Coastal - Marine Research Group

 Dr Karen Stockin - Director 

Dr Karen Stockin has been employed by Massey University since January 2007, where she lectures in Marine Ecology under the Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. At undergraduate level, Dr Stockin coordinates papers 196.225 Introductory Marine Biology, 196.326 Topics in Marine Ecology and 196.327 Marine Mammology and currently teaches into 196.318 Molecular EcologyAt postgraduate level, she teaches into 232.703 Wildlife Management and 232.701 Conservation BiologyHer research focus is marine mammals and their interactions with the ecosystem. Specific interests include the examination of anthropogenic impacts including tourism, pollution and fisheries. Prior to completing a PhD on common dolphins (Delphinus sp), Dr Stockin completed an MSc in Marine & Fisheries Science at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology at Plymouth University, England. Her research in the United Kingdom examined the behaviour and habitat use of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) and minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) off North East Scotland. For the past eight years, her research has focused on common dolphins, resulting in the instigation of the New Zealand Common Dolphin Project (NZCDP). However, Dr Stockin has also published on a range of other marine mammal species including Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera brydei), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Hector's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori). Despite being based in New Zealand, she continues to collaborate with colleagues working in the northern hemisphere, and is currently affiliated with the Aberdeenshire Dolphin Project and the Biscay Dolphin Research Programme.


 Dr Matthew Pawley - Senior Lecturer

Dr Matthew Pawley works as a lecturer at Massey University and currently coordinates papers 115.101 Statistics for Business161.324 Data Mining and 161.777 Practical Data Mining. His areas of expertise are in ecological statistics, marine ecology, environmental modelling and environmental monitoring and impact assessment.He completed an MSc in Biological Sciences and a PhD in Statistics/Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland, where he also completed his undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences. His current research interests include the temporal and spatial variation of intertidal soft-sediment estuarine assemblages and sub tidal rocky reef assemblages and the environmental effects on intertidal and sub tidal benthic distributions.

Dr Katharina J. Peters - Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Katharina Peters completed her PhD in 2016 at the BirdLab at Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia. Her PhD research focused on causes and consequences of hybridisation in Darwin’s tree finches (Camarhynchus spp.) on the Galápagos Islands. Prior to her PhD, Dr Peters obtained an BSc (Hons) degree from Flinders University in 2010, studying the impact of tourism on the behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Adelaide’s metropolitan waters with the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL). She received her BSc in biology from the University of Osnabrück, Germany, in 2009.

 Dr Peters primary research interests lie at the interface of animal behaviour, population ecology and evolutionary biology and how to apply this information to better manage the conservation of wild populations and their associated environments. Addressing these questions requires quantitative and interdisciplinary approaches. Thus, she uses an integrative approach involving field-intensive ecological and behavioural work with ecological modelling and molecular analyses. Dr Peters is currently an Australia Awards/Endeavour Postdoctoral Research fellow investigating the foraging ecology of common dolphins (Delphinus sp.) at Massey University, using stable isotope analysis in collaboration with NIWA. She is also part of the Global Ecology Lab at Flinders University as a database manager and analyst.

 Dr Gabriela Tezanos-Pinto - Senior Tutor

Dr Tezanos-Pinto completed her PhD in 2009 at the Molecular Ecology and Evolution Laboratory at the University of Auckland under the supervision of Prof. C. Scott Baker. Her PhD investigated the population structure, abundance and reproductive parameters ofbottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in New Zealand. Prior to completing her PhD, Dr Tezanos-Pinto completed BSc (Hons) from the University of Cordoba (Argentina). Her Honours thesisinvestigated the immersion activity of Commerson’s dolphins in Bahía San Julián, Argentina. Specifically, she evaluated potential variations in immersion activity among age-sex classes, behaviours and presence-absence of boats. For the past 17 years, her experience in the field of marine mammal biology has included working on a variety of species in Argentina, her home country, and New Zealand. These included Burmeister porpoises (Phocoena spinipinnis), Commerson’s (Cephalorhynchus commersonii), Hector’s and Maui’s (Cephalorhynchus hectori sp.) and Peale’s (Lagenorhynchus australis) dolphins as well as humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Bryde’s (Balaenoptera brydei) whales. Dr Tezanos-Pinto’s research focus is primarily in the molecular ecology of marine mammals and the application of genetic techniques for research, conservation and management. She is interested in projects that combine a diversity of data including physiology, ecology, demographic parameters and life history data with genetic information to improve the conservation and management of wildlife species. Other interests include mark-recapture techniques to estimate population parameters of vertebrates, including sharks, fish and dolphins. In 2012, Dr Tezanos-Pinto joined the C-MRG team as an Adjunct Research Associate.

Dr Laureline Meynier - Senior Lecturer

Dr Meynier completed her PhD in March 2009 at the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences at Massey University, Palmerston North. Her PhD focused on the feeding ecology of the New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri) and was supervised by Dr. Pádraig Duignan and Dr. Patrick Morel. Prior to beginning her PhD, Dr Meynier undertook a BSc in marine biology at the University of Brest, France and MSc on the diet of delphinids in the Northeast Atlantic, supervised by Dr. Vincent Ridoux (University of La Rochelle, France) and Dr. Graham Pierce (University of Aberdeen, UK). During the first year, her MSc research she focused on the diet of oceanic delphinids bycaught during the driftnet fishery in the Northeast Atlantic. This project was based at La Rochelle, France at the Laboratoire de Biologie et Environnement Marins. During the second year, she examined temporal and demographic variation in the diet of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in the Bay of Biscay. For this research, Dr Meynier was based at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK and at the University of La Rochelle, France.

Emma Betty - Marine Technical Office/ PhD Student

 Emma Betty joined Massey University in February 2015 as the Marine Technical Officer within the Institute of Natural & Mathematical Sciences (INMS). Emma is an experienced Scientific Diver and Inshore Launchmaster, and was previously employed as a Marine Research Officer/Senior Technician within the Institute for Applied Ecology New Zealand (AENZ) at Auckland University of Technology (AUT)Emma’s research background is in the ecology and conservation of marine mammals in New Zealand waters and she is currently teaching into 196.327 Marine Mammalogy. Specific interests include investigations on stranded cetaceans; particularly in regard to the life history and feeding ecology of deep-diving species, and the interactions between cephalopods, cetaceans and fisheries. She is also currently studying part-time towards her PhD which is focused on strandings, life history and conservation of pilot whales in New Zealand waters. Prior to commencing her doctoral studies, Emma completed a Graduate Diploma in Marine Studies at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and a BAppSc (Hons) in Environmental Science at Auckland University of Technology. Her honours research examined the diet of pygmy sperm whales stranded on the New Zealand coast. 

 Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska - Adjunct Research Associate

Dr Machovsky completed his PhD, studying the nutritional and sensory ecology of the Australian gannet, at Massey University in 2012. Prior to this he worked at the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand and the Argentinean Antarctic Division after completing his master's at the University Mar Del Plata, Argentina in 2005 where he looked at the distributioand accumulation of copper, zinc, cadmium and mercury in common dolphins. His primary research interest addresses the nutritional and sensory ecology of marine predators as well as the importance of nutritional ecology in conservation. Over the past 10 years he has worked in different areas of marine and terrestrial science using a wide range of different research techniques in both the field and laboratory. These include behavioural observations, deployment of miniaturised GPS and Time Depth Recorder data-loggers, analyses of animal diet and faecal compositions, aquatic and terrestrial biomass/animal diversity surveys, behavioural analysis based on video footage, heavy metals analysis and nutritional modelling. His work experience also includes research on breeding, diet and foraging behaviour of marine invertebrates, marine fish, marine mammals (seals, sea lions and dolphins), and seabirds (cormorants, petrels, penguins and gannets) from Argentina, Antarctica and New Zealand. Dr Machovsky currently works in the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney as a Loxton Bequest Research Fellow in Nutritional Ecology but continues to be affiliated with C-MRG as an Adjunct Research Associate.

Dr Emmanuelle Martinez - Adjunct Research Associate

Dr Martinez completed her PhD in February 2011 with C-MRG. Her PhD, the A.R.E.V.A. project, focused on the responses of South Island Hector’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori hectori) to vessel activity in Akaroa Harbour,Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. She was supervised by Dr Karen Stockin, Prof Mark Orams, Dr Deanna Clement and Ass/Prof Dianne Brunton. Dr Martinez completed an MSc in Environmental Science at the University of Otago, New Zealand and a BSc (Hons) in Zoology at the University of Leicester, UK. Her MSc research consisted of a pre-disturbance study of Hector’s dolphins prior to the establishment of a dolphin-watching operation at Motunau, New Zealand. Although her research has focused on Hector’s dolphins and the effect of tourism activities, she collaborates with colleagues working on a range of other cetaceanspecies including humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Between 2011 and 2012, she was appointed as a research associate with C-MRG and from 2012, she has been employed with the Pacific Whale Foundation leading a team of researchers as a Senior Research Scientist. She continues to beaffiliated with C-MRG as an Adjunct Research Associate.