Executive Team

Shaun Hendy

Shaun Hendy

Director, Te Pūnaha Matatini

Shaun Hendy is Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini and Professor of Physics at the University of Auckland. His interest in the science of complexity stems from a conversation at a lunchtime journal club at Industrial Research Ltd about Geoffrey West’s work on the increase in the number of patents per capita with city size in the US. Hendy then downloaded an international patent database and found that the difference in patents per capita between Australia and New Zealand could be explained by the difference in population distributions.

Siouxsie Wiles

Siouxsie Wiles

Deputy Director, Education and Outreach

Siouxsie has made a career of combining her twin passions of bioluminescence (think glow worms and fireflies) and infectious diseases. In a nutshell, Siouxsie and her team make nasty bacteria glow in the dark to better understand how superbugs cause disease and to find new medicines. Siouxsie is also a keen blogger, podcaster, artist, curator and media science commentator and has won a hat trick of prizes for her efforts.

Tava Olsen

Tava Olsen

Deputy Director, Industry and Stakeholder Engagement

Tava Olsen is Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management and Director of the Centre for Supply Chain Management at the University of Auckland Business School. Tava’s research interests include supply-chain management, pricing, and inventory control, and stochastic modelling of manufacturing, service, and healthcare systems. Tava is a past president of the Manufacturing and Service Operations (MSOM) society and has been awarded the Auckland Business School’s sustained research excellence award.

Adam Jaffe

Adam Jaffe

Theme Leader, Complex Economic and Social Systems

Adam Jaffe arrived in New Zealand in the autumn (fall) of 2013, joining Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, as its director, with a significant research programme focusing on technological innovation and its diffusion; in particular diffusion effects in environmental and energy technologies. He’s leading a group of diverse researchers investigating the impact of scale, diversity, connectivity, and dynamics on social and economic systems.

Stephen Marsland

Stephen Marsland

Theme Leader, Complex Data Analytics

Stephen Marsland is Professor of Scientific Computing at Massey University. He arrived at Massey in 2004 following various postdoc roles, a PhD from Manchester University and a degree from Oxford University. His research interests are in the applications of mathematics, especially (but not only) differential geometry to a wide variety of problems such as birdsong recognition, shape and medical image analysis, machine learning, and smart homes for the elderly. He also works in complexity science, including complex networks and agent-based models.

Mike Plank

Mike Plank

Theme Leader, Complexity and the Biosphere

Mike Plank’s research is in mathematical modelling, particularly in ecology and physiology. The motivation for this research comes from real-world problems and the emphasis is on qualitative mathematical models that capture the essential behaviour of a particular phenomenon. He has research interests in a variety of applications: ecology and exploitation of fish communities; collective cell behaviour; complex ecological networks; invasive species; epidemiology; animal movement; neurovascular coupling. His research uses methods from a range of areas in mathematics including: dynamical systems; partial differential equations; perturbation theory; stochastic processes; and data science.

Kate Hannah

Kate Hannah

Executive Manager, Te Pūnaha Matatini

Kate Hannah has a Masters of Arts in American 19th Century Cultural History, and has worked as a writer, editor, historical consultant, and in research analysis and development. She is interested in science communication, public understanding of science, and science’s understanding of the public. At Te Pūnaha Matatini, she’ll be encouraging good grammar, the use of the Oxford comma, and consideration of the humanity behind the data.

Catriona Sissons

Catriona Sissons

Chair, Te Pūnaha Matatini Whānau

Catriona Sissons is a PhD student at the University of Auckland with a background in physics, law and philosophy. Her research interests are related to applying tools from network science of complex systems to study social and economic development. Currently she is investigating collaboration in technological innovation by building patents networks. She loves the trans-disciplinary nature of complex systems research, where she can use tools from the mathematical and physical sciences to the study of human socio-economic systems.