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Edward Ashby (CEO, Te Kawerau Iwi Tiaki Trust of Te Kawerau ā Maki)

Edward Ashby

CEO, Te Kawerau Iwi Tiaki Trust of Te Kawerau ā Maki

Edward is the CEO of Te Kawerau Iwi Tiaki Trust and led the implementation of the rāhui set down by
kaumatua, and broader kauri and forest advocacy. Alongside iwi colleagues he has participated in the codesign and monitoring of the track network.
Edward is a staunch advocate of indigenous and environmental justice. He holds degrees in anthropology
and forensic science as well as a background in engineering geology. He has a keen focus on crosscultural
and inter-generational solutions, including the complimentary use of mātauranga Māori and
science and technology.

Mark Bates (Director of Architecture HDT)

Mark Bates

Director of Architecture HDT

Mark is one of two Directors of Architecture HDT,and has been with the firm since 2001.

Mark has been involved in a wide range of project types. The last 20 years have primarily been spent on the design, documentation, and delivery of new and refurbished municipal sports and aquatic centres.

He has been instrumental in creating and maintaining positive working relationships with the community, elected representatives and other stakeholders, which in conjunction with his strong organisational ability has led to highly successful outcomes for these projects.

Mark is a nationally recognised expert in the development of Aquatic Facilities. He is currently involved with Alex Head (Architecture HDT) and Nick Yannakis (Beca) in the development of a guidebook for the Environmentally Sustainable Design of Spaces and Places for Sport NZ.

Jenn Benden (Director of Xyst Limited)

Jenn Benden

Director of Xyst Limited

Jenn is an established and award-winning leader in the parks, sport and recreation sector. She has a long
history of volunteerism in the parks industry including past Chair of the Generate Network, World Urban
Parks board member, and Chair of the Canterbury Recreation Aotearoa Committee for 5 years. She is a
previous ARPro Accreditor and Green Flag Judge. Jenn is a Director of Xyst and is leading the software
development and product updates to Yardstick, and is enthusiastic about the value that data provides in
parks planning and decision making.


Daniela Biaggio

T/L Biodiversity & Urban Eco at Wellington City Council
Will Bowden (Agronomist Product Development Manager at PGG Wrightson Turf)

Will Bowden

Agronomist Product Development Manager at PGG Wrightson Turf

Will Bowden has over 15 years of experience in the turf and recreation sector in the UK and New Zealand.
Having spent the majority of this time with a focus on turfgrass management and agronomy as an
independent consultant. Will has broadened his passion for turf into a wider ecological context, having
completed a Diploma and bachelor's degree in New Zealand Environmental Science.
In 2023 Will joined the team at PGG Wrightson Turf to work as the group Turf Agronomist, based at the
dedicated turfgrass research centre in Kimihia, Lincoln.
A key deliverable of this role is the responsibility for the management of ongoing turfgrass breeding trials
that focus on introducing sustainable and New Zealand-bred turfgrass varieties specifically for the NZ and
AUS markets. The research invested into turfgrass breeding in New Zealand is fundamental to delivering
turf varieties that are 'best adapted' to our unique climate and operational requirements. The role of
agronomist blends Will's passion for the NZ environment and advancements in turfgrass agronomy.


Harko Brown


Harko Brown (Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Whatua, Ngai Te Rangi) is a KaiMatai Hupara ( Mara Hupara playground design specialist) who collaborates with tangata whenua, architects and school principals & their staff to create narrative based natural play spaces in public parks and in school precincts. He also facilitates taonga takaro (traditional Maori games) workshops around the country which assist educators to teach the curriculum through a cultural lens which incorporates Aotearoa/NZ histories & physical movement with an environmental focus.

Harko is particularly excited with the way Tumuaki Lou Reddy, his Wesley Primary School (Auckland) staff and students have embraced te kaupapa taonga takaro in an unprecedented way over the past three years.

Harko has also authored several Maori games and hupara books as well as documenting the Wesley School Mara Hupara initiative. He sits as Oceania representative on the UNESCO International Traditional Sports & Games Council and is chair for the award winning KaiMatariki cultural youth Trust and The Aotearoa World Indigenous Games Trust.

Trevor Butler (Principal Consultant at Frame Group Limited)

Trevor Butler

Principal Consultant at Frame Group Limited

Trevor is a Civil/Structural Engineer with 43 years of experience in design, construction and project management across several industries including forestry, civil construction and outdoor recreation access facilities.
He is a fellow of Engineering NZ and has an Executive MBA which enables him to apply sound management principles to development and engineering challenges.
Trevor is a founding director of Frame Group and has specialised in the development of functional and practical design solutions. He has been involved in many challenging projects, including development on several iconic recreation sites as well as establishing access for forest management in difficult topography.
In his free time, Trevor is an occasional tramper, skier, mountain biker, climber and fisherman. He is also a Trustee of Te Araroa, the developer of New Zealand’s 3,000 km walking trail.
Trevor Butler continues his commitment to Frame Group and its clients and remains with Frame Group as its Principal Consultant.

Megan Carpenter (Christchurch City Council)

Megan Carpenter

Christchurch City Council

Megan works for the Christchurch City Council as a Team Leader for the Parks and Recreation team. She is a highly experienced Parks Planner with a Bachelor of Recreation Management majoring in Parks. She enjoys working with the community to develop play spaces and recreational assets.
When Megan isn’t head down engaging and advocating for recreation spaces across the city, she is helping out the Broadfield Netball Club as an umpire and committee member and entertaining her two young children and spending time with them and her fiancé camping around New Zealand.

Toby Chapman (Urban Forest Manager (Parks) at Christchurch City Council)

Toby Chapman

Urban Forest Manager (Parks) at Christchurch City Council

I have been working in the arboricultural industry for 15+ years.
Prior to joining the Christhcurhc City Council in 2019 I worked as a consultant and spent time traveling to
different councils providing advice on the management of trees.
Since joining Council I have overseen the development of the Councils Tree Policy and Urban forest plan
along with a number of other projects.
I am passionate about trees but more importantly, how trees can be easily encorporated into our urban

Aynsley Cisaria (Landscape Architect at Boffa Miskell)

Aynsley Cisaria

Landscape Architect at Boffa Miskell

Aynsley’s passion for children’s outdoor play and environmental education inspired her decision to retrain
as a landscape architect following a successful career in education at both tertiary and early childhood
Since joining Boffa Miskell, Aynsley has been involved in a number of projects of varying scale, with a
particular focus on open space and recreation, playspaces, learning landscapes for schools and
kindergartens and planting design. She has a keen interest in NZ native plants, which is of great benefit to
her design work.
Aynsley is passionate about discovering the stories of the land from both our cultures in Aotearoa New
Zealand and weaving them into a new narrative through thoughtful and responsive design that delivers
imaginative and creative recreation spaces for families and communities.

