Position: Professor University of Canterbury, researcher, company director, consultant, Eco Research Associates Ltd.
Field: Biological sciences, with a focus on the environment and working with Māori communities.
Dr Shaun Ogilvie Ngāti Awa (Ngāti Pukeko), Te Arawa (Ngāti Whakahemo) is passionate about being able to help people with new information and ideas. He runs his own business as an environmental consultant who advises communities on environmental issues. Shaun consults with a number of organisations including the Cawthron Institute (Nelson), the Environmental Protection Authority (Wellington) and Lincoln University.
Shaun is particularly interested in research projects that support Māori community aspirations to sustainably manage the environment and natural resources. This research ranges from pest animal management (for example, coming up with new tools for controlling possums) to environmental safety (for example, assessing the risks to people of toxins in the environment).
As a child, Shaun was always curious about how things worked and loved being out and about in nature. It was therefore natural for him to study environmental science. Shaun began with a BSc at the University of Otago (where he made lots of great friends and participated in lots of great parties while he was at it!). He then did an MSc, also at the University of Otago, where he explored some ways of cleaning up polluted lakes. Following this, Shaun worked for about 3 years as a research scientist at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. He then did his PhD on mussel farming with NIWA (the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) through the University of Canterbury. Shaun had always wanted to work in an area where he could learn new things about the world around him, and this path of study has allowed him to do just that.
It’s a fantastic feeling to be the first in the world to discover something new.
In 2021 Professor Ogilvie – formerly an Adjunct Associate Professor of the University of Canterbury – was appointed as the Kaihautū Ngātahi | Co-Director Māori of the National Science Challenge Biological Heritage, a role he will bring to the University of Canterbury. Since 2021 he has also been Professor of Ecology and Environment at the University of Canterbury.
Shaun is a keen sportsperson, having played many different sports. His favourite sports at the moment are golf and being a fan for his son’s rugby team. He’s also keen on music and has been in a number of bands. He plays lead, rhythm and bass guitar.
This article is based on information current in 2023.
Download Shaun's profile from the New Zealand Association of Science Educators (NZASE).