Research Committee

The Research Committee is chaired by Professor Lucy Johnston. It is tasked with ensuring that funding disbursed as part of the project is done so in a fair, ethical and equitable manner and that research teams using the UC QuakeStudies repository follow appropriate ethical guidelines and research standards. Its goal is to ensure the UC Quakestudies repository develops into a world-class research asset. Current members include:

Prof. Lucy Johnston

Dean of Postgraduate Studies, University of Canterbury (Chair).

Lucy is currently the Dean of Postgraduate Research at the University of Canterbury. She joined UC in 1994 as a lecturer in psychology, being promoted to professor in 2009, after completing her BA (Hons.) at the University of Oxford and her Ph.D. at the University of Bristol and lecturing at the University of Cardiff from 1991 to 1993. Her research expertise is in social psychology, especially social perception and the impact of nonverbal communication within social interactions. She has over 80 international peer-reviewed publications spanning these domains.

She is also on the Management Group of the New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behavior. Lucy also has a practical and research interest in sport psychology. She has supervised research theses in the sport domain and has recently completed a specialist MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology. She works with a number of individual athletes and coaches and sports teams. Lucy received a University Teaching Award in 2008 and in 2004 she held a Distinguished Visiting Professor position at the University of Connecticut. Lucy was appointed to the Psychosocial Recovery Advisory Group for the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR; a joint Massey University-Geological and Nuclear Science collaboration).

Prof. Steve Weaver

Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Research, University of Canterbury

Professor Steve Weaver was appointed Assistant Vice-Chancellor Research in April 2010. He is responsible for driving the strategic research direction and overall research performance of the University and for maintaining and advancing the University's research profile and the development of research collaborations. Supported by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor the Assistant Vice Chancellor Research helps build national and international linkages in basic and applied research. Steve's research focuses on Igneous Petrology and Geochemistry, and the relationship between magma chemistry and tectonics. Geochemistry, geochronology and tectonic evolution of the southern Pacific rim, particularly New Zealand, Antarctica and Chile.

Prof. Angus Macfarlane

Professor of Māori Research, University of Canterbury

Angus Hikairo Macfarlane is of the Te Arawa waka and its confederate tribes. He is an experienced educator and practitioner and has been an advisor and professional development provider for Special Education Services and the Ministry of Education on a number of national projects. The thrust of his activities is concerned with the exploration of cultural concepts and strategies that affect positively on professional practice, from which numerous publications have emanated. In 2003 he was awarded the inaugural Research Fellowship by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, at which time he took up residency in Wellington to carry out further work in his area of interest. In 2004 his landmark book, Kia hiwa ra! Listen to culture - Māori students' plea to educators, was published. That same year he was a recipient of a Tohu Kairangi award, a citation for academic excellence in Māori education. His third book, Discipline, Democracy and Diversity, was published in August 2007. He has presented papers on culturally responsive educational approaches in several countries, including Australia, Israel, Thailand, Greece, Britain and the United States. Dr Macfarlane coordinates postgraduate courses at the University of Canterbury where he is Professor of Māori Research.

Dr. Mike Grimshaw

Chair of the Human Ethics Committee, University of Canterbury

Born & bred in New Zealand, a naturalised & parochial South Islander, Mike studied History and Theology at Otago University. His PhD was a revisionist history of the conflict between missionaries and settlers in the New Zealand Wars. After teaching at Victoria University for two years Mike came to Canterbury in 2000. Perhaps best described as a secular theologian and critical theorist his teaching and research focuses on religion as hermeneutics as 'the necessary problem' in the project of modernity and the associated issues of location, identity and secularity. Put simply, Mike's approach starts from a view of religion as 'the claim of an alternative' that takes various forms and expressions, including culture, society & politics.

Dr. Linda Jean Kenix

Senior Lecturer, Social and Political Science, University of Canterbury

Linda Jean Kenix (previously Kensicki) received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. Her dissertation, titled "Media construction of an elitist environmental movement: New frontiers for second level agenda setting and political activism," was completed under the supervision of Dr. Maxwell McCombs, the co-creator of agenda setting theory. Upon the completion of her degree, she moved north to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she spent four years braving the winters as an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2005, she moved to New Zealand to continue her career at the University of Canterbury. She has ten years of professional media experience in different aspects of visual communication.

Prof. Bruce Glavovich

Natural Hazards Planning, Resource and Environmental Planning, Massey University

Dr. Glavovic has a multi-disciplinary education, with degrees in economics and agricultural economics, environmental science, and urban and environmental planning. He has 25 years of experience in academia, private consulting and Government. He has worked mainly in South Africa, the United States of America and New Zealand. He was the Programme Co-ordinator of the Resource and Environmental Planning Programme at Massey University (Feb 2002-Dec 2005) before his appointment as the first Earthquake Commission (EQC) Fellow in Natural Hazards Planning in July 2005. He was appointed to the EQC Chair in Natural Hazards Planning in March 2010. He is Associate Director of the Massey-GNS Science Joint Centre for Disaster Research. He is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of LandOceans Interactions in the Coastal Zone - a core project of the International GeosphereBiosphere Programme and International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change.

