Doctoral Supervision

Research within the School of Architecture and Planning is broadly categorised by the themes outlined below. Browse the themes and potential supervisors for your doctoral studies, noting that some staff appear under more than one category. 

Design and fabrication


Andrew Barrie

Andrew's research focuses on architectural representation and on contemporary architecture in New Zealand and Japan, particularly structure-oriented design strategies. Current research considers the application of a traditional Japanese modelling technique, okoshi-ezu, to recent buildings by contemporary Japanese architects. Having worked for Toyo Ito in Tokyo and then Cheshire Architects in Auckland, Andrew is well placed to supervise PhDs with a creative practice component.

Research interests: Contemporary Japanese architecture; Contemporary practice and design; The use of non-standard structural systems in architecture; Design as research; Architectural representation.

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Michael Davis

Mike's research is practice based. It operates in two modes: in design projects where knowledge is embedded in drawn, modelled and built form; and in text which often reflects upon the projects to explicate the embedded knowledge. His principle focus falls on relations between architectural media, composition and fabrication.

Mike holds a PhD from RMIT, Melbourne and a Master of Architecture in Architecture and Urbanism from the Architectural Association, London.

Research interests: Architectural media, composition and fabrication; ‘Live’ project pedagogy; Academy-profession-market relations; Housing; Design research in architecture.

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Marian Macken

Marian's research examines histories and theories of spatial representation; temporal aspects of architecture; and alternative modes of representation and documentation within spatial practice, with particular interest in the implications and possibilities for architectural drawing and exhibition as design outcome. She trained in architecture, landscape architecture and visual art, receiving a PhD, by thesis and creative work from the University of Sydney. Hence, intersections of ideas and techniques between these disciplines, through practice-based research, is of particular interest.

Research interests: Histories and theories of spatial representation; Temporality and spatial practice; Architecture and the book; Inter-disciplinarity and the design process.

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Dermott McMeel

Dermott's research is primarily conducted within the disciplines of architecture, information science and artistic practice. With interests in design and digital technologies; media and cultural theory; digital geography and mobile/social media, he seeks to advance the discussion on the influence of technology in both the design/making process and the built environment. His current research has a focus on locative media and the disruptive effect of mobile devices on the 'craft' of design and construction, as well as technology's ability to delaminate the socio-technical, geo-political and cultural strata of our physical environment. He is involved in both BRANZ and MBIE funded research projects exploring the implication and new application for emerging technology in the built environment. 

Research interests: Digital Media and Culture; Building Information Modelling (BIM); Robotics and responsive architecture; Digital Fabrication.

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Sarah Treadwell

Sarah's research involves the representation of nineteenth-century South Pacific and New Zealand architecture and she also writes on contemporary fine art practices that reference architecture. Sarah's recent publications address writing practices that formally engage with architecture. Allied to her research on architectural media is a research project into conditions of oceanic ground undertaken through art practices.

Research interests: Architectural design and drawing; Architectural representation (19th century NZ and Pacific); Issues of gender in architecture; Postcolonial architecture.

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Maori and Pacific research


Deidre Brown

Deidre Brown's (Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu) specialist research interests are in the fields of Māori and Pacific architectural and art history, and the broader discipline of indigenous design. She has written several books, including the multi-authored Art in Oceania: A new history (2012) and Māori Architecture (2009) and is currently completing a new Maori art history book, Toi Te Mana, with Dr Ngarino Ellis.

Research interests: Maori and Pacific art and architectural history; Indigenous design; Indigenousness homelessness and houselessness; Cultural property rights; Indigenous digital humanities.

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Dory Reeves 

Dory's research specialisms overlap with sustainability, place making and pedagogy and Maori. They include work in the areas of social sustainability and sustainable urbanisation; gender and urban planning; planning for equality and diversity; inclusive planning; intersectionality and super diversity; preparing professionals to work with Maori; management skills for early career planners; academic literacy. 

