Applications are invited for a masters scholarship at either Massey University or Victoria University of Wellington to work on a project developing conservation technology methods for bioacoustics.

The project involves the development of techniques to monitor wild bird species in the field. We will work with brown kiwi, a ground-dwelling species that is threatened by introduced mammals. Brown kiwi management, and that of many other species under conservation management, depends on reliably estimating the numbers of birds present in an area. We are developing new, easier-to-use techniques to estimate the number of birds using passive acoustic monitoring. In order to calibrate these methods we also need to re-develop the way that radio telemetry is used.

You will help develop a system linking the identification of birds wearing micro-recorder transmitters (that record the vocalisation of these individuals) and autonomous recording units (located in the area where these birds live) leading to ways to calculate kiwi densities using spatial mark-recapture statistical methods.


We are happy to consider students from a diverse range of fields including engineering, computer science, mathematics, statistics, conservation biology, and zoology. This project involves the development of techniques to monitor wild bird species in the field. An interest in electronics will be an advantage for this project. The successful candidate will hold, or expect to complete soon, an undergraduate degree in the sciences.

Applicants from all backgrounds are actively encouraged to apply. Members of under-represented groups are very welcome, as are students with families. Our research group aims to achieve work-life balance within a productive scientific environment.


You will be based at either Victoria University of Wellington in Wellington, or Massey University in Palmerston North, and will work with Professor Stephen Marsland and Professor Isabel Castro.

You will be part of Te Pūnaha Matatini, the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems. Te Pūnaha Matatini brings together ‘many faces’ – different disciplines, ways of thought, methods, and crucially, people – to define, and then solve, society’s thorny interconnected problems. Te Pūnaha Matatini has an active whānau group which supports early career researchers, committed to the Te Pūnaha Matatini values of manaakitanga and whakawhanaungatanga, offering supportive tuakana / teina learning environments.


If you have any questions, please contact:

Financial details

• Full domestic tuition fees
• Stipend of NZ$17,000 per year for a year (tax free)

Start date

The start date is flexible, but would preferably be February or March 2024.

How to apply

Send an email expressing your interest, along with a CV, academic record, and list of three potential referees to and

Due date

Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Applications received by November 2023 will receive full consideration.