Cheri has recently joined this programme as a PhD candidate under Zoology and the Centre for Sustainability at University of Otago. The working title of the thesis is ‘Unlocking the past wetland-scapes of the lower Waikato River system and the potential implications for future wetland restoration and Te Puuaha community resilience’.
Data collection includes coring current and past wetland areas in the River delta, coupled with paleobotany, paleoecological and eDNA analyses of material in the cores to investigate current and past species found in the delta system over several centuries. Other chapters will explore methods for appropriate community engagement in the collection of ancient and modern DNA/genomic material including challenges to the values and intent of WAI 262 and its modern interpretation and adoption in paleogenetic research.
There will also be two research roopu to support and guide Cheri during her PhD with representatives from tangata whenua (Te Puuaha o Waikato) and key wāhine in wetland, mātauranga taiao and freshwater species research.
Dr Nic Rawlence, Professor Merata Kawharu
Dr Matiu Prebble
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