Research interests: Social sustainability; Gender and urban planning; Inclusive planning - applying intersectionality; Management skills for planners. 

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Pedagogy


Michael Davis

Mike's research is practice based. It operates in two modes: in design projects where knowledge is embedded in drawn, modelled and built form; and in text which often reflects upon the projects to explicate the embedded knowledge. His principle focus falls on relations between architectural media, composition and fabrication.

Mike holds a PhD from RMIT, Melbourne and a Master of Architecture in Architecture and Urbanism from the Architectural Association, London.

Research interests: Architectural media, composition and fabrication; ‘Live’ project pedagogy; Academy-profession-market relations; Housing; Design research in architecture.

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Ross Jenner

Research interests: Phenomenology, including atmospheres and New Phenomenology; Modern Italian Architecture; Tectonics and materiality; Pacific Spaces; Drawing; Pedagogy.

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Dory Reeves 

Dory's research specialisms overlap with sustainability, place making and pedagogy and Maori. They include work in the areas of social sustainability and sustainable urbanisation; gender and urban planning; planning for equality and diversity; inclusive planning; intersectionality and super diversity; preparing professionals to work with Maori; management skills for early career planners; academic literacy. 

Research interests: Social sustainability; Gender and urban planning; Inclusive planning - applying intersectionality; Management skills for planners. 

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Resilience and sustainability


Paola Boarin

Paola's research activities regard environmental sustainability of the built environment, with a particular interest for integrated design strategies and technologies for improving energy efficiency and environmental quality of existing and historic buildings and urban centres (with a focus on school buildings, social housing, and historic villages). Her research interest are also in the field of energy and environmental assessment of buildings, with a focus on Post-Occupancy Evaluation and international rating systems.

Research interests: Integrated design strategies for building energy efficiency and environmental quality; Sustainable retrofit and preservation of existing and historic buildings and urban environments; International rating systems for environmental sustainability assessment at building and urban level; Indoor Environmental Quality and Post-Occupancy Evaluation.

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Emilio Garcia

The research of Dr. Emilio Garcia has been focused in the application of ecological resilience to urban landscapes. In 2008 he won a Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction. In the last six years he has been researching about resilience in relationship with compactness, adaptability, inequality, inheritance, and processes of persistence and change in built environments. He is currently finishing the book "Unravelling sustainability and resilience in the built environment" with Professor Brenda Vale, that will be published by Routledge in January 2017.

Research interests: Resilience, inequality and affordability; Resilience of compact and disperse urban landscapes; Adaptive change, transformative change and collapse in cities; Panarchy, adaptive cycles, thresholds, and multiple stability states in built environments; Measurement of resilience and heterogeneity of urban landscapes; Resilience and Inheritance. 

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Asif Khan

Asif has been conducting research in urban planning for many years. His broad area of research is infrastructure planning. In the last few years he has focussed on travel behaviour of people, especially the students. He investigated the role of travel plans in educational institutions for achieving sustainable outcomes. He has used both quantitative and qualitative techniques in my research. The methods used under these techniques include questionnaire survey, interviews and focus groups.

Research interests: Transportation planning; Physical and social infrastructure; Public housing; Non-shelter outcomes of housing; Demography.

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Stephen Knight-Lenihan

Stephen has a background in environmental science, working as a consultant until June 2010 when he joined the School. He gained his PhD in 2008. His research focus has been on how ecological principles influence decision-making, initially focusing on transport as a case study. His research focus more recently includes transitioning to low carbon economies, climate change impacts, catchment management and urban biodiversity, using resilience concepts as a theoretical framework.

Research interests: Climate change mitigation and adaptation at a local government level; Biodiversity offsets in urban environments; Ecological resilience and social-ecological systems; Integrated catchment management.

