Inaugural Chair in Coastal Science for Bay of Plenty appointed

13 September 2010

Chris Battershill

Dr Chris Battershill: Dr Battershill is an expert on marine ecology and environmental science.

The University of Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Council are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Chris Battershill as the inaugural Chair in Coastal Science for the Bay of Plenty.

An expert on marine ecology and environmental science, Dr Battershill is currently Principal Scientist and Research Team Leader (Supporting Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity) at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Acting Chief Executive Mary-Anne Macleod says the appointment is the result of a joint memorandum of agreement between the Council and the University to establish the role, prioritising coastal science in the Bay of Plenty.

“We are very pleased with the appointment and look forward to having Dr Battershill involved in many of our coastal and estuary science initiatives,” Ms Macleod said. “We made a careful decision to contribute funding for this role as we see sound science as very important for the development of our region and in particular the management of Tauranga Harbour,” she said. 

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford said the establishment of the position is evidence of the university’s commitment to working with key stakeholders in the Bay of Plenty to deliver world-class teaching and research.

“The appointment of Dr Battershill will serve to further strengthen ties between the university and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council by addressing issues such as the pressure on Tauranga Harbour as more people live in and do business in the area,” Professor Crawford said. “It will help further consolidate our strong relationships with regional and local bodies, community groups and iwi in the area.”

He said Waikato University has researched the Bay of Plenty coast and its estuaries since the 1970s.

“Thanks to this important funding from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council we can continue to deliver results for the harbour and region,” he said.

The new Chair is an integral part of the INTERCOAST programme, established by Waikato University and Bremen University in Germany to create a major centre of marine research excellence in the Bay of Plenty.

Dr Battershill holds BSc, MSc(Hons) and PhD degrees from the University of Auckland, and a Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is currently Adjunct Professor at both the University of Western Australia and James Cook University. He is expected to take up the position early next year.

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