Josh Clark (Tauranga Council)

Josh Clark

Tauranga Council

Josh Clark, entrusted by mana whenua, oversees the taonga of Tauranga Moana that is Mauao. Drawing upon his Diploma in Environmental Management and Bachelor's in Biology, Josh is a dedicated environmentalist and advocate for New Zealand's ecological and archaeological conservation.
Guided by the Mauao Historical Management and Implementation Plans, Josh and his team ensure the environmental and cultural restoration of Mauao. Together, they manage the Mauao Placemaking project, a collaborative effort between Tauranga City Council and The Mauao Trust, aimed at sharing the rich history and stories of Mauao. This has involved the usage of Blackhawk helicopters to remove exotic trees and deliver new wayfinding signage, seating, and sculptures.

Josh's primary focus is protecting this significant landmark, which is one of the most visited sites in Aotearoa. Through his work, he aims to leave a legacy of integrity and mana for future generations

Jacquelyn Collins (Auckland Council)

Jacquelyn Collins

Auckland Council

Jacquelyn Collins is Auckland Council’s first play advocate and has been a proud council employee for five years. With a BA (Hons) in Urban Planning and a Master of Environment Health, she uses her research to inform her mahi and ensure that principles of biculturalism and equity underpin Tāmaki Makaurau’s transformation into a city full of playful opportunities. In particular, she is eager to support efforts to expand play beyond traditional playgrounds by developing and implementing initiatives to promote community play streets, adventurous play in green spaces, and urban design that provides prompts and encouragement for people of all ages to play. By working with colleagues and elected members throughout the region, she’s building an army of council play champions to embed play as a fundamental part of what Auckland Council provides to its communities. When she’s not tackling her play workload or developing her ‘side hustle’ project researching intersectional play equity, Jacquelyn loves planning holidays, relaxing with her amazing husband, and spending time outside with her 11-year-old twins – in 2024 she’s cunningly distracting them from screens with the ‘1,000 Hours Outside’ challenge.

Rob Cooper (Executive Chairman at Living Turf)

Rob Cooper

Executive Chairman at Living Turf

Rob Cooper started Living Turf in 2003 with the goal of developing a technically competent product
distribution service for professional turf managers.
Rob has over 40 years of experience within the industry. Within these 40 years, Rob has over 30 years of
technical, marketing and business management experience, with his career in turf agronomy stretching
back to 1994. Beginning his career on bowling greens, his practical experience lies in turf wickets and
sports field curating and includes a stint with a multinational fertilizer manufacturer.
Rob is a qualified agronomist from The University of Sydney (1994) and is broadly capable in weed, pests
and disease control, nutrition, soil and plant science and problem solving. Working equally in golf, sports
and open space turf maintenance, his other consultancy activities allow Living Turf to be involved in a
variety of construction projects for both sports turf and open public spaces.
In 2001, Rob completed an MBA from Deakin University, providing him with the knowledge and skills to
continue to grow and develop Living Turf’s business and processes.

Bart Cox (Wellington City Council)

Bart Cox

Wellington City Council

Bart is a culinary ecologist and linguist from Irish missionary ancestry on his mother’s side and a cockney immigrant from the Eastend (London) on his father’s side. He grew up amongst the bush in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. His tamarikitanga was roaming with his cat Timmy (who was more like a dog to be fair). The pair were often hunting possums and sliding down scree slopes, climbing trees, and generally adventuring. Learning the signs of the ngahere through spiritual osmosis. These experiences shaped him beyond measure.
His first gig in a restaurant was at aged 14. He went on to open his own eateries following in the footsteps of his dad. He then studied ecology, linguistics, and Te Reo me ōna Tikanga. You could always find him in the wharekai in those days.
He led the Kumutoto Forest Restoration where he became passionate about karaka. He published his honours work about the evolution of plants of Rēkohu (Chatham Is.) and assisted with the hūnau Moriori on various projects. Then became a DOC Treaty Ranger for Wairarapa. Where he started combining kai, culture, and environmental work in one woven experience. Culminating with an environmental programme for rangatahi with Ngā Kanohi Marae o Wairarapa and advocating strongly for decolonisation. He currently works for WCC in the Planning Team.

Paul Devlin (Head Ranger at Christchurch City Council)

Paul Devlin

Head Ranger at Christchurch City Council

I started my career in Parks in 1987 at Aoraki Mt Cook National Park as Lands and Survey transitioned into the Department of Conservation where I worked until 1993. As a young fella it was an incredible place to work with the inspiring and sometimes daunting mountains surrounding you in your daily work.
In 1993 I decided it was time to take on a new challenge and accepted the job as Head Ranger Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū and Port Hills Regional Parks for the Christcurch City Council.
This role has provided me with an incredibly rewarding and challenging job helping deliver open space in the Banks Peninsula region of Christchurch.

Dr Bex Dollery (Ecologist at Waimakariri District Council)

Dr Bex Dollery

Ecologist at Waimakariri District Council

Dr Bex Dollery is an ecologist employed by the Waimakariri District Council in the Community and Recreation department. Bex has over 20 years ecological experience in private, public and research organisations both in Aotearoa New Zealand, Europe and the United Kingdom. Research interests and activities include restoration of indigenous New Zealand ecology in both rural and urban environments, climate change mitigation and adaptation, the maintenance and importance of ecosystem services and the connections of nature to physical and mental wellbeing.