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Manfredo Manfredini

Consistent with his doctoral and post-doctoral studies at the technical universities of Milan and Berlin, Manfredo’s research focuses on the intersections between the historical, critical and projective disciplines of architecture and urbanism. It concerns both theoretical and empirical design aspects of the modern and contemporary periods of continuous change within social, cultural and technological frameworks. His study areas, including both fundamental and applied research, are articulated along complementary axes, addressing transitions in public space, evolution of building typology and morphology, advances in sustainability and resilience in architecture and urbanism, and contemporary design education. 

Research interests: Public space transitions: form and meaning, borders and armatures, enclaves and networks, illusion and displacements in the spatial transitions from the consumerist to the post-consumerist ages; Urban regeneration: recombinant urban processes and post-typological architecture in rapidly evolving historical cities; Architecture as social morphology: processes of differentiation, hybridisation and incrementalism of type, form and identity between modernity and post-modernity; Sustainability in architecture and urbanism: technological frameworks and environment, energy, resilience and preservation in architecture and urbanism.

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Dory Reeves 

Dory's research specialisms overlap with sustainability, place making and pedagogy and Maori. They include work in the areas of social sustainability and sustainable urbanisation; gender and urban planning; planning for equality and diversity; inclusive planning; intersectionality and super diversity; preparing professionals to work with Maori; management skills for early career planners; academic literacy. 

Research interests: Social sustainability; Gender and urban planning; Inclusive planning - applying intersectionality; Management skills for planners. 

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Marjorie van Roon

Marjorie’s focus: designing/managing environments to minimise changes to hydrological, sedimentary and ecological regimes. Past research: assessment and prediction of water quality of the Upper Waitemata Harbour following urbanisation: heavy metal pollution from stormwater inputs to the Manukau Harbour. Current research: receiving water and ecological efficacy of Low Impact Urban Design and Development/Water Sensitive Design. Paired catchment investigations compare the ecological state of traditional versus water sensitive residential developments.

Research interests: Low Impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD); Water Sensitive Design and green infrastructure uptake; The aquatic ecosystem health improvement from LIUDD/Water Sensitive Design implementation in residential Auckland; Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem management and restoration; Integrated catchment (watershed) management; Coastal management.

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Theory and history


Andrew Barrie

Andrew's research focuses on architectural representation and on contemporary architecture in New Zealand and Japan, particularly structure-oriented design strategies. Current research considers the application of a traditional Japanese modelling technique, okoshi-ezu, to recent buildings by contemporary Japanese architects. Having worked for Toyo Ito in Tokyo and then Cheshire Architects in Auckland, Andrew is well placed to supervise PhDs with a creative practice component.

Research interests: Contemporary Japanese architecture; Contemporary practice and design; The use of non-standard structural systems in architecture; Design as research; Architectural representation.

Visit Andrew’s profile 
Contact Andrew

Deidre Brown

Deidre Brown's (Ngapuhi, Ngati Kahu) specialist research interests are in the fields of Māori and Pacific architectural and art history, and the broader discipline of indigenous design. She has written several books, including the multi-authored Art in Oceania: A new history (2012) and Māori Architecture (2009) and is currently completing a new Maori art history book, Toi Te Mana, with Dr Ngarino Ellis.

Research interests: Maori and Pacific art and architectural history; Indigenous design; Indigenousness homelessness and houselessness; Cultural property rights; Indigenous digital humanities.

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Julia Gatley

Julia Gatley is a well-known writer on New Zealand architecture, having published four books with Auckland University Press: Vertical Living: The Architectural Centre and the Remaking of Wellington (co-written with Paul Walker, 2014); Athfield Architects (2012); Group Architects: Towards a New Zealand Architecture (2010); and Long Live the Modern: New Zealand’s New Architecture, 1904-1984 (2008). Current projects include a centennial history of the School of Architecture and Planning (2017) and, with Andrew Barrie, a survey of New Zealand architecture since 1984.

Research interests: Twentieth-century architecture; New Zealand architecture; The conservation of significant twentieth-century buildings.

