Dr Brendon Tatnell Blue
PhD in Geography (Auckland); BSc (Hons), Geography (Auckland); BSc, Geography and Psychology (Auckland)
Research | Current
My research explores relationships between science and society as they play out in debates regarding the biophysical environment.
As people are increasingly responsible for changing the surface of the earth, it is important to understand not just how we are influencing it, but why we shape it in the ways that we do. My work investigates this question by examining how those who study the environment, particularly in river geomorphology and ecology, understand and negotiate the meaning of 'good' environmental condition.
For example, how has the idea of river 'health' changed over time as it has gone from a holistic notion to a set of measurable outcomes for river management? How do ideas of 'health' represent particular environmental ideals? Might rethinking the measures we use provide for more equitable and effective environmental management?
My latest research project, funded by the George Mason Centre for the Natural Environment, examines how we understand what a 'healthy' forest is in the context of a national predator eradication campaign.
Areas of expertise
Human-environmental relationships as expressed through fluvial geomorphology, river classification and environmental management.
The production of scientific knowledge, its contextual nature and its ethical application.
The role of measurement practices in shaping social and environmental outcomes.
The influence of place on 'best practice': the practical application of knowledge across different places.
The interfaces and interactions between scientific evidence, politics and public policy.
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Blue, B. (2018). What’s wrong with healthy rivers? Promise and practice in the search for a guiding ideal for freshwater management. Progress in Physical Geography: Earth and Environment, 030913331878314-030913331878314. 10.1177/0309133318783148
- Brierley, G., Tadaki, M., Hikuroa, D., Blue, B., Šunde C, Tunnicliffe, J., & Salmond, A. (2018). A geomorphic perspective on the rights of the river in Aotearoa New Zealand. River Research and Applications10.1002/rra.3343
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gary Brierley, Daniel Hikuroa, Jon Tunnicliffe, Anne Salmond
- Blue, B., & Brierley, G. (2016). 'But what do you measure?' Prospects for a constructive critical physical geography. Area, 48 (2), 190-197. 10.1111/area.12249
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gary Brierley
- Blue, B., Gregory, C., McFarlane, K., Tadaki, M., van Limburg-Meijer, P., & Lewis, N. (2012). Freshwater geographies: Experimenting with knowing and doing geography differently. New Zealand Geographer, 68 (1), 62-66. 10.1111/j.1745-7939.2012.01223.x
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nicolas Lewis