Damian Doyle (Skateboarder at 44 Ramps)

Damian Doyle

Skateboarder at 44 Ramps

Damian has been a skateboarder for 25+ years. Based in Christchurch, he is continues to be engrossed in the activity; in a professional capacity designing and building skate spaces/events with his company 44 Ramps; volunteering for skate causes; and recreationally skating at local parks and pump tracks with his whanau.
From his early teenage years Damian was equally drawn to the feeling of riding a skateboard and the creative and diverse aspects of skate culture. The what/how/why things are done/made/skated is as much of a buzz to him as doing tricks.
At 14 yrs old Damian was building his first skate ramps, making local skate-videos, road tripping to events and comps, and playing a significant long term role campaigning for and assisting in the design for his hometown skatepark.
Decades later with professional careers and a family under his belt, Damian is still as immersed in skateboarding as he was at 14. Passionate about creating opportunities for young people to experience skateboarding positively, Damian enjoys contributing to the progression of NZ skateboarding riders and facilities from grass roots to international level representation.

Sophie Elstob Gradwell

Sophie Elstob Gradwell

Similarly to their tīpuna, Sophie Elstob Gradwell is a traveller, currently residing in Ōtautahi, they have spent time in most parts of Aotearoa and travelling to other places in the world. Sophie is a kaitūhono for Whānau Whanake, working in the community supporting 0–54-year-olds and their whānau to live well, despite experiences of chronic health, disability, adversity, and trauma. This mahi utilises Sophies lived experience to support others in their own health journeys.

Dean Flavell (Tauranga City Council)

Dean Flavell

Tauranga City Council

Te Tiamana o Ngā Poutiriao ō Mauao / Tauranga City Cultural Heritage Manager
He uri nō Tauranga Moana, nō Whakatohea, Te Arawa me Ngati Te Ata o Waiohua hoki.

Deans’ day job is to persuade people that culture and heritage should be appreciated and acknowledged, by influencing the direction and success of cultural projects that ensure relevance and sustainability within their cultural and historic landscapes.
In 2007 with the return of Mauao Historic Reserve from Crown ownership to local Iwi, initiated a conversation about how a significant, iconic maunga Mauao/ Mount Maunganui can be effectively managed to meet the needs of Tangata Whenua and the wider community.
In 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding for Mauao Historic Reserve and the establishment of a Joint Mauao Administration Board called Ngā Poutiriao o Mauao was formed. Its first objective was to development a new Historic Reserve Management Plan, followed by an implementation plan named “Te Mahere Whakamahinga o Mauao.

“Te whai te ara o te kotahitanga e taea ai e te katoa te tuku koha mai.”
“Pursuing unity of purpose and direction where all are able and encouraged to contribute”.

Kacey Gambin (Marketing Manager/ Play Specialist at Kompan)

Kacey Gambin

Marketing Manager/ Play Specialist at Kompan

Kacey is a seasoned communications professional with a passion for enhancing public recreation spaces
through well-researched and sustainable play solutions.
As a key figure at KOMPAN Australia, she brings a wealth of expertise to the realm of playground design
and development. With a focus on play and fitness spaces that build happier and healthier communities,
Kacey is leading the conversation on low-carbon supply chains and effective supplier <> local government
relationships across Australia and Aotearoa.
Drawing upon her in-depth knowledge and experience with KOMPAN, Kacey frequently collaborates with
parks and recreation teams, offering tailored solutions to their unique challenges. Her strategic problemsolving
abilities and innovative approach have earned her widespread recognition as a trusted advisor in
the field.

Dr Richard Gibbs (Christchurch City Council)

Dr Richard Gibbs

Christchurch City Council

Richard has spent the last 38 years working as a research scientist, educator, project manager and consultant, specialising in the planning, design, construction and management of natural and artificial sports and amenity turf surfaces. Since completing his PhD at Lincoln University in 1986, he has moved between the UK and NZ on a regular basis, working first as a sport turf researcher for the UK Sports Council, followed by a short period lecturing on sports turf management at Myerscough College before returning to NZ in late 1991 to work for the NZ Sports Turf Institute. In 2003 Richard established Sports Surface Design & Management (SSDM) a multi-disciplinary consultancy offering expertise to a wide range of private and public body clients. The pinnacle of his work was working with the Project Delivery Team responsible for the design and construction of the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
In 2012, Richard returned to the UK to lead the Sports Turf Research Institute’s Sports Surface Design department. Here he worked on multiple international stadium projects and as a sports turf consultant for FIFA and UEFA tournament and competitions related work, culminating in project managing the delivery of the stadium and training pitches for the FIFA 2018 Football World Cup in Russia.
Richard is now a Senior Project Manager for Christchurch City Council’s Parks Unit. The principal driver for this appointment was to work as the turf verifier for the new Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, Te Kaha. The role quickly expanded to include project managing the redevelopment of Lancaster Park and being responsible for the planning and delivery of the Council’s capital sports turf projects and programmes for the city’s high performance and community facilities.

Ocea Grigg (Wesley Primary School)

Ocea Grigg

Wesley Primary School

Ocea Grigg, a kaiako (teacher) and ako leader at Wesley Primary School in Auckland, brings eight years of dedicated experience to education. At the forefront of her practice is a collaborative endeavour to seamlessly integrate mātauranga Māori into learning experiences. She had been leading the Creative in Schools project alongside Harko Brown and Lou Reddy for three years. Ocea has led the team at Wesley to integrate mātauranga Māori, traditional games, and creative expression into the curriculum, prioritising authentic learning experiences for tamariki. Her holistic approach underscores her commitment to fostering creativity and cultural understanding in educational settings.

Robert Gulley (Parks and Outdoor Recreation Advisor at Kapiti Coast District Council)

Robert Gulley

Parks and Outdoor Recreation Advisor at Kapiti Coast District Council

Rob has always been surrounded by recreation and now gets to help others in his local community in Kāpiti. He is currently the Parks & Outdoor Recreation Advisor at Kāpiti Coast District Council. He thrives on fostering a sense of community and the joy of play, whether through official sporting events or the spontaneous, unofficial play that bring people together. He was lucky enough to be a part of the award-winning team for the 2023 Playground of the Year.

Georgina Hailwood (Director of BrodieHailwood)

Georgina Hailwood

Director of BrodieHailwood

Georgina joined the Magical Bridge Trust in 2021. She is the founding director of BrodieHailwood and has
been working in the parks and landscape sector for over 20 years. She has led and collaborated on a wide
range of projects across the Waikato, including award-winning projects, and is committed to achieving the
best outcomes for communities.