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Michael Gunder

Frequently cited as a 'leading' planning theorist in the literature, Michael has a well-established international reputation in this academic field having introducing Lacanian psychoanalytical philosophy and subjective linguistic deconstruction to the analysis of public policy and planning. This is an approach predicated on a fine-grained poststructuralist understanding of social reality, language, emotion and ideological formation that generate many of the motivations behind human agency.

Research interests: Post-structural planning theory; Neoliberalism; Ideology; Post-political theory; Economic development.

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Errol Haarhoff

Research encompasses a number of fields related to urban design and settlement, and architecture and urban history of the modern period. Early research experience involved housing and informal settlement in the context of developing economies in Africa. Building on urban design expertise, more recent research has engaged with urban growth management strategies across new world cities in Australia, New Zealand and West coast North America. Of concern in this research has been the consequences of housing intensification and the delivery of liveable neighbourhoods and communities. Outcomes from this research have contributed case studies of housing intensification to the Auckland Design Manual. How intensification higher density enhances housing satisfaction was the focus of the research project, Future Intensive: Insights for Auckland’s Housing. Current research involves an evaluation of urban design review panels, and participation in a National Science Challenge: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities. Research interest also extends to historic perspectives on urban design, including the Garden City Movement, Modernist urbanism and urban settlement and housing in the context of developing economies. Have supervised PhD candidates with topics that include: small urban places, urban agriculture, urban growth management, green infrastructure, urban crime and place design, urban design in new world cities, and digital media in place-making.

Research interests: Urban Design; Urban Settlement History; Urban Growth Management; Urban Intensification and housing; Modern Architecture History.

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Farzaneh Haghighi

Farzaneh's work is concerned with the intersection of political philosophy, architecture and urbanism focusing on the work of Michel Foucault. She researches the ways that architecture transforms individuals through the act of exchange; exchange of words, things, bodies and thoughts. She uses writing practices in architecture to explore where history and theory intersect. Currently she is extending the notion of event through the works of Georges Bataille, Gilles Deleuze and Slavoj Žižek.

Research interests: Political philosophy of Michel Foucault; Architecture and politics; Intersection of urban space and event; Architecture of the act of trade; Historiography of Iranian modern architecture and urbanism.

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Ross Jenner

Research interests: Phenomenology, including atmospheres and New Phenomenology; Modern Italian Architecture; Tectonics and materiality; Pacific Spaces; Drawing; Pedagogy.

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Marian Macken

Marian's research examines histories and theories of spatial representation; temporal aspects of architecture; and alternative modes of representation and documentation within spatial practice, with particular interest in the implications and possibilities for architectural drawing and exhibition as design outcome. She trained in architecture, landscape architecture and visual art, receiving a PhD, by thesis and creative work from the University of Sydney. Hence, intersections of ideas and techniques between these disciplines, through practice-based research, is of particular interest.

Research interests: Histories and theories of spatial representation; Temporality and spatial practice; Architecture and the book; Inter-disciplinarity and the design process.

Visit Marian’s profile 
Contact Marian

Manfredo Manfredini

Consistent with his doctoral and post-doctoral studies at the technical universities of Milan and Berlin, Manfredo’s research focuses on the intersections between the historical, critical and projective disciplines of architecture and urbanism. It concerns both theoretical and empirical design aspects of the modern and contemporary periods of continuous change within social, cultural and technological frameworks. His study areas, including both fundamental and applied research, are articulated along complementary axes, addressing transitions in public space, evolution of building typology and morphology, advances in sustainability and resilience in architecture and urbanism, and contemporary design education. 

Research interests: Public space transitions: form and meaning, borders and armatures, enclaves and networks, illusion and displacements in the spatial transitions from the consumerist to the post-consumerist ages; Urban regeneration: recombinant urban processes and post-typological architecture in rapidly evolving historical cities; Architecture as social morphology: processes of differentiation, hybridisation and incrementalism of type, form and identity between modernity and post-modernity; Sustainability in architecture and urbanism: technological frameworks and environment, energy, resilience and preservation in architecture and urbanism.

