TPM Whānau

 

Te Pūnaha Matatini Whānau is a network for Te Pūnaha Matatini’s emerging scientists. We are an active trans-disciplinary community, with a shared interest in complex systems and networks, comprising postgraduate students, postdocs and early career researchers from all over New Zealand. Te Pūnaha Matatini Whānau is a meeting place for us to share our skills and develop new skills, in particular leadership and entrepreneurship, and acquire the tools needed to become successful scientists and entrepreneurs in NZ. While many of our members have supervisors or colleagues affiliated with Te Pūnaha Matatini, our Whānau is an inclusive group and we welcome anyone who feels their research aligns with one or more of Te Pūnaha Matatini’s research themes and is keen to be involved.
Many of our members are undertaking trans-disciplinary research which can make it difficult to fit in to any one department at their institute. By belonging to our Whānau network our members can feel part of a collective and meet other researchers who share their interest in complex systems and networks. Te Pūnaha Matatini Whānau provides a space for collaboration and skill-sharing, and we encourage our members to take an active role in shaping our goals and activities. We organise a range of seminars and workshops with the aim to encourage networking, to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and for outreach. Activities are held all over NZ and we offer a limited amount of travel funding to support attendance at Whānau events.
Twitter: @TPMWhanau
Reno Nims

Reno Nims

Chair

Reno is a PhD student in the University of Auckland Anthropology Department where he uses zooarchaeological methods to explore Māori interactions with the environment in the past. He began studying anthropology at the University of California and completed his M.S. in Anthropology at Portland State University in 2016. Reno’s doctoral research will also contribute to a multidisciplinary collaboration between archaeologists and computational mathematicians at Te Pūnaha Matatini who seek to understand the long-term resilience of Aotearoa New Zealand fisheries.

Julie Mugford

Julie Mugford

Vice-Chair

Julie, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury, is researching and developing statistical tools to make better use of citizen science data. The main aims of her research are to measure the accuracy of users and to develop efficient ways to improve the overall accuracy of such data. Julie has a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Canterbury. She is particularly interested in working with Te Pūnaha Matatini researchers with widely varying backgrounds and expertise to collectively solve problems in new and ground-breaking ways.

Kyle Higham

Kyle Higham

Immediate Past-Chair

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.

Mubashir Qasim

Mubashir Qasim

Communications Officer

Mubashir has almost completed a PhD in Applied Economics at the University of Waikato, with a project researching intergenerational sustainability and well-being over the long-run. Prior to coming to New Zealand, he obtained a Master’s Degree in International Development from the International University of Japan, with a double major in Applied Economics and Applied Statistics. Mubashir is a data science enthusiast and is currently working for Livestock Improvement Corporation as a Market Analyst. He is also a co-founder of an IoT and big data analytics start-up called Qubits Technologies Limited.

Hamza Ajmal

Hamza Ajmal

Treasurer

Hamza Ajmal is a PhD candidate at the University of Waikato. His research focuses on understanding the impact of economic macro-structure and institutional quality of a country on price behaviour of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), involving statistical analysis, topic modelling and network analysis. Hamza believes Te Pūnaha Matatini provides an excellent platform for researchers with a wide range of backgrounds and specialisations to collaborate and work across disciplinary boundaries in order to find answers.

Audrey Lustig

Audrey Lustig

Committee Member

Audrey is a postdoctoral fellow at the Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau, University of Canterbury, after graduating with a PhD at the Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University. Her current work closely aligns with Te Pūnaha Matatini’s predator-free New Zealand research and its ‘Complexity and the Biosphere’ theme. Audrey uses socio-ecological models to assess the feasibility of scaling-up predator control outside traditional conservation areas and to inform decisions about resource allocation. She loves how Te Pūnaha Matatini provides a home for researchers who cross disciplinary boundaries in search of holistic answers.

Attaullah Sahito

Attaullah Sahito

Committee Member

Attaullah, a PhD student at the Machine Learning Lab, part of the University of Waikato’s Department of Computer Science, is currently undertaking research in the field of deep learning. His main focus is on semi-supervised learning and how unsupervised learning can help in supervised tasks. Attaullah has previously obtained a Master’s degree in Computer Science, specialising in multimedia and databases. His PhD topic and research interests are well aligned with Te Pūnaha Matatini’s ‘Complexity, Risk, and Uncertainty’ theme and uncovering hidden knowledge from big data.

Mohammad Sanjari

Mohammad Sanjari

Committee Member

Mohammad is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the University of Auckland’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prior to his current position, he completed a PhD in Electrical Engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran in 2013. Mohammad’s research interests include studying the dynamics of inter-connected systems and applying big-data analysis concepts to large-scale power system management and control. He enjoys the inherent multidisciplinary nature of research into such systems, which often involves borrowing concepts from mathematical, statistical, physical and even social sciences.