Ethan Hamilton-Currey (Recreate New Zealand Youth Board)

Ethan Hamilton-Currey

Recreate New Zealand Youth Board

Ethan Hamilton-Currey is 25 years old living with intellectual disabilities and Tourettes syndrome. Ethan has been a member of Recreate New Zealand youth board for the last four years and is committed to supporting others with both physical and intellectual disabilities access the community. Ethan was recently presented his Gold Duke of Edinburgh award in Wellington. Ethan is a keen sportsman and belongs to the High School Old Boys TRI Rugby team (TRI Rugby enables people with disabilities and vulnerabilities to play rugby with helpers on the field). Ethan enjoys the outdoors and belongs to Adaptive Snow Sports Canterbury, where you will find him learning to snowboard. Ethan enjoys coasteering, camping and trying new activities. Ethan also works one day a week at the Air New Zealand domestic Koru Lounge.

William Hatton (Landscape Architect at Boffa Miskell)

William Hatton

Landscape Architect at Boffa Miskell

William has a strong focus on tikanga and kaupapa Maaori design and planning. He has worked on a wide
range of projects across multidisciplinary areas which focus on private to public spaces – papa tākaro
and open spaces, environment and restorative design – stream restoration, and cultural design advisory
across Aotearoa. His works have been highly commended for challenging traditional methods of
landscape architecture with the consideration of cultural approaches to design and processing.
His recent experience looks at the integration and exploration of cultural narratives and co-design
opportunities with mana whenua, whānau, hapū and iwi and drawing these into the design of our
landscapes/spaces. His specialties include an understanding of kaupapa, tikanga and Te Reo Maaori, and
cultural landscape design.
William affiliates to Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Raukawa, Rāngitane and Muaūpoko
and is a confident speaker of Te Reo Māori. William aims to continue his works with the inclusion of
maatauranga Maaori, exploring and expanding on traditional cultural methodologies within practice and
the wider field of landscape architecture.

Watene Hema (Participation Manager - Māori Golf Development at Golf NZ)

Watene Hema

Participation Manager - Māori Golf Development at Golf NZ

Watene is a descendent of Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa, but raised in the heart of Te Mahunua – The
McKenzie country. He is currently based in Ōtautahi were he works for New Zealand Māori Golf and Golf
New Zealand. Watene has also spent 7 years in the recreation sector across both local government and
regional sport trusts and as a member of the Generate NZ network. Through Golf New Zealand and NZ
Māori Golf, Watene is focused on supporting all New Zealanders to be able to access and play golf in a
way they want to.

Dr Wendy Hoddinott (Landscape Architect at Gather Landscape Architecture)

Dr Wendy Hoddinott

Landscape Architect at Gather Landscape Architecture

Dr Wendy Hoddinott is a registered landscape architect with 17 years’ experience in professional practice.
Wendy’s work ranges from multi-disciplinary public space projects to innovative co-design initiatives
alongside Ōtautahi communities. Wendy is a passionate advocate for meaningful engagement in public
space design, particularly with tamariki and rangatahi. Her first child-centred co-design project Place
Cadets, was a category winner at the 2022 Resene New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architecture
Wendy’s PhD research explored the relationship between design expertise and public participation,
discovering that the best results occur when communities are involved in the same creative, collaborative
and mutual learning process as the designer. These findings guide Wendy’s co-design practice, where she
continues to explore the intersection of design expertise and co-creation.
In 2020, Wendy established Gather Foundation, a registered Charitable Trust that provides opportunities
for tamariki and rangatahi to be meaningfully involved in the design of their outdoor environments. Gather
Foundation elevates children and young people’s voices and aspirations, ensuring meaningful
collaboration that responds to their lived experiences. Each project draws on children’s local knowledge so
they feel valued and develop a sense of belonging, manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga for their local

Celia Hogan (Founder of Little Kiwis Nature Play)

Celia Hogan

Founder of Little Kiwis Nature Play

Celia Hogan, Founder of Little Kiwis Nature Play is a Nature Education Specialist, Consultant, Speaker and
Resilience Coach. She is passionate about connecting children to nature and is a strong advocate for
nature play, risky play and improving mental health and well-being through nature. For the past 25 years,
she has worked for a variety of outdoor education organisations internationally, setting up, developing and
running outdoor programmes, wilderness expeditions, leadership development programmes and
establishing risk management and safety systems. She splits her time between nature-based professional
development training, coaching, running her Bush Kindy, managing a nature play space in a local park and
taking her tamariki on lots of adventures. She is co-chair of Education Outdoors New Zealand, chair of
Nature Education Aotearoa and is an advisor for ECE Reform.

Jenn Hooper (Founder of Changing Places)

Jenn Hooper

Founder of Changing Places

Not your usual Universal Design…

Jenn Hooper MNZM is mum to a gorgeous profoundly disabled teenage daughter, Charley. Her lived experienced of caring for someone with the highest level of complex care needs led her to design New Zealand’s version of Changing Places (high specification public bathrooms for those with complex care needs) receiving a Global award for Innovation and Design. Jenn, lead of the Changing Places NZ registered charity and fast becoming recognised as a global expert, is intent on creating a nationwide network of these fantastic life changing facilities. Together with Hannah Wilson (Hastings District Council’s Capital Programme Manager - Public Spaces and Buildings) you’ll hear what Changing Places are, how the partnership works, and what an incredible difference these fabulous facilities make in the lives of those who need them. - because S#!t happens!

Cassandra Horton (Asset Planner at Invercargill City Council)

Cassandra Horton

Asset Planner at Invercargill City Council

Cassie is a Senior Open Spaces Planner with the Invercargill City Council which involves providing advice and support that ensures the effective development and future planning for the Parks, Cemeteries and Open Spaces portfolio to achieve Council’s strategic goals.

As a professional in the recreation industry, Cassie is deeply committed to supporting emergent leaders, and is an active member of the Generate NZ Steering Committee. She is eager to help up & coming professionals develop their careers further through scholarship opportunities and mentoring resources (Tuakana-Teina) for Generate NZ and Recreation Aotearoa members.

Cassie assisted with the development of the Sandy Point Masterplan and is currently working through transitioning it into the development of the Management Plan. This includes close collaboration and partnership with Te Ao Marama, Council departments and external agencies and organisations.

Cassie's hobbies include trail running, mountain biking and spending time with her husband, two sons and dog.

