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Our interdisciplinary teams include researchers from a wide range of specialties within the University of Otago, from other universities and research agencies, in New Zealand and internationally.

The Centre is committed to growing research capability in sustainability by supervising and supporting postgraduate students with aligned interests.

Research staff

Research Associate Professor Caroline Orchiston

Caroline Orchiston thumbDirector, Centre for Sustainability

Caroline's passion is for applied research that makes a difference to our society, particularly in building social capital through networks and connections, and working with communities to build resilience.


Professor Hugh Campbell

Hugh Campbell thumbProfessor of Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology, School of Social Sciences

Hugh has research interests in the social and economic dynamics of 'greening' food systems, the politics of sustainability under neoliberal governance, achieving sustainability via audits, food waste, transitions in agriculture and food systems in New Zealand, and theories of global food regimes.


Dr Negin Imani

Dr Negin Imani ImageResearch Fellow

Negin Imani is passionate about interdisciplinary research and collaborations. Her academic background is in Architectural engineering. Her research interests include biomimetic energy-efficient and ecologically sustainable building design with a focus on thermal regulation, and optimal internal comfort for human wellbeing and productivity.


Kimberley King

Assistant Research Fellow, Centre for SustainabilityKimberley King image

Kimberley is passionate about cross-sectional and interdisciplinary research and collaboration for effective research translation and engagement with communities to build advocacy and resilience and improve health and equity outcomes.

Dr Jen Purdie

Jen Purdie thumbSenior Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainability

Jen works at the nexus of climate and energy. Her research interests include climate change impacts on the energy system, and climate forecasting on a range of timescales.


Research Professor Janet Stephenson

Janet Stephenson thumbPostgraduate Co-ordinator

Janet is passionate about collaborative, interdisciplinary research. Her research interests include indigenous resource management; the interconnections between people and their local environments; and the role of individuals and organisations in the transition to a sustainable future.


Abbi Virens

Abbi Virens thumbnailPostdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Sustainability

Abbi is a social scientist, originally from Canada. Her interest in natural history directed her doctoral research into an exploration of the foraging landscape within Dunedin. Her research areas include science and technology studies ( STS ), post-humanism and post-colonialism.


Associate Professor Priscilla Wehi

Priscilla Wehi thumbDirector, Te Pūnaha Matatini, Centre of Research Excellence

Priscilla a conservation biologist whose research has two main research themes: ecological knowledge; evolutionary ecology, and especially foraging behaviour, including isotope and nutrient analyses of diet, and socioecological relationships, including cultural environmental management.



Gwenda Crawford

Gwenda Crawford (160)Senior Research Administrator

Tel +64 3 479 5220
Hours 8:30am–4:30pm (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

Fiona Gray

Senior Research Administrator

Tel + 64 3 479 5220
Hours 9:00am-4:00pm (Thursday & Friday) 

Project Administrator: Kainga and climate change

Tel + 64 3 479 5220
Hours 9:00am-4:00pm (Monday & Wednesday) 

Mary-Jane Campbell

Research Assistant: Media and Communications


Angela Moore




PhD students


Advisory Board

Research affiliates


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