New staff

A number of new staff have joined the Freshwater and Estuaries Centre over the last few months, either on a permanent or fixed-term basis. Here we introduce new permanent and post-doctoral staff based at our Hamilton and Christchurch offices.

Ms Carla Muller

Carla has recently joined NIWA as an environmental economist in the Socio-Economic Group. She has a back ground in applied economics and environmental management. Her last three and a half years have been at DairyNZ working on the economic impact of implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater on dairy farms in catchments all around NZ. She brings an understanding of farming systems and regional freshwater policy as well as her economics skills to NIWA. Carla is particularly interested in integrating economics into science projects to enable NIWA to present solutions which see economic and environmental objectives achieved. Currently she is working on the Justified Irrigation project.  [Contact:

Carla Muller

Dr Eimear Egan

Eimear is a freshwater ecologist at NIWA Hamilton specialising in fish ecology. Her PhD (University of Canterbury) investigated the life history of one of New Zealand’s whitebait species, inanga. Eimear is especially interested in diadromous fish and seeks to provide a more integrated understanding of their ecology. For her Postdoc, she will be using the chemical and growth chronologies recorded in otoliths/scales to investigate the effects of longer-term environmental variation on fish life histories. She will use kauri tree rings to cross-validate the growth chronologies of fish. Eimear is also interested in using alternative structures, like fin rays as a non-lethal way to understand the life histories of threatened species. [Contact:]

Dr Eimear Egan [NIWA]

Dr James Shelley

James is a freshwater ecologist, with a decade of experience professionally studying and observing freshwater communities (vertebrates & invertebrates) in their habitats. The work has taken him across NZ, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Southeast Asia. He received his PhD on the evolution and biogeography of freshwater fish communities in the Australian Monsoonal Tropics from the University of Melbourne. He has wide-ranging interests that include applied ecology, species distribution modelling, landscape genetics, taxonomy and evolution. James is skilled in a wide range of analytical techniques applied to numerical and genetic datasets. [Contact:]

Dr James Shelley [NIWA]

Dr Hamish Biggs

Hamish recently joined NIWA after completing his PhD in Scotland, where he was studying flow-vegetation interactions at multiple spatial scales. His previous research involved mapping macrophyte patch mosaics with unmanned aerial vehicles to determine vegetation spatial distributions and patch size characteristics, as a function of habitat hydraulic conditions. At smaller scales he also investigated flow interactions with individual macrophytes using high resolution particle image velocimetry (PIV) and acoustic doppler velocimetry (ADV) systems. He is currently employed on a two year postdoc project at NIWA to investigate fine sediment dynamics in macrophyte patch mosaics. Hamish’s areas of scientific interest are diverse and cover hydrodynamics, physics, instrument development, despiking, denoising, gradient kernels, sediment transport, turbulence, cobble dynamics, programming/physical modelling (primarily in MATLAB) and image analysis. [Contact:]

Dr Hamish Biggs