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Mohsen Mohammadzadeh

Mohsen is an urban planner and designer with 12 years professional experience. He worked in both public and private sectors in Iran and then New Zealand. He has qualifications in Urban and Regional Planning and Design, and Civil Engineering. He specialises in critical urban theory, planning in late capitalism, planning and urban conflicts, globalisation and the emerging global cities, smart city and ethics of big data, transportation and infrastructure planning.

Research interests: Critical Urban Theory; Globalisation and Planning in the Emerging Global Cities; Planning and Urban Conflicts; Smart City, Cybernetic Technology and Ethics of Big Data; Transportation and Infrastructure Planning.

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Sarah Treadwell

Sarah's research involves the representation of nineteenth-century South Pacific and New Zealand architecture and she also writes on contemporary fine art practices that reference architecture. Sarah's recent publications address writing practices that formally engage with architecture. Allied to her research on architectural media is a research project into conditions of oceanic ground undertaken through art practices.

Research interests: Architectural design and drawing; Architectural representation (19th century NZ and Pacific); Issues of gender in architecture; Postcolonial architecture.

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Urban design, spatial planning and place making


Lee Beattie 

Lee is an urban planner and designer with 21 years' professional experience. He has qualifications in urban planning and design, and environmental science. He is currently involved in a number of research projects considering urban growth management, urban design implementation issues and the role of urban design panels in a range of Pacific Rim (Australasian and North American) new world cities.

Lee is actively involved in the urban planning and design profession in New Zealand. He is a member of the New Zealand Planning Institute's Auckland Branch and a rotating Chair on the Institute¹s Membership Panel. He is also a member of the Auckland Council's Urban Design Panel, an Auckland Council Independent Hearing Commissioner, a member of Planning Quarterly (Journal of the New Zealand Planning Institute) and the Salmon Resource Management Act 1991 Editorial Board.

Research interests: Urban design; Urban planning policy development, implementation and evaluation; Growth management and urban design research; Economic development and housing issues.

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Emilio Garcia

The research of Dr. Emilio Garcia has been focused in the application of ecological resilience to urban landscapes. In 2008 he won a Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction. In the last six years he has been researching about resilience in relationship with compactness, adaptability, inequality, inheritance, and processes of persistence and change in built environments. He is currently finishing the book "Unravelling sustainability and resilience in the built environment" with Professor Brenda Vale, that will be published by Routledge in January 2017.

Research interests: Resilience, inequality and affordability; Resilience of compact and disperse urban landscapes; Adaptive change, transformative change and collapse in cities; Panarchy, adaptive cycles, thresholds, and multiple stability states in built environments; Measurement of resilience and heterogeneity of urban landscapes; Resilience and Inheritance. 

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Kai Gu

Kai's research interests lie in urban morphology, urban landscape management and urban design theory and practice. Supported by the British Economic and Social Research Council, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Natural Science Foundation of China, his field-based research has been concerned with aspects of urban coding and planning, urban conservation, and planning and urban design in China. He is also interested in all aspects of contemporary urbanism and in comparative analysis of urban form, having completed such studies of cities in China, New Zealand, Italy and UK.

Research interests: Urban morphology and urban design; Methods of characterising and managing the urban landscape; Urban planning and design of Chinese cities.

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Errol Haarhoff

Research encompasses a number of fields related to urban design and settlement, and architecture and urban history of the modern period. Early research experience involved housing and informal settlement in the context of developing economies in Africa. Building on urban design expertise, more recent research has engaged with urban growth management strategies across new world cities in Australia, New Zealand and West coast North America. Of concern in this research has been the consequences of housing intensification and the delivery of liveable neighbourhoods and communities. Outcomes from this research have contributed case studies of housing intensification to the Auckland Design Manual. How intensification higher density enhances housing satisfaction was the focus of the research project, Future Intensive: Insights for Auckland’s Housing. Current research involves an evaluation of urban design review panels, and participation in a National Science Challenge: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities. Research interest also extends to historic perspectives on urban design, including the Garden City Movement, Modernist urbanism and urban settlement and housing in the context of developing economies. Have supervised PhD candidates with topics that include: small urban places, urban agriculture, urban growth management, green infrastructure, urban crime and place design, urban design in new world cities, and digital media in place-making.

