NZARI - Science Advisors

  • Contact-image

    Professor Gary Wilson - Special Advisor

    A Professor of Marine Science at the University of Otago, Gary has
    participated in over 35 expeditions to the Antarctic and Subantarctic, and
    attracted more than $20 million in research grants, resulting in 100 scientific
    papers in peer-reviewed journals. Gary’s influence on internationally
    collaborative Antarctic research was acknowledged with a Sir Peter Blake
    Leadership Award in 2006 for his role in bringing together the multinational
    team for the ANDRILL project, which he chaired between 2004 and 2009.
    He has held the Byrd Fellowship at the Ohio State University and the Blaustein
    Visiting Professorship at Stanford University.
  • Contact-image


    Fiona has been involved in Antarctic research for over 14 years and has led field expeditions with both the New Zealand and Australian programmes. Her PhD focused on Antarctic Dry Valley soils and she joined Antarctica New Zealand in 2014. Fiona leads the science team, supporting the delivery of world-class research and the communication of research findings. She is a former Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research fellow and leads New Zealand’s annual Ross Sea Adélie penguin census which began in the early 1980s.



  • Contact-image


    Rebecca has extensive experience in oceanic megafauna research and has been involved in satellite tagging and surveying whales in the Kermadec Islands and Cook Islands. Her Masters of Science focused on predictive habitat modelling and spatial ecology of cetaceans in the South Pacific. Rebecca was a fur seal handler for the Kaikoura State Highway 1 rebuild, and implemented best practices for mitigation. Before joining Antarctica New Zealand in 2018 she was an environmental advisor in the commercial sector on offshore geophysical surveys. Her first trip to Antarctica was in early 2019 where she was part of a research team looking into subglacial calcites.

  • Contact-image


    Esme is an accomplished Antarctic fish researcher and is passionate about communicating science to young people and members of the public. Her PhD focused on how Antarctic fish respond to warming and she spent several field seasons working out of Scott Base. Esme previously worked on education and public programmes at Canterbury Museum, and joined Antarctica New Zealand early in 2019 after nearly 10 years at Plant and Food Research. She is using her research experience to translate science needs into operational plans and support communication initiatives.