Anna Ivanova (Environment Canterbury)

Anna Ivanova

Environment Canterbury

Anna Ivanova (CAPM, MSP) leads regional delivery of river projects at Environment Canterbury (Canterbury Regional Council).
She brings best practice project management and champions communications and engagement across all work in Rivers. Her role sees her connecting with a range of people and agencies, working together and sometimes having hard conversations to enable collaboration towards a common goal - a better future for all. Some of the most significant projects Anna has worked on include leading the delivery of a regionwide Climate Resilient Programme which was funded by Central Government's COVID recovery funding and the regional Gravel Management Strategy review.
Anna has been involved in Braided River Revival (BRR) programme from its inception, supporting the team in defining the vision and strategic objectives. She also leads Environment Canterbury in the multi-agency partnership programme to revive the mauri of the Rangitata river – Rakitata Revival Programme. Here Anna provides structure and support to the various different elements of this complex collaboration, while also leading the governance model for effective delivery and decision making.

Drew Kenny (Senior Designer/Project Manager at Frame Group)

Drew Kenny

Senior Designer/Project Manager at Frame Group

Drew has been with Frame Group since 2001 where he has made good use of his Canadian Forestry Diploma. Drew has become a key member of the Frame Group Team in the feasibility, planning, design and management of recreational tracks and walkways and forestry roads, often in very challenging topography.
He has worked in many of the most iconic parks in NZ and has also worked extensively on urban walkways in several cities. He has a sound understanding of contract management and practical construction methodology.
Drew is skilled at route finding, mapping and computer terrain modelling such that the benefits and efficiencies of evolving technology are adopted where appropriate. He is able to provide practical advice and assistance to clients and contractors. Drew is an active participant in outdoor activities including tramping, snowboarding, water sports and cycling.

Dr Roslyn Kerr (Parks, Programmes and Partnerships Manager at Christchurch City Council)

Dr Roslyn Kerr

Parks, Programmes and Partnerships Manager at Christchurch City Council

Dr Roslyn Kerr is the Parks, Programmes and Partnerships Manager at Christchurch City Council, an
Adjunct Professor at Lincoln University and Chair of the Parks Leaders Forum. After undertaking her PhD
in sociology of sport and recreation at the University of Canterbury, she was appointed as an academic at
Lincoln University teaching into the sport and recreation management programme. Roslyn later became
Head of the Department of Tourism, Sport and Society followed by the Dean of the Faculty of Environment,
Society at Design where she contributed to the development of several parks qualifications. In moving to
local government, Roslyn is passionate about maximising tertiary connections within the parks sector and
about creating pathways for students to move into parks careers.

Tara King (WSP Opus)

Tara King

WSP Opus

Tara works for WSP as a Senior Community Engagement Specialist with an IAP2 advanced engagement certificate and more than 14 years’ experience and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Canterbury. She has a particular interest in disaster recovery engagement following her time leading a communication team at SCIRT (Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team) following the Canterbury earthquakes and has a passion for working with youth.

When Tara isn’t working with clients on engagement, she can be found keeping busy managing one of her boy’s touch teams and being part of the Rangiora Highschool Rugby fundraising committee. She is a proud Mum who enjoys spending time with her husband and three boys in the great outdoors of NZ.

Nik Kneale (Principal Landscape Architect at Isthmus)

Nik Kneale

Principal Landscape Architect at Isthmus

Nik is an accomplished Landscape Architect, based in Ōtautahi with award-winning projects across
Aotearoa. He is most energised when working to understand place and its potential, alongside clients,
partners, community and stakeholders. Nik’s enthusiasm for working alongside tangata whenua - Rūnaka,
whanau and collaborators, combined with ongoing studies in te reo Māori and tīkanga Māori helps him
become a better partner. Tangata whenua. Tangata tīriti.
Nik is a natural collaborator, and strongly believes the best outcomes are achieved through open
communication, sharing of ideas, respecting of others viewpoints and a design-led process. He is
passionate about design and has demonstrated skill and expertise in taking projects from their early
visioning through to their successful implementation, always with a drive to celebrate where we are and
who we are; moving us forward from New Zealand to Aotearoa.

Michala Lander (Technical Director - Social Planning of GHD)

Michala Lander

Technical Director - Social Planning of GHD

Michala is an experienced social sustainability practitioner with strong placemaking, engagement and
strategic planning skills. She believes all infrastructure is social infrastructure so that social outcomes can
be maximised. Michala specialises in the planning and development of community infrastructure such as
education, health, open space and sport and recreation facilities.

Melanie Langlotz (CEO of Geo AR Games)

Melanie Langlotz

CEO of Geo AR Games

Melanie Langlotz is the founder and CEO of the Auckland based technology studio Geo AR Games. She
has developed community engagement tools for cities around the world drawing from her extensive
background of working with the public sector. Her digital Augmented Reality playground Magical Park was
the 1st of its kind in the world and became a flagship of global collaboration. Melanie is passionate about
empowering communities through technology and helping cities around the world to stretch their
development budgets further.

Stuart Leighton (Park Ranger at Auckland Council)

Stuart Leighton

Park Ranger at Auckland Council

Stu has worked as a Park Ranger in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park for nearly 30 years and as a
Senior Ranger leading the track infrastructure programme for kauri protection across Auckland Council
Regional Parks.
Stu is passionate about managing spaces through the development of strong relationships and a focus on
place, understanding the nuances of the environment, the people and using this knowledge to drive
innovative resilient solutions. These solutions need to connect people to place and also deliver ongoing
meaningful protection of our precious spaces in the face of increasing visitor pressure and a changing

Duncan MacDougall (Parks Services Manager at Hamilton City Council)

Duncan MacDougall

Parks Services Manager at Hamilton City Council

Duncan is a Parks Services Manager and the instigator behind the no-mow and wildflower trials at some of the Hamilton Kirikiriroa parks. Growing up on a farm in rural West Waikato, Duncan has always felt a deep connection with the land and nature. It was his interest in the relationship between people and nature that led him to pursue a career in Landscape Management. Duncan began his career as a Summer Intern pruning roses at Hamilton Gardens and over the past 13 years, he has dedicated himself to the Parks and Recreation industry having held positions in both private and local government sectors.

