The Mountain Research Centre (MRC) is dedicated to providing research expertise on mountain environments for government, industry and recreationists. Mountain regions are complex social-ecological systems spanning a myriad of biological, social and physical processes. Our mission is to generate and disseminate knowledge that enables informed decisions and supports actions related to mountain environments.

Drawing together the University of Otago’s research expertise

Established in 2020, the Mountain Research Centre aims to foster high quality research to better understand our mountain regions in New Zealand and across the world, including but not limited to alpine meteorology and climatology, detection of surface changes and geo-hazards from space, snow avalanches and the impacts of climate change on seasonal snow and glaciers.

Our multi-disciplinary approach blends innovative scientific practice with on-the-ground application for a range of partners. We aim to build links with other research institutes, government and industry to support efforts to protect mountain environments, minimise harm to people and infrastructure from both extreme events and longer-term changes to these landscapes, as well as to maximise benefits to those who depend on mountain environments for their livelihoods.

Meet the team

The Mountain Research Centre is built on an equal opportunity platform, without a formal organisational structure. Each member is actively involved in upholding the mission to provide research expertise on mountain environments. The structure provides opportunities for researchers at all levels, including postgraduate students, to advance knowledge and engage with a broad range of stakeholders.

Nicolas Cullen

Associate Professor

Mountain meteorology, glaciers, ice sheets, climate change

Aubrey Miller

Senior Professional Practice Fellow

GIS, avalanches, hazard modelling

Todd Redpath


Photogrammetry, remote sensing, seasonal snow

Pascal Sirguey

Associate Professor

Photogrammetry, remote sensing, Spatial modelling, glaciers and snow


Ellorine Carle

Research Assistant | MSc candidate

Remote sensing, spatial modelling, landslides, rivers

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Hugo Collins

BSurv(Hnrs) Student

Photogrammetry, change detection, surveying

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Marte Hofsteenge

PhD candidate

Glacier, Antarctica, meteorology

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Tamara Pletzer

PhD candidate

Glaciology, Antarctica, meteorology

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