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Senior LecturerChristina Ergler image

Diplom (Bonn)
PhD (Auck)

Richardson Building, room 4C18
Office Hours: email to make an appointment
Tel +64 3 479 4647


Christina contributes to:

  • ENVI 111 Environment and Society
  • GEOG 215/384 Urban Geography – Envisioning Cities
  • GEOG 219/379 Special Topic in Human Geography: (co-ordinator 2017)
  • GEOG 280 Research Methodology in Human Geography
  • GEOG 380 Field Research Studies (Arts) (co-coordinator 2017)
  • GEOG 376 Geographies of Contestation, Action and Change
  • GEOG 465 A Special Topic in Geography: Geographies of Justice
  • GEOG 472 Developments in Environmental Management

Research interests

My research lie at the cross-roads of geography, sociology and public health in the minority and majority world. I focus on the relationships between wellbeing, place and lived everyday experiences. Where we live, play, study and spend our leisure time affects our health and wellbeing, be it through contacts with or exposure to hazards (e.g. drugs, accidents, waste), access to and utilisation of health care or by feelings of safety and wellbeing in a neighbourhood. My work contributes to a more just and sustainable world by alerting stakeholders and communities to the socio-spatial, structural and experiential dimensions of health and wellbeing. The “Geographies of Health and Wellbeing” are an important and growing area well linked to many job opportunities and attracts people who are interested in making the world a better place through the work they do.

Current research projects

My current projects include:

  • Research club water and play: co-designing a research project with primary school children
  • First time parents: a migrant perspective
  • Yes we can! Pre-schoolers as evaluators of their city
  • Tertiary Students' wellbeing during exam time

In my research I trace social and environmental injustices drawing from a wider range of social theories including the work of Bourdieu, Gibson and Sen. I work to apply these theoretical frames in rigorous empirical studies of significant societal issues like substance misuse and mental wellbeing, the politics of accessing (health) care, the relationships between social norms, urban design and the obesity epidemic or children's declining rights to cities.

To gain insights into people's lived socio-spatial realities and to contribute to a more equitable and liveable world, I am interested in creative, value-based, ethically and culturally appropriate methodologies that acknowledge the expertise of everyone and foster a meaningful participation in research activities (e.g. child-led participatory methods, SoftGIS, mixed-methods).

Link to Pre-schoolers as Competent Evaluators of their City

Potential student projects

I am interested in supervising students on projects that broadly relate to any of my work, or who are interested to develop a project on:

  • Socio-spatial implications of reproduction medicine
  • Medical mobilities
  • Technology, childhood and socio-spatial wellbeing
  • Climate change, wellbeing and sustainable futures    

Postgraduate student supervision

I supervise postgraduate students who are interested in gaining research skills in the areas of (urban) social and environmental justice and wellbeing, socio-spatial inequities and wellbeing, liveable cities, changing landscapes of care or physical and social mobilities. I am keen to work with students who are interested in participating in research projects that take an integrated, transdisciplinary approach to the theorisation, empirical analysis and praxis of socio-spatial justice in the minority and majority world.

Current supervision
  • Swaiti Shah, PhD: "Reproductive justice and surrogacy" (co-supervision with Bryndl Hohmann-Marriott)
  • Callum Sutherland, MA: "The health limiting coast: the role of personal experiences I influencing the dualism of therapeutic and disruptive landscapes"
  • Jovan Mokaraka-Harris, MA: "Participatory mapping in the Hokianga" (co-supervision with Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett)
  • Olivia Eyles, BA(Hons): Refugee's therapeutic landscapes in Dunedin
  • Fanny Monnet, Honours: Students mental wellbeing, cognitive enhancers and the university year. (co-supervisor with Eva Pilot, Maastricht University)
  • Tessa Porskamp, MSc: Young people's experiences of mobility in rural Otago (co-supervisor with Eva Pilot, Maastricht University)
  • Logan Copland, MPlan, 2017: ''Public and active transport to school in Dunedin adolescents'' (co-supervisor with Sandra Mandic)
  • Rachael Willox, MPlan, 2016: Tertiary students' experiences of home
  • Sherilyn Byron, MPlan: "Unpacking the sustainability of fresh water allocation systems" (co-supervision with Dr Nicola Wheen)
  • Jovan Mokaraka-Harris, PGDip, 2015: "Hokianga: Forms of self-determination" (co-supervision with Associate Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett)
  • Martin Swaffield, MPlan, 2014: "What makes a good bus stop?"
  • Gabriella Hyndemann, Honours, 2014: “Children's Geographies: Breakfast programs in Dunedin's schools” (co-supervision with Dr Sophie Bond)
  • Constance Hutchinson, MPlan, 2013 "What makes a city? A participatory approach with pre-schoolers towards urban planning"
  • Panwalkar, A, Honours, 2011: "The relationship between children, nature and environmental awareness". (co-supervision with Professor Robin Kearns, The University of Auckland)


Radka, K., Wyeth, E. H., Craik, B., Ergler, C. R., & Derrett, S. (2024). 'On the books' yet 'off the record' - occupational injury and migrant women: Scoping review findings from OECD countries, with implications for New Zealand. Frontiers in Global Women's Health, 5, 1346834. doi: 10.3389/fgwh.2024.1346834 Journal - Research Article

Mansournia, S., Sijtsma, F. J., Freeman, C., Ergler, C., Naqshbandi, R., Pirzadeh, A., … Ch, O. V. (2024). From fun to function: PPGIS unlocks the power of play in cities. Applied Geography, 166, 103246. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2024.103246 Journal - Research Article

Ergler, C., Georgeou, N., Lovell, S., & Huish, R. (2024). Aotearoa New Zealand: Is the grass really greener here? Social, political, and cultural implications of COVID-19 in New Zealand. In C. Hawksley & N. Georgeou (Eds.), Pandemic, states and societies in the Asia-Pacific, 2020-2021: Responding to COVID. (pp. 201-216). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003311522-11 Chapter in Book - Research

Freeman, C., Ergler, C., Latai-Niusulu, A., Schaaf, M., Tanielu, H., & Taua'a, S. (2023). Cross-cultural ethics: Working with Pacific Island children [Contribution to the article Expanding the scope of ethical research with and for children and young people: Six viewpoints on crisis, cross-cultural working and reciprocity]. Children's Geographies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/14733285.2023.2259331 Journal - Research Other

Crump, J. A., Vakaoti, P., Moore-Jones, M., Tan, L., Ergler, C. R., Fenton, E., Anderson, E. M. R., Bremer, P. J., Sharples, K. J., Walls, T., … Hadingham, J., Hill, P. C., & Knowles, S. (2023). Health nationalism in Aotearoa New Zealand during COVID-19: Problems for global health equity. Nature Medicine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1038/s41591-023-02436-y Journal - Research Other

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