Kat MacMillan (Toi Moana Councillor at Bay of Plenty Regional Council)

Kat MacMillan

Toi Moana Councillor at Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Kat MacMillan is Toi Moana Councillor for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, as well as the chair of Te
Uepu, the shared decision-making entity for the park. Te Uepu is made up of representatives from park
owners Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council, and from the local iwi and hapu Waitaha, Ngā Pōtiki,
Ngāti Pūkenga and Ngāti Hē.
Toi Moana Councillor Kat Macmillian says in a world where open spaces increasingly come under
pressure from encroaching development, the conservation of the park for its heritage, recreational and
ecological values is an important part of a vibrant region.
“The park is a taonga that deserves to be safeguarded while being shared with the public.
This is the basis of Te Uepu’s partnership, to work together to uphold the social, cultural and
environmental protection of the whenua so that it can continue to be enjoyed now and for future

Andrew Mackenzie (ReNature)

Andrew Mackenzie


Andrew Mackenzie, one of the directors of reNature, was the design lead, project manager, and
construction manager for the projects discussed in this presentation. Andrew has been working in the
Tracks and Outdoor Visitor Structures space for over 15 years specialising in low impact design and
engaging with local communities and iwi. Andrew’s knowledge of track design combined with ability to
balance environmental, ecological and archaeological aspects with social desires results in a high-quality
outcome for all stakeholders in the projects which he manages.

Nicki Malone (Senior Consultant at Xyst)

Nicki Malone

Senior Consultant at Xyst

Nicki Malone, a seasoned open space and local government professional, with more than 15 years’
Her current work as a consultant focuses on open space planning, reserve management plans as well as
needs and provision assessments.
Throughout her career, Nicki has quietly championed community-centred projects, from leading omnibus
reserve management plans in Auckland to supporting Melbourne's Suburban Railway Loop.
One of Nicki’s key areas of interest is the use of innovative tools and technology in open space planning
and community engagement.

Maarie Mareikura-Ellery (Ara Taiohi)

Maarie Mareikura-Ellery

Ara Taiohi

Maarie Mareikura-Ellery - Te Ātihaunui a Paparangi, Ngāti Rangi, Ngāpuhi, Te Āitanga a Mahaki

Maarie has a love for sports, hauora, and youth development and her mahi weaves this all together as a Youth Well-being Coach, Mana Taiohi Facilitator/contractor and a Kaitiaki kaupapa for Ara Taiohi and their partnership with Ihi Aotearoa Sports New Zealand. Maarie is a proud young Māori wahine and loves learning more about her māoritanga and whakapapa.

Phillip Mauger (Mayor at Christchurch City)

Phillip Mauger

Mayor at Christchurch City

Phil Mauger is a lifelong resident of Christchurch, serving on the Christchurch City Council since 2019. He was elected Mayor in 2022. Prior to Council, he led a third-generation contracting company building subdivisions, roads, and drains across the city. He also has a strong history of supporting community organisations.
As Mayor, Phil is focused on making Christchurch the best place to live, work, invest and play in New Zealand.

Glenn McGovern (Spaces & Places Consultant at Sport New Zealand)

Glenn McGovern

Spaces & Places Consultant at Sport New Zealand

Glenn worked for 30 years in the parks, sport and recreation sector in Local Government. Since 2019 he
has been working for Sport New Zealand, where he now leads the Spaces & Places team.
Glenn is a keen tramper, ocean swimmer, cyclist and tennis player. He is also actively involved in pest
control and is an active backyard trapper.

Dr Brett Morris (Syngenta)

Dr Brett Morris


Dr. Brett Morris has been involved in the international turf grass community for over 33 years. During this time half has been spent as a Course Superintendent at public, private and resort courses in Australia, Fiji and Indonesia. The other half has been spent in the University, R&D and commercial sectors of the industry. Brett currently serves as Technical Services Manager for Syngenta Turf and Landscape (ANZ) and works on new product introductions and technical support of the Syngenta range.

Rachel Mullins (Christchurch City Council)

Rachel Mullins

Christchurch City Council

Rachel has held the position of the Inclusive Communities Coordinator at the Christchurch City Council for the last 14 years. I have lived experience of disability, and have worked in the recreation space. I also have vast experience in advocacy. I believe in inclusion and that Disabled people should have access to recreation of their choice. I am not a huge risk taker but have enjoyed paragliding in the past and Disabled Skiing. I have also played Boccia at a national level

Richie Mundy-Castle (Operations Manager at reNature)

Richie Mundy-Castle

Operations Manager at reNature

Richie has worked on the Kauri Protection Programme delivered over the previous 5 years across the
greater Auckland region. His involvement has been in the design process, project management and
construction observation throughout the delivery of this project.
Richie is solutions-focused and an advocate for environmental ethics. Richie is passionate about
engineering a cleaner, greener built environment for our future generations. The lack of environmental
ethics in current industry standard practice has largely contributed to our current climate crisis. Engineers
need to take more accountability of their design decisions, and the environmental impacts that follow.
Richie actively pursues change-making as a vocal activist for the need to deliver better engineering
standard practice.

Tyler Ngatai (Practice Lead at Ara Taiohi)

Tyler Ngatai

Practice Lead at Ara Taiohi

As the Practice Lead at Ara Taiohi, Tyler Ngatai is a passionate advocate for youth development, with a strong focus on intersectionality and systems change. He brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to advancing equity and social justice for young people from all backgrounds.
In addition to his advocacy in intersectionality, Tyler is a catalyst for systems change within the youth development sector. He collaborates with stakeholders at all levels to challenge existing structures and policies, striving to create more equitable and supportive environments for young people to be their best selves.

Through his leadership and expertise, Tyler empowers professionals and organisations to embrace a holistic approach to youth development, one that acknowledges the interconnected nature of social issues and fosters collaboration across sectors. He advocates for systemic reforms that address root causes of inequality and promote meaningful change at scale across Government to grassroot organisations.

Katie Owen (Disability and Inclusion Programme Manager at Recreation Aotearoa)

Katie Owen

Disability and Inclusion Programme Manager at Recreation Aotearoa

Katie is passionate about enhancing opportunities for people with disabilities to be active across Aotearoa. As Recreation Aotearoa's Disability and Inclusion Programme Manager, she leads a national initiative to develop and champion standards, guidelines and advice to the active recreation sector, to ultimately improve access to recreation places and spaces for people with disabilities. Katie has a Bachelor of Physical Education from the Otago University, and Masters in disability coach education at the University of Waikato. She is also a recent Alumni of the Global Sports Mentoring Programme delivered by the University of Tennessee Centre for Sport, Peace and Society.

