Fellows – 2015


Ellen Ashenden – Urban design and co-operative building models Mid-term Report
Ellen holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture (Hons1) from the University of Auckland (2010). Since graduation, Ellen worked in urban design roles within local government and in private consultancy. In a voluntary capacity, Ellen has contributed to Architecture for Humanity, and the NZIA Urban Issues Group. She has particular interest in urban regeneration, housing typologies, and public space activation. Ellen will study a Master of Science in Germany, her thesis will investigate co-operative building development models in Berlin and test this process within the New Zealand urban context as one solution to enable more affordable housing.

Elizabeth Chan – Law  Mid-term Report
Elizabeth is currently studying for a Master of Laws (LLM) at Yale Law School, specialising in international investment law, international commercial arbitration and international human rights. In addition to the NZFGW Fellowship, she holds a Fulbright Scholarship and a New Zealand Law Foundation Ethel Benjamin Scholarship. After graduating with an LLB (Hons)/BA from the University of Auckland, Elizabeth clerked at the Supreme Court of New Zealand in 2012-2013. She has previously worked for the Crown Law Office, Simpson Grierson, Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong) and has undertaken a research scholarship at the Australian National University.

Ruth Cunningham – Public health Mid-term Report
Ruth’s first degrees were in medicine and philosophy from Otago University. After several years in clinical practice, and completing specialist training in Public Heath Medicine, Ruth is now part way through her PhD in Public Health at the University of Otago in Wellington. Ruth’s PhD examines cancer survival in the context of severe mental illness, aiming to better understand the factors which influence the physical health of people with experience of mental illness. Ruth plans to travel to Kings College in London as part of her PhD study to work with colleagues also examining cancer survival for this group.

Emily Douglas –Marine Ecology Mid-term Report
Emily completed a BSc in Biology and Geography the University of Canterbury, followed by an MSc in Marine Science at the University of Auckland’s Leigh Marine Laboratory. She has returned to study after working as a Marine Ecology teaching and research technician at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland. Emily is now mid-way through a PhD in biology at the University of Waikato. Her topic is Resilience and Response of Estuaries to Nutrient Enrichment, and focuses on understanding how soft sediment ecosystem process nitrogen.

Elyse Dunn – New drug against TB
Elyse’s research is focused on characterizing type II NADH dehydrogenase (NDH-2), a new drug target for Tuberculosis (TB). TB is a bacterial disease that kills 1.3 million people per year and the emergence of resistant organisms makes the need for new therapeutics urgent. She is currently in the final year of her PhD study at the University of Otago and is due to finish in 2015. This fellowship will go towards funding surface plasmon resonance (SPR) chips, which will aid in characterizing NDH-2 and finding new inhibitors to treat TB infection.

Rebecca Gray: Mechanical Engineering  Mid-term Report
Rebecca completed her undergraduate tuition the University of Canterbury, graduating in 2014 with a BE (Hons). She is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Princeton University in the US, specialising in Dynamics and Control Systems. Rebecca is interested in biological applications of dynamic modelling, such as collective decision making and coordination. In this, the first year of her PhD, Rebecca is preparing for her qualifying examinations. In addition to the Fellowship, Rebecca holds a Fulbright Scholarship and the John R Templin Travelling Scholarship.

Melissa Hammer -Law
Melissa has an LLB (Honours) degree from the University of Otago. She now aims to attain a Masters in Law at a prestigious US or UK university. Through her jobs as both a Judges’ Clerk and currently Crown prosecutor and insolvency litigator, Melissa has an interest in systematic development and improvement of the Court system, decision makers and the administration of justice. She intends to undertake a taught based LLM in this area, specifically consideration of the impact of the digital age on the viability of the jury.

Ha Rim Lee- Language and Linguistics, second language  Mid-term Report
Ha Rim is currently a PhD student in Applied Language Studies and Linguistics at the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics at University of Auckland in New Zealand. She majored in Linguistics at University of Otago and completed her MA in English Language as a Foreign Language Education at Seoul National University in the Republic of Korea.  As a bilingual resident, Ha Rim has a keen interest in the area of learning and teaching English as a second/foreign language. Her major areas of research include second language acquisition, second language interaction, and spoken second language production and development.

Kate Oswin –Performance music Mid-term Report
Kate is a performance music graduate of the New Zealand School of Music, having completed a BMus (Hons) First Class in classical violin performance. Kate has now begun a Master of Arts at the Royal Academy of Music, an affiliate university of the University of London. Her course involves both solo and group performance, with a strong emphasis on learning from and collaborating with leading European musicians. She is front desk of the First Violins for upcoming performances with the Academy Symphony Orchestra and Academy String Orchestra, and is studying with Remus Azoitei, a former pupil of legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Kalinka Rexer-Huber – Conservation biology Mid-term Report
Kalinka is an early-career conservation biologist with a background in ecology and a passion for Southern Ocean ecosystems. Her Masters of Science in Zoology at Otago University was followed by work on a series of South Atlantic and Southern Ocean islands. That research focused on ecology and conservation management issues.  To build her skills as a conservation biologist, she returned to Otago University to start a PhD which centres around white-chinned petrels (Procellaria aequinoctialis),the most-caught seabird in fisheries bycatch. Kalinka investigates conservation management questions about population numbers, tracking, taxonomy and the origin of fisheries bycatch birds.

Kiri Toki – Law
Of Ngāti Wai and Ngāpuhi descent, Kiri was raised on Great Barrier Island. She is currently a solicitor in the litigation team at Chapman Tripp. Kiri holds a BA/LLB(Hons) degree from the University of Auckland where she won a number of scholarships and prizes, including the Auckland Women’s Lawyers scholarship.  She has also tutored various law and arts papers, including contract law and Māori Society taught by Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond.  She is passionate about the Māori economy and intends to study for a Masters in Law at Harvard, New York University, or Arizona University.

Rachael Wood – Chemical and Process Engineering, blood sugar controls for diabetes Mid-term Report
Rachael graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2013 with First Class Honours in Chemical and Process Engineering with a minor in Bioprocess Engineering. Her honours project involved developing a new method to make blood sugar controls for diabetes patients. Rachael has just commenced study at University College London where her PhD will look at mammalian cells. It has been found that these cells are more stable at lower temperatures, so she will be looking at whether growing cells at a lower temperature has a negative impact on the protein products.

Hannah Yiu – Law Mid-term Report
Hannah Yiu holds a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland and is currently enrolled for a Master of Laws at the University of Cambridge. She received Senior Prizes in both of her undergraduate degrees and was the Editor-in-Chief of the 2008 Auckland University Law Review. Hannah was the joint winner of the NZLSA National Mooting Competition in 2008 and represented New Zealand at the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in 2009. Formerly a Judges’ Clerk of the Auckland High Court and an Auckland Crown prosecutor, she intends to focus her studies on public and criminal law.