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Dr Christina Ergler Staff Profile



Qualifications:Diplom (Bonn), PhD (Auck)

Office Hours:

by email appointment



Christina contributes to:

ENVI111 Environment and Society
GEOG102 Human Geography
GEOG215/384 Urban Geography – Envisioning Cities
GEOG219/379 Special Topic in Human Geography: (co-ordinator 2017)
GEOG280 Research Methodology in Human Geography
GEOG380 Field Research Studies (Arts) (co-coordinator 2017)
GEOG376 Geographies of Contestation, Action and Change
GEOG465 A Special Topic in Geography: Geographies of Justice
GEOG472 Developments in Environmental Management

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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.

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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

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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

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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)