Research interests: Urban Design; Urban Settlement History; Urban Growth Management; Urban Intensification and housing; Modern Architecture History.

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Asif Khan

Asif has been conducting research in urban planning for many years. His broad area of research is infrastructure planning. In the last few years he has focussed on travel behaviour of people, especially the students. He investigated the role of travel plans in educational institutions for achieving sustainable outcomes. He has used both quantitative and qualitative techniques in my research. The methods used under these techniques include questionnaire survey, interviews and focus groups.

Research interests: Transportation planning; Physical and social infrastructure; Public housing; Non-shelter outcomes of housing; Demography.

Visit Asif’s profile
Contact Asif

Manfredo Manfredini

Consistent with his doctoral and post-doctoral studies at the technical universities of Milan and Berlin, Manfredo’s research focuses on the intersections between the historical, critical and projective disciplines of architecture and urbanism. It concerns both theoretical and empirical design aspects of the modern and contemporary periods of continuous change within social, cultural and technological frameworks. His study areas, including both fundamental and applied research, are articulated along complementary axes, addressing transitions in public space, evolution of building typology and morphology, advances in sustainability and resilience in architecture and urbanism, and contemporary design education. 

Research interests: Public space transitions: form and meaning, borders and armatures, enclaves and networks, illusion and displacements in the spatial transitions from the consumerist to the post-consumerist ages; Urban regeneration: recombinant urban processes and post-typological architecture in rapidly evolving historical cities; Architecture as social morphology: processes of differentiation, hybridisation and incrementalism of type, form and identity between modernity and post-modernity; Sustainability in architecture and urbanism: technological frameworks and environment, energy, resilience and preservation in architecture and urbanism.

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Mohsen Mohammadzadeh

Mohsen is an urban planner and designer with 12 years professional experience. He worked in both public and private sectors in Iran and then New Zealand. He has qualifications in Urban and Regional Planning and Design, and Civil Engineering. He specialises in critical urban theory, planning in late capitalism, planning and urban conflicts, globalisation and the emerging global cities, smart city and ethics of big data, transportation and infrastructure planning.

Research interests: Critical Urban Theory; Globalisation and Planning in the Emerging Global Cities; Planning and Urban Conflicts; Smart City, Cybernetic Technology and Ethics of Big Data; Transportation and Infrastructure Planning.

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Dory Reeves 

Dory's research specialisms overlap with sustainability, place making and pedagogy and Maori. They include work in the areas of social sustainability and sustainable urbanisation; gender and urban planning; planning for equality and diversity; inclusive planning; intersectionality and super diversity; preparing professionals to work with Maori; management skills for early career planners; academic literacy. 

Research interests: Social sustainability; Gender and urban planning; Inclusive planning - applying intersectionality; Management skills for planners. 

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Marjorie van Roon

Marjorie’s focus: designing/managing environments to minimise changes to hydrological, sedimentary and ecological regimes. Past research: assessment and prediction of water quality of the Upper Waitemata Harbour following urbanisation: heavy metal pollution from stormwater inputs to the Manukau Harbour. Current research: receiving water and ecological efficacy of Low Impact Urban Design and Development/Water Sensitive Design. Paired catchment investigations compare the ecological state of traditional versus water sensitive residential developments.

Research interests: Low Impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD); Water Sensitive Design and green infrastructure uptake; The aquatic ecosystem health improvement from LIUDD/Water Sensitive Design implementation in residential Auckland; Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem management and restoration; Integrated catchment (watershed) management; Coastal management.

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