Rupert is a Principal Scientist and Manager of NIWA's Aquatic Pollution Mitigation Group based in Hamilton. He specializes in resource (energy, nutrient and water) recovery from wastewater using natural treatment systems. His research has involved: development, optimisation, design, engineering, construction and evaluation of ponds, raceways, filters, and scrubbers for wastewater treatment (including municipal, agricultural and aquacultural effluents). Specific research has involved: optimising natural treatment system nutrient removal and disinfection; Covered Anaerobic Ponds for simple, cost-effective solids removal and biogas production; High Rate Algal Ponds with CO2 addition for cost effective aerobic wastewater treatment and nutrient recovery in algal biomass for use as fertiliser, feed, or conversion to biofuel; Filamentous Algae Nutrient Scrubbers for effective nutrient removal and recovery from agricultural drainage water.
Rupert currently leads research programmes on enhanced wastewater treatment ponds and diffuse pollution mitigation.