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New head for School of Science at Waikato University

New head for School of Science at Waikato University

Professor Chad Hewitt is the University of Waikato’s new Head of the School of Science, and is looking forward to the challenge of bringing together the existing three science departments under one umbrella.

“Throughout my career I’ve managed change, and that is what this new role is about, creating a new School of Science that will unify Earth and Ocean Sciences, Biological Sciences and Chemistry to enhance their strengths.”

Born, bred and educated in the US, Professor Hewitt and his family have returned to New Zealand after nine years in Australia where he worked in various roles, including Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) for CQUniversity in Queensland, and as Professor and Director of the National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability at the University of Tasmania. Before that, Chad was the Chief Technical Officer – Marine Biosecurity for the New Zealand Government, and was responsible for the management and implementation of the biosecurity system in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone.

During his earlier work stint in New Zealand, Professor Hewitt says he fell in love with the country and had always hoped to return one day.

“I enjoyed the cultural ethos, and it had always been in the back of our minds to pursue a role in New Zealand again for the quality of life and to continue with my own research again.”

His own research is in the area of marine bioinvasions and biosecurity arrangements – or “studying nasty pests that come in on ships, with aquaculture and in aquaria”.

Dean of Science and Engineering Professor Bruce Clarkson welcomes Professor Hewitt to the faculty.

“We are very pleased to have attracted someone with the breadth and depth of experience Chad has for this position. We are looking forward to working with him and taking full advantage of his strengths and expertise particularly in the area of international connectedness.”

With a background in marine ecology, Professor Hewitt holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley (USA) in Biology and Fine Arts, and a PhD in Biological Science from the University of Oregon (USA). His research portfolio revolves around the role humans play in changing the natural world, particularly in marine systems, and how natural science can influence management and policy.


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