All posts by kni37

Katie has a BA in Sociology from the University of Canterbury, and an MA (Applied) Social Science Research from Victoria University of Wellington. She has over ten years work experience in community-based sustainability projects. The role of the Sustainability Projects Facilitator is to foster communities of sustainable best practices, working with both staff and students. This is achieved primarily through initiating and supporting university-based demonstration projects.

New Director Appointed at the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management

Professor James Brasington has been appointed as the new Director of the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management, a partnership between Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury.  James joins Waterways from the University of Waikato, where he held the inaugural Waikato Regional Council Chair of River Science and brings a wealth of experience from previous positions at Queen Mary, University of London, and the Universities of Cambridge and Wales. 

James is a geomorphologist with research interests in dynamics of alpine and piedmont rivers, in particular understanding the form and function of braided rivers.  His research focuses on novel remote sensing methods, in particular high resolution lidar and photogrammetry along with numerical and geospatial simulation modelling, which is used to investigate how rivers respond to environmental pressures.  This work has taken him across the world, from the Himalaya, to the Pyrenees, the European Alps and the Pacific Northwest.  For the last 15 years, he has worked extensively in the South Island of New Zealand, in what he calls his “natural laboratory” typically involving large teams, working closely with engineers, ecologists, computer scientists and practitioners.  While James is interested in the fundamental processes that drive the behaviour of rivers, his work is increasingly focused on the development of tools and knowledge to inform strategies to manage our rivers sustainably as we confront the growing challenges of climate change and increasing demand for water. 

James is excited to take up the opportunity to lead Waterways; “…innovative thinking and alternative perspectives on how we confront the challenges facing our freshwater resources has never been needed more urgently.  Waterways is uniquely positioned in this regard, bringing together a transdisciplinary whānau of outstanding researchers and students from across the Universities of Canterbury and Lincoln. By working together and in concert with our key stakeholders from iwi, regional government and industry, we have the potential to ‘think radically’ and develop holistic solutions that link the social, natural and cultural dimensions of freshwater.”  For more information about James, visit: Research Gate Profile, LinkedIn Profile, Google Scholar

Waterways Post Graduate Symposium reveals depth of student talent

The Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management hosted its annual Post Graduate Student Symposium at Lincoln University on 19 November. Students from both Lincoln and Canterbury universities presented topics from a wide array of disciplines including human and physical geography, genetics, fresh water invertebrates and fish, groundwater, climatology.

Issie Barrett from the UC Freshwater Ecology Research Group (FERG) group won the first prize for her oral presentation on her research into negative resistance and resilience in freshwater communities. For the first time in the history of the symposium three UC students tied for the second place in the oral presentations competition (Alice West – FERG, Bridget White – FERG, and Rasool Porhammat – Geography). Deborah Paull (UC Biology) won the Water New Zealand People’s Choice for best presentation on the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in surface drinking waters.

The quality of presentations (both oral and posters) improve with every year and new categories of prizes may be required to acknowledge and celebrate the hard work students put into their presentations. Numbers of attendants (some flew in from all over New Zealand) also set a new record, reinforcing the fact that interest from the wider community in multi-disciplinary research into freshwater management issues continues to be strong, and that the symposium is an excellent product which meets this demand.

Deborah Paull, winner of Water New Zealand’s People’s Choice Award for Oral Presentation

Register for the Waterways Center for Freshwater Management Postgraduate Student Annual Symposium

Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere opening into the Pacific Ocean. Credit: Katie Colucio

Thinking about researching freshwater management issues, or supervising promising students who want to do the same? Brought to you by the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management, postgraduate students from the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University are showcasing their research from a wide range of disciplines. This includes the extent of micro-plastic contamination within the Avon/Ōtakaro river or the impact of climate change on water resources in Cambodia. You can also find out about ‘who is eating who’ in South Island alpine tarns or the effects of off-road vehicles on the shores of Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora. Attendance is free and the day is fully catered!

When: Tuesday 19 November, 9-5pm

Where: Lincoln University, Stewart Building.

Registration closes 5 November and can be done here.

Submissions invited for Waterways Postgraduate Student Conference

Are you supervising a post graduate student researching a fresh-water management issue? No matter what discipline, Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management really, really, REALLY wants to hear about their work.

The Waterways Centre hosts an annual event which showcases post-graduate students who are researching fresh water issues. It is set for Tuesday November 19, 2019. This year we are casting our net wide and calling for abstracts for oral or poster presentations across the whole university.

The conference offers students a chance to make new contacts within a supportive  community of emerging thinkers and researchers, and polish their science communication skills. Participating in the conference is an opportunity to present their research to a wide range of potential employers and water stakeholders. Beyond that, it is a great opportunity to understand how their work fits into, and contributes to a broad multidisciplinary research and policy context.

If you think your student is ready to present, please encourage them to submit an abstract, and pencil the conference into your own calendar. Submissions close August 31.

Go here for more information about the conference and copies of the abstract form.

Attendance is free and includes lunch.

Visit this page for prior conference abstract books. If you have any questions please contact


UC to become a Fair Trade University!

UC Council have approved UC to become a Fair Trade University! UC is committed to the principles and practices of being a socially responsible institution. Supporting Fair Trade growers and producers is an important way to demonstrate this and to encourage students to become aware of key global social and environmental issues.

One of the minimum requirements for accreditation is to supply Fair Trade beverages to staff via university kitchenettes. From 18 November, all new beverages (tea and coffee) purchased by UC must be Fair Trade.  A wide range of Fair Trade products are already available through OfficeMax and our suppliers would welcome feedback on expanding the range.

More information about Fair Trade and the process of UC becoming a Fair Trade campus can be found here.  Please send any questions that cannot be addressed through the FAQ page to

Thank you for playing your part to make a difference to hundreds of vulnerable communities all over the world.