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.
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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. More about Julie.
Ellen is a PhD student at the University of Auckland who is passionate about conducting transdisciplinary research with stakeholders to improve environmental outcomes for New Zealand. With a range of research experiences from ecology to sustainable agricultural production, systems modelling and environmental policy, Ellen aims to use innovative and integrated research approaches to deal with problems arising from complex systems and generate impact through enabling societal change. She enjoys the unique opportunity that Te Pūnaha Matatini provides to connect with a diverse network of researchers focusing on complexity.
Immediate Past 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. More about Reno.
Giorgia is an Italian PhD student at the University of Canterbury, where she is studying the effects of individual heterogeneity on emergent population characteristics. The main goal of her research is to investigate the role of animals’ different “personalities” in the dynamics of their population, using stochastic, individual-based models. Before coming to New Zealand, she studied Bioinformatics and Modelling at the French engineering school “INSA Lyon”. Giorgia has always enjoyed creating models of complex systems and using them to try and explain reality, which is why she is really excited to be part of the Te Pūnaha Matatini team.
Hamza Ajmal is a Market Analyst at Livestock Improvement Corporation based in Hamilton. He has a PhD in finance from the University of Waikato and his research interests include initial public offerings, economic macro-structure, institutional environment, impact of regulations on capital markets, economic and financial sustainability, and sustainable development. Hamza has a diverse background in finance, business studies, statistics, econometrics, data science, sustainable development and education for sustainable development. More about Hamza.
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.
Stephen is a PhD student at the University of Canterbury, researching the spread of disease in possum populations. The main goal of his research is to determine the effect that individual heterogeneity has on the spread of bovine tuberculosis by using individual based models and network theory. Prior to coming to New Zealand, Stephen obtained a Master of Mathematics from the University of Bath. He likes the unique opportunities to connect and collaborate with people, across a variety of disciplines, that comes with being part of Te Pūnaha Matatini.