Credit: Dave Allen NIWA

Posted on 25 February 2020

Haere mai to several new faces

We are committed to sharing our research, and engaging, with Māori and stakeholders, so are pleased to welcome Gemma Couzens, Martin de Beer, Charlotte Panton and Ursula Rojas-Nazar who are all directly supporting these aspects of our work.

Gemma Couzens, Engagement Facilitator (Government)

Gemma is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Transport, focusing on international and domestic maritime emissions. She has been involved with Sustainable Seas research since July 2017, particularly as a vital team member on the Interagency collaboration on cumulative effects project and helping co-develop our new Blue economy theme.

Gemma has valuable industry, regulatory and policy experience. She previously worked in the offshore wind industry in the UK and Germany. Since moving to New Zealand 7 years ago she has worked on EEZ resource management and policy at the EPA and MfE.

Gemma is based in Wellington, and is seconded to Sustainable Seas one day a week.

Martin de Beer, Engagement Facilitator (Business)

Martin is the Principal of consultancy SeaWolf NZ. He has more than 25 years experience of the seafood sector for both government and industry perspectives, as well as management experience for operations, projects, stakeholders and finance.

Martin’s fisheries and aquaculture experience began at MAF Fisheries (now MPI/Fisheries New Zealand) working on fisheries administration, operational policy, and compliance and monitoring, before becoming Regional Registry Manager (North). He moved into the private sector as a vessel manager, then industry liaison manager, at Sanford. Martin then worked overseas in the pharmaceutical industry before returning to Sanford as Pacific Tuna Manager to set-up and manage a new offshore fishing business unit, before becoming the Manager for Sales & Operations Planning.

Martin is based in Auckland, and will be working part time.

Charlotte Panton, Communications Advisor

Charlotte has a Master of Science Communication and a BSc in zoology and psychology from the University of Otago. She previously worked in local government communications at Otago and Greater Wellington regional councils.

She also has aquaculture industry experience, spending three years as the Operations Room Supervisor on a cultured pearling vessel in the Timor Sea, off the coasts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Charlotte is based in Wellington, and is fulltime.

Ursula Rojas-Nazar, Synthesis Scientist

Ursula joins us from the Ministry of Education, where she was a Regional Analyst for Taranaki, Whanganui and Mānawatu. Her previous experience includes coastal and marine conservation, fisheries management, assessing sustainable economic value, as well as economic and social research for both government and non-government projects.

As part of her research into economic, social and biological coastal-marine projects in Chile and New Zealand, Ursula collaborated with fishing groups, local communities, businesses and government. Her PhD focused on the social, economic and biological impacts of New Zealand marine reserves. At the Ministry of Education she provided data analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and risk impact assessment and prioritisation.

Ursula is on the committee of the Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance (APPA) kaupapa, which aims to prevent plastic pollution in Aotearoa and the South Pacific and help restore the mauri of Papatūānuku and Tangaroa. She also does environmental volunteer work, giving talks to the community and scientific advisories of Māori communities.

Ursula will be based in Wellington, and is working fulltime from 17 March.

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