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Time Spent Knee-Deep In The Waikato River Pays Off

28 September 2010


Time Spent Knee-Deep In The Waikato River Pays Off

Dr Kevin Collier’s hard work down by the river has led him to being awarded the WEL Networks Environmental Science Award at last weeks Kudos Awards in Hamilton.

Dr Collier’s work and research has contributed to many aspects of freshwater science and management in New Zealand. His previous research has looked at what sort of management is required to reduce human impacts on streams, and is currently investigating the ecology of large rivers, and looking at functional indicators for assessing river health.

Large rivers are poorly studied globally, and are currently the focus of increased management interest, particularly in the Waikato. “We found that types of invertebrates living in large rivers respond in as predictable way to human impacts, similar to what they do in small streams, which means we can use them as indicators of recovery following restoration” explains Dr Collier.

Dr Collier thinks Waikato is the best place to be for a fresh water scientist. “You're never alone doing science in Hamilton, and this is especially true for freshwater ecology. I used to work in Wellington and I felt like I was the only freshwater ecologist there at the time, but here with the Waikato River on our door step, there is no better place in New Zealand to study large rivers”.

For the past four years Dr Collier has served as president of the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society, and in 2000 wrote and edited a book summarising current knowledge of the ecology of New Zealand stream invertebrates. He holds both a senior lecturer position at the University of Waikato, as well as a freshwater ecologist position at Environment Waikato.

The WEL Networks Environmental Science Award recognises a major, recent contribution to research on environmental sustainability, restoration, conservation or biodiversity in the Waikato.

The Kudos Awards celebrated Waikato’s finest scientists and science educators at an Awards presentation and dinner evening held on the 23rd of September at Southwell Auditorium, Hamilton. The Kudos Awards recognise the region’s most innovative science research and discoveries over six categories, including agricultural, environmental, medical, science educator, emerging scientist and lifetime achievement.

The winner’s cash prizes are used to further develop science and research throughout Hamilton and the Waikato region, and are sponsored by; Hamilton City Council, University of Waikato, Wintec, WEL Networks, Waikato District Health Board, Waikato Times, King Street Advertising, and Orbit Calder & Lawson. Other supporters include Plant and Food Research, McFarlane Engels & Associates, and AWIS (Association of Women in Science).


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