“It’s crazy and ambitious but I think it might be worth a shot.” is how the late Sir Paul Callaghan popularized the idea of a New Zealand free of exotic pests. New Zealand’s clean green image relies on its ecological heritage. Since the arrival of Europeans this heritage has been gradually eroded by the introduction of exotic fauna. When every individual in a species has its own name you know there is a problem!  In order for New Zealand to make the first steps to being predator free we need to increase the opportunities for every New Zealander to become involved. Restricting participation to scientists and DoC workers will not be enough.

This project will assess the ways in which Citizen Science can be used to involve more people in the battle to become predator free. The student will start by assessing what methods have worked in other places and which are suitable to be used in the New Zealand context. They will then develop ways to implement the most suitable of these methods and find ways to assess their efficacy.

The student will be enrolled at the University of Canterbury and will work under the supervision of Ass. Prof. Alex James. The student will be co-supervised by Dr Andrea Byrom of Landcare Research. They will also spend time at Landcare research as part of their studies.

Applicants for this scholarship should hold an Honours or Masters level qualification in a scientific and highly numerate discipline and have a strong interest in ecology.

The scholarship is tenable for three years and will pay for tuition fees (for a domestic or international student) and a stipend of $27,000 per annum.

For more information contact:

Associate Professor Alex James
School of Maths and Stats
University of Canterbury
New Zealand

alex.james@canterbury.ac.nz
http://www.math.canterbury.ac.nz/MARG/