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Sustainability Research at Otago

Sustainability Research at Otago is a guide to our specialised research collaborations working towards a sustainable future.

Our multidisciplinary knowledge base and extensive networks provide a powerhouse of research expertise to find solutions to the planet's most pressing challenges.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals guide our research. Our expertise in applied practice focuses on delivering a better future for people and our environment.

You are welcome to contact our groups directly.

Agriculture at Otago (Ag@Otago) - Ahuwhenua ki Ōtākou, Rangahau

A University of Otago Research Theme

Scenic New Zealand farm landscape imageAdvancing profitability and environmental sustainability of primary industry in New Zealand

We have extensive research capabilities that can be applied to improve risk mitigation, economic, environmental, and social performance of the primary sector.
Our focus is:

  • Enhancing agricultural productivity
  • Adding value to primary industry products
  • Sustainable and profitable environmental management

Email ag@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/agriculture

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Catchments Otago

A University of Otago Research Theme

Rural rivers near Lake Wakatipu thumbEffective freshwater management through equitable and appropriate land strategies

We employ multidisciplinary approaches to share natural resources that consider environmental, social and economic outcomes.

We endeavour to understand community needs, facilitate information sharing, and encourage direct collaboration between Governmental Authorities, industry partners and freshwater catchment communities to help guide improvement of land and water management strategies in Otago and Southland.

Email contact@catchmentsotago.org
Web catchmentsotago.org

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Centre for Sustainability - Kā Rakahau o Te Ao Tūroa

A University of Otago Research Centre

Cyclists on Otago peninsula thumbWhenua ora, tangata ora: collaborative research for a sustainable future

The Centre for Sustainability is an interdisciplinary research centre working on local and global sustainability challenges. Our research informs choices, adaptations and transformations in policy and practice to enhance social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being.

Our research expertise includes aspects of kaitiakitanga, climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable food and agriculture, resilient communities, natural hazards, energy, mobility and biodiversity.

Email centre-sustainability@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/centre-sustainability

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Centre for Theology and Public Issues - Te Pokapū Whakapono me Ngā Take ā-Iwi

Theology Programme, Division of Humanities

Crowd of people imageExamining political, social and economic issues from a theological perspective

The Centre responds to issues as they arise and is not tied to the agenda of others. It is free to pursue research and promote debate on issues it sees as important but which may have escaped the 'public eye'. We believe that theology can shed fresh light on issues and can contribute in new and challenging ways to debate policy formation.

Email david.tombs@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/ctpi

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Climate and Energy Finance Group (CEFGroup)

A University of Otago Research Theme

Tree branch thumbResearch in climate finance, sustainable investing, energy markets and carbon markets

The group is a founding member of the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investing (GRASFI). CEFGroup is based in the Department of Accountancy and Finance which is a CFA® Program Partner.

Email cefgroup@otago.ac.nz
Web blogs.otago.ac.nz/cefg/

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Climate Health Aotearoa

A University of Otago Research Theme

Bee approaching flowers tnResearching and addressing the public health consequences of climate change

Climate Health Aotearoa is a consortium of professionals and stakeholders across Aotearoa dedicated to researching and addressing the public health consequences of climate change. Climate Health Aotearoa is hosted by the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at Dunedin School of Medicine, and operates under a Te Tiriti-based partnership model.

Email david.angelson@otago.ac.nz

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Coastal People: Southern Skies

A Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE)

Anne-Marie Jackson and Chris Hepburn thumbResponding to climate change

Coastal People: Southern Skies is a research collaboration based at the University of Otago.

The collaboration connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to support transformative change to rebuild coastal ecosystems.

The focus is on the changes resulting from ocean warming and acidification, sea-level rise, and climate change. Research includes responding to the decline in culture, local economy, and well-being of coastal people in New Zealand and across the Pacific.

Email anne-marie.jackson@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/sciences/research/coastal-people.html

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Food Waste Innovation - Auahatanga Parakai

A University of Otago Research Theme

Odd shaped veges spilling from a paper bag thumbProviding effective solutions to Aotearoa's food waste problems

Food Waste Innovation measures food waste, develops reduction strategies, applies innovative technology, and works to modify producer and consumer behaviour.

Our goal is to harness the best scientific expertise to provide effective solutions to food waste problems. We work collaboratively with stakeholders and supporters in the public and private sector.

Email food.waste@otago.ac.nz
Web foodwaste-otago.org/

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Future Ocean Research Theme

A University of Otago Research Theme

OA Ocean floor seaweed thumbUnderstanding human impacts on our marine ecosystem and physical environment

The Future Ocean Research Theme (formerly Ocean Acidification) supports multi-disciplinary and collaborative research focused primarily upon the Otago shelf region but that is also applicable to New Zealand and the wider South Pacific region.

We use the development of biological and physical time series, controlled experiments, and modelling to establish the interactions between chemical, physical, and biological processes and the broader implications of change in the ocean around New Zealand.

