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. More about Shaun here.

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. More about Siouxsie here.

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. More about Tava here.

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. More about Adam here.

Stephen Marsland

Stephen Marsland

Theme Leader, Complexity, Risk, and Uncertainty

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. More about Stephen here.

Alex James

Alex James

Theme Leader, Complexity and the Biosphere

With a PhD in combustion engineering, Associate Professor Alex James made the transition from catalytic converters to ecology, where she uses mathematical modelling to solve problems related to the natural world. Although Alex says she is no ecologist – “friends had to teach me the difference between beetles and bugs” – she is excited by the contribution mathematics can make to the analysis and study of interactions among organisms and their environment, and she’s convinced that mathematical modelling could be the key to the critical ecological issues of our time.

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.

Kyle Higham

Kyle Higham

Chair, Te Pūnaha Matatini Whānau

Kyle is a PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington. Armed with tools borrowed from statistical mechanics such as stochastic point process models, he uses patent data to examine the spread of knowledge within and between firms and industries in order to make sense of the dynamics and evolution of technological innovation. He is particularly excited about the potential for conceptual breakthroughs that are made possible when problems faced in traditionally non-mathematical fields are placed within a complex systems framework.