Matt Peacocke (Landscape Architect at Boffa Miskell)

Matt Peacocke

Landscape Architect at Boffa Miskell

Matt is a Principal Landscape Architect for Boffa Miskell Tauranga and has 14 years’ experience working
across all of Aotearoa.
Matt’s design experience and skills spans all design stages and encompasses a large range of projects,
including often complex rural, urban and social spaces; from masterplanning through to detail and
implementation management, and everything in between.
Matt firmly believes all stages of the design has equal importance in order to achieve a truly cohesive and
creative response, and the more we can be helped through that journey, by those that know the land, the
richer the outcome will be. He is passionate about setting up and working through collaborative, trusting,
and quality design processes that foster creativity and innovation.
Matt is also a qualified horticulturalist and self-diagnosed Dendrophile (tree admirer), which provides him
a foundational plant knowledge and a deep respect for the natural environmental systems.
Matt was lucky enough to lead the landscape architecture component for Pāpāmoa Hills projects over
multiple stages and multiple years (7 years), more recently working through the final design with Law
Creative (wayfinding and signage), Takutaimoana Harawira (Māori artist), and a wide range of consultants
and engineers in a fully collaborate and enjoyable project.
Done right.


Megan Priscott

Food Forest

Megan Priscott owns redKitchen in Te Awamutu. She is Married to Mathew, has 3 children. At home the family eat mainly from the gardens and small lifestyle block. She is a trustee of Te Awamutu Food forest and loves bringing all the benefits that growing your own food and creating your edible back yard can bring to the community.

Dr Damien Puddle (Local Play Advocate at Invercargill City Council)

Dr Damien Puddle

Local Play Advocate at Invercargill City Council

Damien (a.k.a. Dr Play) has been connecting the worlds of academia and play for 13 years, drawing from
both to improve wellbeing outcomes in the communities he has been involved in. He is passionate about
urban play, its value for people and cities, and is particularly interested in how to make spaces and places
multi-functional, whilst using common sense approaches to risk management for play enablement.
Damien was the pioneer for Sport NZ’s Local Play Advocate Workforce Programme, working with Hamilton
City Council for 3 years to activate its Play Strategy. He now brings his particular brand of play advocacy to
Southland as the Local Play Advocate at Invercargill City Council.
In his spare time Damien is also the CEO of Parkour NZ - Tauhōkai Aotearoa and remains a committed
parkour coach and practitioner.

Leigh Radovan (Senior Project Manager at Auckland Council)

Leigh Radovan

Senior Project Manager at Auckland Council

Leigh Radovan is a Senior Project Manager for Auckland Council's Kauri Dieback and Tracks Specialist
Team for 6 years and has worked in various positions within Auckland Council for 22 years. Leigh delivers
resilient projects by empowering the project team and stakeholders to be autonomous and transparent in
the delivery of their roles. Leigh works with her team to encouraging good communication but ensures
that an adequate level of accountability is maintained to ensure that the project criteria is met, and
projects are delivered.
Drew has been with Frame Group since 2001 where he has made good use of his Canadian Forestry
Diploma. Drew has become a key member of the Frame Group Team in the feasibility, planning, design and
management of recreational tracks and walkways and forestry roads, often in very challenging
topography. He has worked in many of the most iconic parks in NZ

Caroline Rain (Invercargill City Council)

Caroline Rain

Invercargill City Council

Caroline has been with Invercargill City Council for 3 years. In her role as Manager – Parks and Recreation Caroline supports and oversees the planning, performance and operational teams, including staff safety and wellness. Relationships and partnerships are an important part of her role with mana whenua, Sports and Recreation Trusts and Organisations.
With a career spanning over 20 years in leadership roles, Caroline’s goal is to provide learning and growth that inspires positive change. Caroline has a passion for providing and enabling safe and fun facilities, spaces and places for the community – Mō tātou, Mā tātou/ for the people, by the people.
Outside of work, Caroline enjoys adjudicating or participating in dog agility, spending time at the pool or gymnastics to support her children and generally enjoying time with her husband, three children and four dogs. Caroline is also a Board Member for Otatara School.


Lou Reddy

Tumuaki - Principal at Wesley Primary School
Adrian Rodriguez (Playground Consultant at Park Supplies & Playgrounds)

Adrian Rodriguez

Playground Consultant at Park Supplies & Playgrounds

Adrain Rodrigeuz a Playground Consultant from Park Supplies and Playgrounds. As a Mechanical
Engineer, Territory Manager as well as a parent to a child with a disorder of impulsivity and self-control, he
has been passionately testing and developing new items for feasibility with his family.

Larissa Rose (Landscape Architect at Park Supplies & Playgrounds)

Larissa Rose

Landscape Architect at Park Supplies & Playgrounds

Larissa Rose from Park Supplies and Playgrounds is a registered Landscape Architect. Since 2006 she
has continually focused and specialised in design of children’s spaces. Working throughout New Zealand,
designing many playspaces, to varying sizes, budgets, needs and for the full spectrum of children’s ages
and abilities. She is passionate about play value and inclusivity in children's spaces.

Gina Scott (Community Advisor at Waipa District Council)

Gina Scott

Community Advisor at Waipa District Council

Gina Scott has been a Community Advisor at Waipa District Council, initial in response to the impact of the
global pandemic on our community, now create a conduit between the community and Council.

Petronella Spicer (Recreation Volunteer Coordinator at Blind Low Vision New Zealand)

Petronella Spicer

Recreation Volunteer Coordinator at Blind Low Vision New Zealand
Greg Stanley (Environment Canterbury)

Greg Stanley

Environment Canterbury

Greg Stanley (PGDipSCi, BMus) leads a high performing team in his current role of “Regional Lead Braided River Revival”. After several years as an ecological works contractor and a decade working as a Regional Park Ranger and Biodiversity Officer, Greg is now engaged in the ambitious task of reviving the mauri of the heavily weed-infested braided rivers of the Canterbury Region. The Berm Transition Project is an example of just one of these aspirational efforts, with over 50 restoration sites established throughout the region, tackling weed infestations and establishing native vegetation to improve the resilience and flood protection function of Canterbury’s infrastructure network. The use of native vegetation as a flood protection asset and the integration of ecological restoration techniques into delivery are core elements of the team’s function and have been well developed through a range of trials and projects. Greg is passionate about Canterbury’s ecology, the betterment of our immediate environment and the protection of our remote habitats.

