Post Graduate Student Research

Priority Research Themes | Current PhD students | Current Masters Students

The Research Strategic Vision of the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management (WCFM) is to “integrate disciplinary water research to provide interdisciplinary solutions to freshwater management problems”. Water Resource Management PhD and Masters students conducting research relevant to the WCFM are supervised by WCFM members, and are included in the Waterways Centre's activities during their time at university.

WRM students conduct research on water management issues on a global and local basis. The map below illustrates the geographical reach of our scholars. Click on a dot to find out more about each student and their research topic. A list of completed Water Resource Management PhD and Masters theses submitted at the University of Canterbury can be found here. A list of PhD and Masters theses submitted at Lincoln University can be found here.

If you are a student interested in conducting post graduate research in water management issues, visit here, or email us for more information.

Water Resource Management PhD Students

Julie Clark

Julie ClarkJulie is a mature student whose academic background is human geography and education. She is also a working mother of two teenage boys and a dog. Julie is interested in the social aspects of environmental sustainability and is pursuing a PhD in Water Resource Management. Julie's PhD investigates the ways we use water in our homes through our everyday habits and routines. Using Social Practice Theory, she is looking at the technologies, infrastructure, skills, knowledge, social norms and meanings bound up in our everyday water-use habits, to find the opportunities for policy change.


Katie Coluccio

Katie CollucioKatie has recently completed a Masters of Water Resource Management at the Waterways Centre and began her PhD at Waterways in April 2018. She originally hails from the US where she completed a BSc in Environmental Science at Northeastern University. Having first arrived in Christchurch in 2009, she now calls New Zealand home. In addition to her work at Waterways, she wears a few hats as a yoga instructor, proofreader and organiser for TEDxChristchurch. When not working or studying, you can find Katie in the hills on her mountain bike or getting her hands dirty in the garden. 

Katie's PhD research is focused on Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere in Canterbury, a place where many social, cultural, economic and ecological aspects of freshwater management intersect. She is investigating groundwater seepage into the lake, which has potential impacts on water quality and quantity outcomes for the lake. She is excited to be working with Dr Leanne Morgan of the Waterways Centre as her primary supervisor on this project and intends to submit in mid-2021.

Marlese Fairgray

Marlese FairgrayMarlese is a graduate of the University of Canterbury with a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and first class honours in Environmental Science. She is currently working towards a PhD in Water Resource Management.  Marlese has experience working in commercial laboratories as well as tutoring both undergraduate students and high school students in science-related disciplines. Outside of study, Marlese enjoys many outdoor activities, community events and reading.

Marlese’s PhD research is focussed around the rehabilitation of mining sites and the use of geochemical modelling programs to support mine site rehabilitation. This research will report on the fate of heavy metals and other chemicals as they enter surficial waterbodies near the mine sites before remediation and after.  Once completed, this research will be used to inform future remediation projects on the expected outcome of rehabilitation works following geochemical modelling. She is supervised by Prof. Jenny Webster-Brown and Dr. James Pope (CRL Energy). Marlese is due to finish in March 2019.

Shane Orchard

Shane OrchardShane Orchard is a researcher in conservation planning and spatial ecology specialising in water resources. Shane is involved in several projects in the NGO sector as well as an extensive network of professional organisations. He is a member of WCPA and CEM commissions of IUCN and serves on the NZ IUCN Committee as the CEM rep. He is particularly interested in the intersection between recreation and conservation management as well as potential impacts of climate change. Hobbies including winter mountaineering and lots of water sports.

He is completing a PhD part-time with Waterways in addition to researching recovery from the Kaikoura earthquakes as a Research Associate with the School of Biological Sciences and consultancy work with Waterlink Ltd. His PhD has a working title of topic ‘Building resilient shorelines: an ecosystems perspective on natural disaster recovery and adaptation to climate change’, or ‘Resilient Shorelines’ for short. The project has the goal of learning from Canterbury earthquakes with a focus on identifying impacts and opportunities for natural disaster recovery. A novel aspect is to identify additional learning that may be useful for adaptation to climate change through the assessment of subsidence-related inundation effects with similarities to the potential impacts of sea level rise.

Carlos Rosado

Carolos RosadoCarlos is a hydrogeologist with more than 5 years of experience in groundwater resource management, gained internationally and in New Zealand. His academic qualifications include a Master of Science degree in hydrogeology from Utrecht University in The Netherlands, and a Bachelor’s degree in engineering geology from UNAM University in Mexico City. His research interests comprise seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers, offshore fresh groundwater, the sustainability of groundwater resources in the coastal zone, and groundwater contamination arising from climate and land use changes.

Carlos’s PhD is entitled “Assessing groundwater vulnerability and resilience in the coastal zone of New Zealand”. His research aims to address the issues of anthropogenic and climate change impacts on coastal groundwater resources in New Zealand, with a focus on the Christchurch Aquifer System. His supervisory team includes Dr Leanne Morgan as senior supervisor and Zeb Etheridge as co-supervisor.


Water Resource Management Masters Students

Students currently undertaking their second year of a Water Resource Management Masters are:

  Proposed thesis topic Supervisor(s)
Nicole Calder-Steele Targeted stream augmentation looking at the Eiffelton Irrigation Scheme Jenny Webster-Brown, Adrian Meredith
Patrick Durney The predictability of the outcomes of the Hinds Managed Aquifer Recharge Trial (Ashburton, Canterbury) Leanne Morgan, David Scott, Theo Sarris
Hamish Graham Pathways for nutrient contamination of Barkers Creek catchment, South Canterbury Leanne Morgan, Lee Burberry
Xolile Ncube Traditional knowledge interaction in Water Governance and its implications for rural livelihoods in Esigodini, Zimbabwe Ed Challies, Garth Cant
Khiem Nguyen Factors enabling and constraining sustainable water management in the Plain of Reeds, Vietnam. Ed Challies, Tung Phan
Vicky Southworth Increasing the uptake of small scale at source stormwater management options to reduce flood risk and increase resilience Eric Pawson, Tom Cochrane