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Postgraduate Students Association
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Waikato PGSA Executive

Dee Holmes

President: Dee Holmes

Faculty of Law

Dee is a PhD student in the Faculty of Law. Her research examines estate claims under the Family Protection Act 1955 with specific reference to the “moral duty” test owned by the will-maker to beneficiaries. Her research areas include judicial discretion, therapeutic jurisprudence, asset and estate planning, succession, and moral obligations.

Carlos  Romero Villarreal

Vice president: Carlos Romero Villarreal

School of Engineering

Carlos is a PhD student in the School of Engineering. He came to New Zealand in 2016, after finishing his bachelor and master’s studies in Spain. His research is focused on increasing the lifetime of affordable titanium alloys under cyclic loads. He is interested in aerospace, mechanical and materials engineering, especially in the fields of processing and mechanical behaviour of structural materials and biomaterials.

Aref Shams

Treasurer: Aref Shams

Faculty of Law

Aref is a first year PhD student in the Faculty of Law. His PhD is focused on trans-boundary environmental harm in the Middle East, and his wider research interests include legal aspects of pressing issues concerning the Muslim world. Prior to his PhD he completed his LLB with First Class Honours at the University of Waikato.

Fai Tongdethsri

Secretary: Fai Tongdethsri

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Fai is currently a second-year PhD student in Political Science. Her research topic focuses on notions of sustainability in climate change adaptation policy in Thailand. She is a Golf Scholar on the Sir Edmund Hillary Programme and as a recipient of the Step Higher Award has fundraised for the Himalayan Trust and trekked in Nepal. Through her cultural clubs, outdoor/sporting activities and volunteering work she enjoys interacting with people. Although she is of Thai ethnicity and an avid traveler, she finds NZ as her base.

Executive Members

Brendan Sheridan

Brendan Sheridan

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Brendan is a PhD student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. His research entails examining fictional (film, novel, and theatre) representations of the New Zealand Land Wars and how the historical and fictional representations interact over time. He has a number of other research interests including post-colonial narratives, folklore, fantasy literature and global history. His non-academic interests include rugby, kayaking, reading, films, and is a private tutor/esol teacher.

Daniela Aguilar Abaunza

Daniela Aguilar Abaunza

Faculty of Law

Daniela Aguilar is a PhD student in the Faculty of Law. She is from Colombia and came to New Zealand in 2017. She is currently researching the role of law in emerging technologies which enables electricity consumers to produce and manager their own electricity needs. Her area of interest includes energy law and policy and the mining sector.

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