Three new Ngā Rākau Taketake PhD positions are available.
Position 3: Facing unfamiliar new biological threats: a risk assessment framework for Aotearoa.
The taonga plants of Aotearoa New Zealand are facing diverse new threats from invading and emerging pests and pathogens. Kaitiaki and other ecosystem guardians must assess and respond to unfamiliar new biological threats to plant health and ecosystem integrity. We are seeking a PhD student interested in working with mana whenua to develop a flexible and adaptable risk assessment framework to meet Māori, government and western science researchers’ needs. The framework should integrate elements of traditional and modern approaches to risk assessment to empower kaitiakitanga in the face of current and future biosecurity threats. The work should begin with a focus on kauri dieback and myrtle rust case studies, before broadening to encompass ecosystem vulnerability and exposure to diverse new hazards.
The successful candidate will have a background in plant ecology, sociology, tikanga Māori and/or another relevant subject. A willingness to be part of a larger research team is essential. The position is associated with New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge and two of its research programmes: Ngā Rākau Taketake – Risk Assessment and Ecosystem Impacts, and He Tangata, He Taiao, He Ōhanga – a values-based biosecurity risk assessment framework for Aotearoa. The project teams include researchers from multiple NZ Universities and Crown Research Institutes with a wide range of expertise.
We are offering a stipend plus tuition fees. The funding will also cover any consumable costs and other expenses related to the research project. The successful candidate will be based at the University of Auckland. Domestic and international students are encouraged to apply and must meet the University of Auckland PhD programme entry requirements.
To apply, please send a cover letter stating your interests and experience relevant to the project, a CV, transcripts, and the names and contact information for three references to: Luitgard Schwendenmann (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 30 November.
If you have questions related to the Ngā Rākau Taketake – Risk Assessment and Ecosystem Impacts research programme, please contact:
If you have questions related to the He Tangata, He Taiao, He Ōhanga – a values-based biosecurity risk assessment framework for Aotearoa research programme, please contact: