Coastal - Marine Research Group

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Dr Karen Stockin - Director

Employed by the Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Massey University (2007-) and the International Whaling Commission (2018-), Dr Karen Stockin is the Director of the Coastal-Research Group and Secretariat Strandings Coordinator for the International Whaling Commission. Dr Stockin is also an Associate Investigator within Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre and WILDBASE  and the inaugural recipient of the Bob Kerridge Animal Welfare Fellowship. As the inaugural Major Leader for Marine Ecology (2013-2018), Dr Stockin coordinates 196.225 Introductory Marine Biology196.326 Topics in Marine Ecology and 196.327 Marine Mammalogy and is currently the academic supervisor to 3 PhD students. During her career, Dr Stockin has supervised to successful completion a further 18 postgraduates (10 PhD, 8 MSc). Her research focuses on the conservation-welfare nexus of human-wildlife interactions involving marine mammals, in particular human engagement during stranding events. Dr Stockin completed her PhD on common dolphin (Delphinus genus) biology at Massey University, and prior to that 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. 


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 with 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.


Dr Laureline Meynier - Senior Lecturer

Dr Meynier is currently a lecturer at the Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (INMS) at Massey University, Auckland, NZ. Her principal research interests are the feeding and foraging ecology of marine predators. Her current project focuses on the foraging of NZ fur seals using a combination of fatty acid analysis, stable isotope analysis and telemetry to assess the trophic niche of this predator along the coast of NZ South Island.
Dr Meynier is currently lecturing in several zoology and ecology courses at Albany campus, Auckland. She is also part of an exciting project in developing course material for the new Environmental Science major proposed to internal students at Albany, Massey University.
From 2010 to 2014, Dr Meynier pursued a postdoctoral research project (FRST fellowship) within the Animal Nutrition group at IVABS, Massey University, Palmerston North, on the feeding and foraging behaviour of NZ fur seals. Prior to her postdoctoral project, she was enrolled in a PhD at IVABS, Massey University (2004-2008) on the diet of New Zealand sea lions at the Auckland Islands using fatty acid analysis on blubber.

Emma Betty - Marine Research Officer

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 Emanuelle Martinez - 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 cetacean species including humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Between 2011 and 2012, she was appointed as a research associate with C-MRG and was employed with the Pacific Whale Foundation as a Senior Research Scientist. Since 2016, Manue has been employed as a tutor as part of the Environmental Management programme at NorthTec in Northland.