Keynote Speakers

David Bowman                                     Sponsored by: 

Professor David Bowman holds a research chair in Pyrogeography and Fire Science in the School of Natural Sciences and is the Director of the transdisciplinary Fire Centre at the University of Tasmania. He is developing the transdisciplinary field of pyrogeography that provides a synthetic understanding of landscape burning that unites human, physical and biological dimensions of fire from the geological past into the future and spanning local to global geographic scales.

Angela Moles                                Sponsored by: 

Professor Angela Moles leads the Big Ecology Lab, in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UNSW Sydney. Her research interests include studying rapid evolution in introduced species, understanding how native plants are responding to climate change, and quantifying global patterns in the ecological strategies used by plants and animals. Angela is passionate about science outreach and teaching, and is a member of the New South Wales Biodiversity Conservation Advisory Panel. Angela grew up in New Zealand, but accidentally became an Australian. 


Craig is affiliated with Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha and Ngāti Mutunga and is a New Zealand descendent of English, Scottish and Welsh settlers. He has significant experience in environmental management and policy, strategy and research.

Whilst working for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Craig held a number of roles which included fisheries negotiation, environmental policy and research, environmental advice, programme leader – environment and as a project manager for freshwater strategy development. He has also worked for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority as a Senior Advisor in Strategy and Planning and as a Māori Researcher for Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research.

Craig’s technical expertise is complemented by a range of Governance roles for both iwi and community organisations. These roles include being a steering committee member of Ngā Aho Incorporated (a national network of Māori design and planning professionals), a member of the Aoraki Bound Advisory Group and the Te Taumutu Rūnanga Kaitiakitanga Committee. Craig was also a former member of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy Christchurch West Melton and Regional Zone Committees and the Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) Management Board and Co-Governance Group.

George Perry

2018 recipient of Te Tohu Taiao - Award for Ecological Excellence

Professor George Perry completed undergraduate and Masters studies in the Departments of Geography and Plant and Microbial Sciences at the University of Canterbury, before doing a PhD at the University of Melbourne. He worked in the Department of Geography at King's College London for four years before moving to the School of Environment at the University of Auckland where he teaches the broad areas of terrestrial ecology, environmental change and associated quantitative methods.

George is interested in the dynamics of forest ecosystems at spatial scales from the population to the landscape and at temporal scales from decades to millennia. His current research is primarily focused on understanding the effects of humans on forest ecosystems and he is a collaborator on two projects focused on developing socio-ecological simulation models to support decision-making for ecosystem services and conservation in multi-functional landscapes. He has conducted research in ecosystems in SW Australia, Spain, and New Caledonia. 

Susan Walker

2018 recipient of Ecology in Action Award

Dr Susan Walker is a conservation ecologist, researcher, and research programme leader in Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, with research interests including large-scale long-term changes in land cover and indigenous bird fauna; biodiversity assessment and measurement more generally; forest rodent dynamics; threatened plants, evolutionary patterns, and effects of climate change. Susan has often worked at the interface of conservation ecology research with resource management policy, the law, agencies, and bureaucrats – and hence politics – especially in the context of land clearance and development in the drier eastern inland South Island. 

Yvette Couch-Lewis

Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula has a rich whakapapa which is a part of Yvette Couch-Lewis, who lives at Rapaki, her ancestral home within Whakaraupō. Yvette’s knowledge as kaitiaki has been from learning and being supported by her elders to work across the environment community. With experience in restoration, water quality, and her passion, tāonga species, Yvette represents her hapū, Ngāti Wheke and iwi, Ngāi Tahu at a variety of local, regional and national levels. As an RMA Hearing Commissioner and a board ministerial advisor. Yvette is passionate and committed to ensuring that the voice of kaitiaki is heard at the decision-making table.

Conference Dinner Speaker (CANCELLED)

Nicola Toki

Nicola Toki is DOC’s Threatened Species Ambassador. With an extensive career in conservation, Nic’s mission as Threatened Species Ambassador is to advocate for our threatened native plants and animals. Day to day, she’s also on the senior leadership team for the Biodiversity Group in DOC. Nic believes that, while New Zealanders’ sense of self-definition is heavily bound up with the love of the natural world, there is a disconnect between what we think and what is really happening out there. She always has her hero, David Attenborough’s, mantra in the back of her mind: “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no-one will care about what they have never experienced.”


NZES 2019 Conference Host

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Conference Organisers

Conferences & Events Ltd
PO Box 24078, Manners Street, Wellington, 6011
  +64 4 282 1584


This conference is organised bConferences & Events Ltd, Nelson, Wellington & Nationwide.  We are a New Zealand business.