees in the urban environment. Environmental Health 15 (1): S36. 

Melissa Bowen (right), accepting the PhD thesis award on behalf of Denise Fernandez, with Paul Kench (left)
Melissa Bowen (right), accepting the PhD thesis award on behalf of Denise Fernandez, with Paul Kench (left)

PhD thesis award

Awarded for an outstanding Environment PhD thesis completed and examined since 1 January of the previous year.

2017 recipient - Denise Fernandez

Thesis titled: Variability, coherence and forcing mechanisms in the New Zealand ocean boundary currents

Ayrton Hamilton (left), recipient of the Postgraduate student research award with Paul Kench (right)
Ayrton Hamilton (left), recipient of the Postgraduate student research award with Paul Kench (right)

Postgraduate student research award

Awarded to the Environment postgraduate student authors of three outstanding publications, in any Environment discipline, in the past calendar year.

2017 recipients

Ayrton Hamilton: Ayrton Hamilton, Kathleen Campbell, Julie Rowland, Patrick Browne (2016) The Kohuamuri siliceous sinter as a vector for epithermal mineralisation, Coromandel Volcanic Zone, New Zealand
Miner Deposita DOI 10.1007/s00126-016-0658-8

Hayley Sparks: Sparks, H., Collins, F. and Kearns, R (2016). Reflecting on the risks and ethical dilemmas of digital research. Geoforum 77: 40-46.

Narkis Saul Morales: Morales, N.S., Perry, G.L.W., Burns, B.R., (2016). Fencing is not enough to reinstate regeneration: Evidence from a large fruited canopy tree Beilschmiedia tawa. Forest Ecology and Management 376, 36–44. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2016.05.048

Hayley Sparks (left), recipient of the Postgraduate student research award with Paul Kench (right)
Hayley Sparks (left), recipient of the Postgraduate student research award with Paul Kench (right)
George Perry (left), accepting the Postgraduate student research award on behalf of Narkis Morales, with Paul Kench (right)
George Perry (left), accepting the Postgraduate student research award on behalf of Narkis Morales, with Paul Kench (right)
Alicia Wong (right), recipient of the Masters thesis award with Paul Kench (left)
Alicia Wong (right), recipient of the Masters thesis award with Paul Kench (left)

Masters thesis award

Awarded for an outstanding Environment Masters thesis completed and examined since 1 January of the previous year.

2017 recipient - Alicia Wong

Thesis titled: Post-fire vegetation recovery in northern New Zealand: potential contributions of soil seedbanks, effects of heat-shock, and soil conditions

Honours thesis award

Awarded for an outstanding Environment Honours thesis completed and examined since 1 January of the previous year.

2017 recipient - Sarah Lomas

Thesis titled: Assessing source to sink sediment delivery in the Rangihoua Catchment, Waiheke Island

Hiroki Ogawa school citizenship award 2017


Evert Quintero and Brittany Goodwin, winners of the Hiroki Ogawa school citizenship award 2017
Evert Quintero and Brittany Goodwin, winners of the Hiroki Ogawa school citizenship award 2017

The Hiroki Ogawa school citizenship award is presented to a postgraduate research student who has shown aptitude for independent research and who, through his or her contributions, has inspired or helped his or her fellow students and staff within the school (in other words, has been an excellent school citizen). 

This award was presented at the School Ball. This year there are two winners.

Brittany Goodwin

Brittany has always been an exceptional student with a consistently high GPA (8.1). She is currently doing her Geography (honours) dissertation on Kainga Kore: Exploring the integration of indigenous perspectives in Housing First programs in New Zealand, with analysis of how and why Tangata Whenua voices are included.

Brittany is also a wonderful ambassador for the School of Environment. She has represented the School in outreach activities such as Courses and Careers Day and been a key member of a community engagement project on Great Barrier Island (Sea Science).

While studying Brittany has also undertaken an internship at Beca (where they love her) and for the last two years has been an extremely pro-active member of the Geography Association (GA). Indeed Brittany has been instrumental in almost every initiative the GA has proposed. 

She is completely self-less and is the person who ensures that things actually get done. She is very student focussed and is full of great ideas about how we could make the School a better place for students (such as having a student journal where student research/essays could be published).

Reviews of her tutoring (in GEOG 102) were extremely positive with students raving about her accessible manner, positive attitude and great communications skills.

Despite being extremely busy Brittany always manages to have a smile on her face and is always the first one to offer to help others; she is very deserving of this award.

Evert Leonardo Duran Quintero 

Evert is doing outstanding research using seismic waves to study fluid mobility and rock alteration in the Ngatamariki geothermal field. In his research, he is quantifying fluid mobility from geophysical well logs and performing laboratory experiments on core samples to quantify the effect of rock porosity and geothermal alteration on seismic wave speeds.

He has worked independently on his research by writing all the python codes he needs, and has contributed significantly to the improvement of the transducer ultrasonic system in the PORO lab used to measure seismic waves in the lab.

He has had a large impact on most of the Earth Science PhD students through his warm and always-friendly attitude. He has an open ear for everyone's problems, even only a few months away from his own PhD deadline.

His help and guidance regarding software and python coding has helped so many of us. His largest impact, however, is the way he organized a PhD proposal practice seminar for all the recent PhD students.

From room-booking, writing invitations and his famous trailer (a summary of the research topic for which he's often researched parts of the topic!), to attending the practice talk and writing white board after white board full of advice on structure, content and the feared committee-questions.

Through this, he has considerably improved so many of the recent PhD proposal talks; Evert is very deserving of this award.

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