Dr Brendon Tatnell Blue

PhD in Geography (Auckland); BSc (Hons), Geography (Auckland); BSc, Geography and Psychology (Auckland)

Profile Image
Honorary Academic

Research | Current

I am a geographer and science-society scholar who studies relationships between people and their environments.

My research explores how our ideas about the world produce certain kinds of environmental and social change, as well as how people claim the expertise and authority to bring about such change.

I am particularly interested in how people understand and negotiate environmental restoration: how we decide which places need to be improved, what 'good' condition looks like, how we go about achieving it and who gets to make those decisions.

My primary focus in the last few years has been on freshwater and riverine landscapes, building on my background in fluvial and coastal geomorphology. I have published on:

  • The geopolitical implications of what gets measured in river science
  • How ideals of river ‘health’ have been influenced by expectations that health be an objective and measurable condition
  • Geodiversity and the upper Yellow River
  • How river science might learn from mātauranga Māori and a growing rights for nature movement

My latest research project, funded by the George Mason Centre for the Natural Environment, gets me out of the water to examine a nationwide campaign to restore ecosystems through predator eradication in Aotearoa New Zealand.

I am open to supervising and co-supervising students interested in exploring critical perspectives on topics relating to social and environmental science and policy.

Teaching | Current

Envmgt 741: Social Change for Sustainability

Postgraduate supervision

2018 Heather Paterson-Shallard Collaborative policy design for freshwater management: Developing the Proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change 1

Areas of expertise

Human-environmental relationships as expressed through environmental management and environmental science.

The production of scientific knowledge, its contextual nature and its ethical application.

The role of measurement practices in shaping social and environmental outcomes.

The interfaces and interactions between scientific evidence, politics and public policy.

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.
  • Brierley, G., Tadaki, M., Hikuroa, D., Blue, B., Šunde C, Tunnicliffe, J., & Salmond, A. (2019). A geomorphic perspective on the rights of the river in Aotearoa New Zealand. River Research and Applications, 35 (10), 1640-1651. 10.1002/rra.3343
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gary Brierley, Daniel Hikuroa, Jon Tunnicliffe, Anne Salmond
  • 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
  • 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


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
Level 4, Room 407
New Zealand

Web links