Breadcrumbs

Meet the team

AIM² brings together 17 scientists from six institutions across NZ with expertise in marine and freshwater biology and ecology, environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology, microbiology, molecular biology marine modelling, marine biosecurity, polymer chemistry, microscopy and social science.

Project Leaders

Dr Olga Pantos

Olga is a marine biologist with a passion for understanding the impacts of anthropogenic effects on ecosystems and organisms. After completing an undergraduate degree in Marine and Environmental Biology at the University of St Andrews, UK, she went on to do a PhD at the University of Newcastle, UK. This project investigated the microbial communities associated with healthy and diseased reef-building corals. After this she moved to San Diego State University for two years, and then to the University of Queensland, where she investigated the impacts of rising sea temperature, eutrophication and ocean acidification on the microbial communities associated with tropical coastal ecosystems, and the subsequent impacts on both ecosystem function and organism health. She moved to New Zealand in 2015 and her research focus changed to looking at the impacts of microplastics, in particular how they affect microbial communities and ecosystem function. Within the AIM2 project her research focus is in determining the levels of microplastics in different ecosystem, and the interactions and impacts of these microplastics on microbial communities which are critical to the health and function of all ecosystems.

Dr Grant Northcott

Grant is an environmental and analytical chemist and expert on the fate and effects of organic contaminants in the environment. Grant completed his BSc in chemistry at Waikato University and PhD at the Institute of Environmental and Biological Science, Lancaster University, UK. Grant began his career working for NIWA in Hamilton before moving to the UK to complete his PhD, followed by a two year postdoc project funded by Unilever. Grant returned to NZ in 2002 where he worked for HortResearch and subsequently, Plant and Food Research.  Since 2012 Grant has operated his own research consulting business. He leads the contaminant chemistry research within the AIM2 project, examining the interactions between the plastic polymers and inherent and acquired chemical contaminants which play a critical role in the risk the plastic poses to the environment.

The team

Name

Research Area(s)

Affiliation

Dr Joanne Kingsbury(external link)

Plastic-microbe interactions

ESR

Dr Louise Weaver(external link)

Plastic-microbe interactions

ESR

     

Virginia Baker(external link)

Social Science

ESR

Dr Gavin Lear(external link)

Plastic-microbe interactions

University of Auckland

Dr Kevin Simon(external link)

Freshwater ecology

University of Auckland

Dr Giovanni Coco(external link)

Marine Modeller

University of Auckland

Dr Melissa Bowen(external link)

Marine Modeller

University of Auckland

Dr Louis Tremblay(external link)

Ecotoxicology

Cawthron Institute

Dr Xavier Pochon(external link)

Marine biosecurity

Cawthron Institute

Dr Anastasija Zaiko(external link)

Marine biosecurity

Cawthron Institute

Dr Sally Gaw(external link)

Environmental Chemistry

University of Canterbury

Dr Jamie Ataria(external link)

Social Science and Mātauranga Māori

Cawthron Institute

Dr Dawn Smith(external link)

Polymer Chemist

Scion

Dr Lloyd Donaldson(external link)

Microscopist

Scion

Jamie Brisdon

Chemist

Scion