Assoc. Prof. John Vargo

Resilient Organisations Research Programme, University of Canterbury 

Associate Professor John Vargo is a senior researcher and co-leader of the Resilient Organisations Research Programme (a member of the Natural Hazards Platform funded by MSI)  based at the University of Canterbury.  His interests focus on building organisational resilience in the face of systemic insecurity in a complex and interconnected world.  John was a practicing Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the US prior to moving to New Zealand and has been involved with the ICT industry for over 30 years.  

With a bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Michigan, MBA from the University of Santa Clara and a PhD in Information Systems from the University of Canterbury.  His education and experience cover a broad range of commerce, technology and education and has involved dealing with the wide range of risks inherent in commercial organisations, large and small.

His research interests are in organisational resilience, information security, risk management, e-commerce and strategic planning.
In addition to his academic role, John has filled a range of senior management roles at the University of Canterbury in support of major change initiatives including: Dean of Commerce, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Economics), Director of ICT, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Services.

Dr. Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald

Lecturer, Social and Political Science, University of Canterbury

Lindsey is deputy chair of the Human Ethic Committee, and is on a part time secondment with the Research and Innovation group at Canterbury, as Research Consultant-Maori.  Lindsey defended his PhD thesis 'a political philosophy of property rights' in December 2008 having joined the political science programme at the University of Canterbury in July of that year. He had previously lectured for the indigenous studies programme at Canterbury (2003-7), and the political science programme at Auckland University (2003). Before returning to University, Lindsey worked at Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Development) 1996-7, and at the State Services Commission between 1998-2001. Since 2001 he has consulted to various government departments on issues ranging from machinery of government issues to the implications of the Treaty of Waitangi for government policy.

Prof Philip Schluter

Professor of Public Health, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago

Professor Philip Schluter received a BSc(Hons 1) in 1988, MSc (Distinction) in 1992 and PhD in 1996 all in the field of Bayesian statistics from the University of Canterbury. Philip is currently Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Christchurch, Adjunct Professor at AUT University, Auckland, and Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Philip has a well-established research record, having authored or co-authored over 160 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has supervised 11 PhD students to completion - with another 7 PhD students current. Most of the research Philip has engaged with is of an epidemiologic nature, with health policy implications and recommendations. Many of his peer-reviewed journal articles explicitly deal with the social determinants of health, often embedded in local contexts but motivated by national or international public health priority areas. Implicit in successfully undertaking such public health research in the New Zealand context is having an understanding of the implications of the Treaty of Waitangi, and a commitment to working with Māori, Pacific people and other vulnerable ethnic groups, and other marginalized peoples. Philip is also interested in thinking about, developing and applying Bayesian methods to public health problems. Bayesian methods depart from the conventional objectivist theories of probability and provide an alternative to hypothesis testing and confidence interval estimation. Philip has utilised these methods for the identification of motor accident 'black-spots', for the 'change-point' analysis of an intervention amongst assault-related hospital admissions in an Aboriginal community, and the assessment of treatment response in a series of single patient (n-of-1) trials, to name a few examples.

Prof. Elizabeth Toomey

School of Law

Elizabeth specialises in the areas of real property law, resource management law, public works and sports law; and is a barrister of the High Court in New Zealand. She publishes widely in her areas of expertise both in New Zealand and internationally. She has presented papers at numerous conferences, is a co-author of Brookers New Zealand Land Law (2009) and is a regular contributor to Butterworths Conveyancing Bulletin.   She has advised the New Zealand Law Commission on real property issues, and undertakes consultancy work for the legal profession. She is a member of the Environmental Law Reform Committee, a member of the Legal Aid Review Panel and an adjudicator in the Residential Tenancies Tribunal. She plays an active role in the wider university environment.

Associate Prof. Rajesh Dhakal

Earthquake Engineering, Civil & Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury.

Dr Dhakal joined University of Canterbury in 2003 as a lecturer and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008. He received a BE in Civil Engineering (with a Gold Medal) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal; an ME in Structural Engineering (with a Gold Medal) from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand (with Gold Medal); and a PhD from the University of Tokyo in 2000. Associate Professor Rajesh Dhakal is a Chartered Professional Engineer in New Zealand, and was extensively involved in evaluating buildings after the recent Canterbury earthquakes (he was a recipient of the IPENZ President's award in 2011; i.e. Fulton Downer Gold Medal; for his involvement in post-earthquake activities in Christchurch with other engineers).

Dr Dhakal is known globally as an expert of structural and earthquake engineering; and he has authored more than 150 technical papers in different aspects of structural and earthquake engineering. Dr Dhakal is serving as an Associate Editor for the ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, and an Editorial Board member of four other international journals. Inside NZ, Dr Dhakal is a member of management committee of the NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) and a member of the national panel for Performance Based Research Funding (PBRF). He has received more than a dozen awards including the prestigious EQC-NZSEE Ivan Skinner award for advancement of earthquake engineering research in NZ.