Craig Taylor (Sector Lead - OSM at Citycare Property)

Craig Taylor

Sector Lead - OSM at Citycare Property

Craig Taylor is Open Space Maintenance (OSM) Sector Lead with Citycare Property. He is based in the
Citycare Property Christchurch office but plays a national role within the business. Craig has a Post
Graduate Diploma in Business Administration for the Infrastructure Sector and qualifications in the
horticulture and arboriculture sector. Craig has over 15 years’ experience in management, both at the
operational contract level and in senior divisional management roles.
Craig’s key responsibilities include ensuring a seamless transition between contract providers during
handover to Citycare Property, identifying and implementing best practice in the OSM space, the provision
of specialist technical support and leading our shift to electrically powered plant and equipment.

Debbie Tikao (Ōnuku Rūnanga Te Taiao Manager at Ōnuku Rūnanga/ Takapūneke Reserve Co-Governance Group)

Debbie Tikao

Ōnuku Rūnanga Te Taiao Manager at Ōnuku Rūnanga/ Takapūneke Reserve Co-Governance Group

Tēnei a mihi e rere atu nā ki a koutou katoa.
He Kaihoahoa Whenua (Landscape Architect), He Pouārahi Tikanga Taiao mō Te Rūnanga o Ōnuku aku
tūranga i te wā nei.
Heoi anō rā, nō Ngāti Pākehā me te iwi Cherokee o Amerika ahau.
Ko Debbie Tikao taku ingoa.
No reira, tēnā anō tātou katoa.
Debbie Tikao is the director of Tipu Design and the manager of the Taiao Portfolio for Ōnuku Rūnanga. She
is the President and Chairperson of the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Tuia Pit Ora, and a
panellist on the Christchurch City Council Urban Design Panel. For 7.5 years she was the General Manager
of Matapopore. During this time Debbie worked closely with local and central government to ensure postearthquake
Christchurch embedded the values and stories of mana whenua and emerged as a 21stcentury
city rich with meaning and character, expressing our dual histories and treaty partnership.
Currently, she is leading the process of developing an integrated mahinga kai management and climate
change adaptation and mitigation plan for Akaroa Harbour and is working towards a master’s in urban
design which is nearing completion.

Alexi Trenouth (Project Lead at Sport New Zealand)

Alexi Trenouth

Project Lead at Sport New Zealand

Alexi is a Brit who grew up in the Middle East, has a Masters in Persian Language and Anthropology and spent the last 20 years working in the world of partnerships across the NGO, corporate and government sector. She became involved in the world of skate at Wellington City Council where she worked with the community to secure $7M+ of investment into upgrades and new facilities. Experiencing the challenges and seeing the huge potential first hand, she was seconded to Sport New Zealand in August 2023 to better understand the issues and opportunities.

She has spent the last 10 months listening to anyone that will talk to her about what good provision for skate looks like. This has involved 50+ hours of interviews with Councils, skate associations, community members, national sporting organisations, skatepark designers and builders, skate photographers and videographers, skateable sculptors and skate schools from across New Zealand, the UK, the Netherlands and Australia. The guidelines being presented in this speaker session is a culmination of this research. Although predominantly for Local Government, the aim of the resource is to provide guidance and support for anyone looking at creating facilities, opportunities and programmes that support skate to thrive.

When she's not learning about the importance of the bonk (actual technical jargon for how far metal coping sticks out) or the finer points of concrete, she runs after her two young ragamuffins and swims on the South Coast of Wellington.

Steve Webb (Contracts Manager at Hamilton City Council)

Steve Webb

Contracts Manager at Hamilton City Council

From Hawkes Bay I inherited a passion for horticulture from my family’s nursery. I worked as a gardened and landscaper before training as an arborist. For nearly a decade I worked managing parks at Tauranga City Council before dedicating five years to training future horticulturists at Toi Ohomai. Now at Hamilton City Council I play a key role in the management and future planning of natural areas and amenity parks.

Hannah Wilson (Hastings District Council)

Hannah Wilson

Hastings District Council
Catherine Wylde (Contractor at Kapiti Coast District Council)

Catherine Wylde

Contractor at Kapiti Coast District Council

Cat has recently shifted from the Play Projects role and Play Streets contractor with Sport NZ to be the Advisor, Recreational Tracks and Trails at Kāpiti Coast District Council. Cat’s aim is for everyone to feel a sense of connection to their place and space whether through play or whatever makes sense to them. Since the Lorna Irene renewal, a passion project has been to understand how we can get better at creating inclusive spaces and hearing from community we might not normally hear from. Asking the question who is not here that needs to be.

Nick Yannakis (Beca)

Nick Yannakis


Nick Yannakis is a Director at Beca, an employee-owned professional services firm based in New Zealand. Nick has over 15 years of experience specialising in the engineering design and operation of aquatic facilities, having worked on over 200 projects across New Zealand and Australia. Aquatic facilities are different from typical commercial buildings and require customised design consideration. Aquatic facilities are energy intensive, making them particularly relevant with the climate change response and ever-increasing energy prices, aquatic facilities have become centre of attention for most councils. Nick and his team have a breadth of knowledge and understand the nuances of aquatic facilities, how they are operated, and how to optimise energy performance. Through the work Nick and his team have been doing, they created proprietary energy software to analyse and optimise energy consumption in aquatic facilities. This has enabled a far more in-depth understanding of where the energy is used, helping decarbonise or reduce operational energy costs in existing facilities and design new facilities to meet the needs of the future.

Morten Zacho (Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark & Senior Manager, KOMPAN Fitness Institute at Kompan)

Morten Zacho

Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark & Senior Manager, KOMPAN Fitness Institute at Kompan

Morten Zacho is a Teaching Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark in the Department
of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics. He also manages the KOMPAN Fitness Institute with a focus
on implementing knowledge, trends, scientific research and functional tests in the innovation of new
outdoor fitness solutions. Previously, Morten has worked at internationally recognized research
institutions and has co-authorship on 17 peer-reviewed scientific publications.