Research in environmental science

Known for its ground-breaking research, the Department of Environmental Science is part of AUT's School of Science. We are a group of 21 enthusiastic academics with a passion for teaching students based on high-quality, impactful research. Using a holistic Earth system science approach, our research unravels the ecological and social processes that connect terrestrial with aquatic ecosystems. Look around to find your passion; we can't wait to work with you.

Images of recent research projects

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Our research

Airborne transmission of microorganisms

We unravel the crucial role airborne microorganisms play in connecting and developing ecosystems as well as the biological factors that drive the dispersal of microbes by air.

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Aquaculture biotechnology

We focus on innovative research for the aquaculture industry, from monitoring shellfish and finfish health, to nutritional improvements and supply chain quality production.

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Biodiversity and taxonomy

We study the identities and ecological roles of animals ranging from coastal and freshwater invertebrates to deep-sea squids.

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Biodiversity modelling through space and time

We study biodiversity patterns and drivers across a variety of New Zealand and global ecosystems.

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Enhancing agricultural ecosystems

We investigate methods to manage farms to maximise multiple beneficial outcomes for both humans and native biodiversity.

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Environmental social science

We investigate how relationships between people, science and nature affect research, policy and practice.

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Fish ecology and fisheries science

We investigate how reproductive strategies affect gamete quality in wild and cultured fishes.

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Forest ecosystem ecology

We focus on research that investigates the drivers of change in New Zealand’s native forest ecosystems.

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Geoscience and sustainable development

We give people the tools to understand the Earth and how to manage its resources to help people thrive.

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Marine biogeochemistry

We study solute reaction and transport processes to understand how human activity affects aquatic ecosystem functioning.

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Plants in a changing environment

We study the myriad of tasks that plants fulfil, from influencing climate to stabilising soils, and how plants responds to their changing environments.

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Remote sensing, photogrammetry and geospatial analysis

We implement drones, virtual reality and other technologies in projects that range from geoscience to conservation.

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Seabird ecology

We use numerical models to unravel complex interactions between seabirds and their environment.

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Systematic conservation planning

We collect and analyse spatial information on biodiversity and human activities to help plan options for conservation and sustainable human use.

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Urban biodiversity restoration

We explore the benefits to native biodiversity from the work of community groups involved in pest control and habitat restoration.

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Contact us

If you need more details on our current research or would like to get involved, please get in touch with:

Photo of Antony Vavia
Photo of Helen Hoang
Photo of Subhash Chand