Email linn.hoffmann@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/oceanacidification

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He Kaupapa Hononga: Otago's Climate Change Research Network

A University of Otago Research Network

HKH banner thumbFostering climate change research using interdisciplinary and co-created knowledge

He Kaupapa Hononga is a network of researchers committed to climate action including assessment, mitigation, adaptation and restoration. We are also committed to supporting collaborations between mātauranga Māori / mātauranga Kāi Tahu and western scientific knowledge.

Our network also works collaboratively with established research groups, He Kaupapa Hononga also supports postgraduate students studying climate change and the Otago Climate Change Postgraduate Network (OCCPN).

Email hekaupapa.hononga@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/he-kaupapa-hononga

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New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities - Te Pokapū Rōnaki Tāone-nui

A University of Otago Research Centre

NZCSC Twilight Oriental Bay thumbSustainable solutions to the economic, social, environmental and cultural development of our urban centres

The New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities is an inter-disciplinary research centre dedicated to providing the research base for innovative solutions to the economic, social, environmental and cultural development of our urban centres.

Email philippa.howden-chapman@otago.ac.nz
Web sustainablecities.org.nz

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Otago Energy Research Centre (OERC)

A University of Otago Research Theme

Landscape inside a lightbulb thumbInterdisciplinary energy-related research that contributes to more resilient and low carbon energy systems

The OERC creates opportunities for high-impact and internationally recognised energy-related research via an interdisciplinary network of University of Otago researchers and their external collaborators.
This includes:

  • Incubation of new energy-related interdisciplinary research
  • Driving research on energy transitions toward a more resilient and low carbon future
  • The Creation of the ‘UoO Energy Living Lab’ to promote novel sustainable energy practices within the University of Otago
  • Providing a channel for energy-related external engagement at international, national and regional levels.

Email oercadmin@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/oerc

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Research Network for Sustainable Business

Otago Business School

Earth globe and ferns thumbPromoting social, political and economic sustainability in business systems and practice

The key research objectives of the research network are to:

  • Develop novel theoretical concepts and best practice advice to help drive business transformations to sustainability
  • Facilitate learning among actors engaged in social experimentation
  • Disseminate and raise awareness of the changes needed for a sustainable business future
  • Generate and communicate practical and research informed knowledge
  • Influence policy and regulatory change

Email rob.aitken@otago.ac.nz
Web blogs.otago.ac.nz/research-network-for-sustainable-business/

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Te Koronga

A University of Otago Research Theme

Te Koronga detail of logo thumbMāori research excellence based on the aspirations of Māori communities

Our kaupapa is Māori research excellence based on the aspirations of Māori communities underpinned by a Kaupapa Māori ethos.

The overarching goal is to build a strong indigenous research platform at Otago open to both Māori and non-Maori researchers who are involved in indigenous research. Our mission is to advance Māori economic and cultural aspirations, and to show a way forward for indigenous collaborations on an international stage, and to engage a diverse campus community with mātauranga Māori.

Email tekoronga@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/te-koronga

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Te Maea: Māori and Indigenous Economy and Enterprise Network

Otago Business School

Green fern thumbCollaborative and interdisciplinary research and teaching for, by and with Māori and Indigenous communities and enterprises

We aim to undertake relevant research and to develop the next generation of Māori business leaders. We work with academics, practitioners and community members from across the University of Otago and beyond.

Web otago.ac.nz/business/research/te-maea

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Te Poutama Māori - University of Otago Māori Academic Staff

Coastal cliffs with lighthouse thumbSupporting research and teaching excellence attuned to Māori values and aspirations

We are a multidisciplinary network of more than 50 academics dedicated to promoting and facilitating new communication and new research collaborations to increase the international reputation for Otago’s research excellence in ako (Māori learning and teaching) grounded in mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and Māori pedagogies.

Email te.poutamamaori@otago.ac.nz
Web https://www.otago.ac.nz/te-poutama-maori

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Transport Research Network (TRN)

A University of Otago Research Theme

Woman cycling in an urban street thumbResearch in active transport, safety, policy, behaviour and training, low carbon transport, energy and sustainability transitions, and Hauora Māori

Specific goals of the Transport Research Network Research Theme include:

  • Establishing a strong national hub of cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary transport-related research
  • Building transport research capacity and capability within the University of Otago
  • Creating a hub that connects University of Otago researchers and transport sector practitioners
  • Becoming the key provider of research that informs evidence-based policy development in the transport sector

Email transport.research@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/centre-sustainability/research/otago616039.html

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Toitū Taiao - Sustainability Office

Three students sitting under a tree thumbMaking our University and the world a more sustainable and healthier place

We aspire to become a recognised centre of excellence for research-led sustainable practice.

Toitū Taiao:

  • Supports and co-ordinates sustainability activities across our whole University
  • Helps remove roadblocks to sustainability initiatives
  • Shares success stories, to share our learnings gained at Otago and celebrate positive change
  • Establishes and supports living lab research opportunities
  • Reports on key sustainability metrics such as greenhouse gas emissions

Email sustainability@otago.ac.nz

Web otago.ac.nz/sustainability