Plenary Speakers

Dr Philip Barnes

New insights into Hikurangi subduction inputs, accretionary wedge, and plate interface host rocks spanning along-strike changes in fault slip behaviour, New Zealand


Philip holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Canterbury and is a Principal Scientist in Marine Geology at the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA). With >35 years of experience in the field of active continental margins, his work has focussed mainly on submarine neotectonics, sedimentary systems, and geohazards. 

Phil is a former Technical Advisor (1996-2006) and New Zealand Delegate (2006-2008) to the United Nations Commission on the limits of the Legal Continental Shelf under UNCLOS Article 76. He received NIWA’s Research Excellence Award in 2014, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi (FRSNZ) in 2019, and is the 2023 recipient of the Francis P. Shepard Medal for excellence in marine geology awarded by SEPM The Society for Sedimentary Geology.

Dr Lauren Vargo

Melting glaciers and climate change: What can we do? 


For as long as I can remember, I've loved being outdoors and exploring the natural world. But I didn't feel like I was good at science, I didn't really care about science, and I didn't know that science could be applied to the Earth and outdoors until I took a Geology class in university. Since then, I've loved learning about and studying the Earth, especially the icy parts. I now use field observations, remote sensing data, climate data, GCM (global computer model simulation) output, and numerical modelling to investigate questions in glaciology and climate science. My current research interests include monitoring how glaciers in Aotearoa New Zealand are changing, and investigating the impacts of climate change on snow and glaciers in New Zealand and globally. 

Professor Jonathon Procter

He haerenga mōrearea - A hazardous journey; Exploring Mātauranga Māori and Volcanic Hazards.


Jonathan Procter is a Professor of Natural Hazards at Massey University. He has contributed to developing research that focuses on volcanic hazard simulation and working with communities to increase resilience to natural and environmental hazards.Jonathan manages the Volcanic Risk Solutions (VRS) research group and has contributed nationally to developing new research directions in volcanology. He currently leads the NZ National Science Challenge; Resilience to Natures Challenges, volcano research program and is active in finding new solutions to mitigate the hazards posed by our volcanoes. Being one of only a handful of Māori professorial scientists, Jonathan feels he has a duty to contribute to Māori development. His greatest contribution in this respect has been the development of a new area of research on mātauranga Māori, volcanic hazards and building resilience in Māori communities.

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