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Core LUCI team

Bethanna Jackson, PhD

Lead Scientist and Architect

Bethanna Jackson is an environmental scientist at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). She is the lead scientist and developer of the land management decision support framework and software package LUCI.

Her commitment to advancing prediction and communication of the impacts of land management on natural capital provision has influenced policy as well as the international research community. She is regularly invited to speak to policy makers, and serves as an expert on several international groups tasked with improving ecosystem service predictions, including a role with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) helping to advance the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Experimental Ecosystem Accounting.

Bethanna holds a PhD in Hydrogeochemical Modelling from Imperial College London. Her other research interests include integration of environmental science concepts and models with information theory and signal processing.

Deborah Maxwell, PhD

Research Scientist and Hydrologist

Deborah Maxwell is a post-doctoral fellow working in the field of ecosystem service modelling at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). She is passionate about understanding the physical processes that change and shape the landscape and communicating these in a way that can inform decision making processes, leading to more sustainable outcomes.

With previous corporate experience, specific expertise in LUCI, and wide ranging interests in numerous aspects of ecosystem services (hydrology, soils, conservation), Deborah plays a key role in developing and refining LUCI, specifically its hydrological and temporal features.

Deborah holds a PhD in Hydrology from Victoria University of Wellington. Her thesis developed a predictive rainfall-runoff model for the Lake Taupō catchment, requiring integration between natural processes and the hydro-schemes and controls in the area.

Deborah’s other research interests include the development of real-time flow forecasting models incorporating meteorological forecasts and physically constrained data assimilation. She is a member of the New Zealand Hydrological Society and the American Geophysical Union.

Keith Miller

GIS developer

Keith Miller is the lead GIS developer on the LUCI project. He's being solving problems using Python (mostly arcpy) in the team for more than two years and is passionate about making LUCI's code well-structured, fully-featured and as bug-free as possible. He holds an Honours degree in Mathematics and Computation plus a Postgraduate Diploma in Geographic Information Science from Victoria University.

Previously, Keith solved different types of problems as a website developer for over 10 years using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. He can also juggle four balls and ride a unicycle (although not at the same time).

Rubianca Benavidez

PhD candidate and Research Associate

Rubianca Benavidez is a PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington. She has applied LUCI to a tropical watershed in the Philippine to assess the impacts of land cover on ecosystem services and soil erosion. Her work has also assisted in developing various components in LUCI: soil erosion model, floodplain inundation, and rainfall-runoff model.

Rubianca graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Environmental Science, and did her undergraduate thesis on atmospheric modelling and air pollution. As part of a partnership between Victoria University of Wellington and the University of New South Wales, she was able to do her Masters in Conservation Biology in both New Zealand and Australia, with an internship in remote sensing and identifying flood events in wetlands.

Amy Thomas, PhD

Research Scientist

Amy Thomas is a research assistant at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) in Bangor. She is involved in the Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Project (GMEP) applying LUCI to the whole of Wales, and is also involved in development of the model, with a focus on carbon and representation of soil. Her main research interests are soil physics, greenhouse gas balance, ecosystem services, coding and ArcGIS.

Amy has a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia. Her thesis involved development and application of a process based model to simulate impacts of land use change on ecosystem services, with a focus on perennial energy crops, including GIS analysis of how they might be incorporated into existing energy systems. She also holds an MRes in Management and Modelling of Water from the Civil Engineering department at the University of Liverpool.

Amy has experience in consultancy work with Ambiental, simulating depth based flood maps for the UK. Additional qualifications include an MSc in Palaeoanthropology with a focus on primate social behaviour research and cognitive archaeology.


Stuart Easton

Research Assistant and Python Programmer

Stuart Easton’s Masters in GIS thesis extended the functionality and improved the usability of the beta version of SLIM: the Spatially-explicit LUCI Irrigation Model. The SLIM model  is custom-designed to work within LUCI so it reflects the effects of irrigation. SLIM produces maps to show how efficient and effective an irrigation programme can be in terms of water use. His key activities involved scripting for automated map outputs, and further integrating SLIM with LUCI.

Stuart holds a BSc in Environmental Studies from Victoria University of Wellington. He has experience in orchard management and has spent time as an intern in Wellington City Council’s spatial business intelligence unit.

Monique Beyer

Research Scientist

Monique Beyer’s role in the LUCI team was to review and provide analysis to support national-scale water quantity and quality modeling, with a particular focus on groundwater. Better characterisation of residence times and chemistries will improve predictions of water quality changes - one of New Zealand’s most pressing environmental issues.

Monique's PhD research was conducted at Victoria University of Wellington under Bethanna Jackson and Uwe Morgenstern’s supervision. Monique’s thesis explored new, complementary tracers for robust groundwater dating (focusing on naturally occurring, and two anthropogenic tracers - SF5CF3 and Halon 1301).

Monique holds an MSc in Environmental Engineering, from Danish Technical University, Lyngby (Copenhagen), and a BSc in Environmental and Process Engineering, from Heilbronn, Germany. She has also spent time as a research assistant at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) working on liquid fuel cells.

Tapuwa Marapara

Research Scientist

Tapuwa Marapara used LUCI to as part of his PhD thesis supervised by Bethanna Jackson and Stephen Hartley. Tapuwa evaluated using trees as a restoration and flood mitigation tool in a forested wetlands. He is now assisting with improving how LUCI considers vegetation.

Tapuwa holds a Bachelor of Science (Hon) (Agronomy) from Midlands State University (Zimbabwe, 2008), a Master of Science (Forest Ecosystems, Nature and Society) from Copenhagen University (Denmark, 2010), and a Master of Science (Conservation and Land Management) from Bangor University (United Kingdom, 2011).

Martha Trodahl

Research Scientist

Martha Trodahl has been part of the LUCI team since 2011. Martha has contributed to a variety of sub-projects including research into the Upper Karamu Catchment in Hawkes Bay, and a comparative study of UK and Welsh agri-environmental schemes.

Her PhD focused on improving and parameterising LUCI’s nitrogen and phosphorus water quality modelling, particularly nutrient export from rural productive landscapes in New Zealand. Martha is supported by a Callaghan Innovation Research and Development Fellowship, and Ravensdown, a New Zealand farmer co-operative.

Martha holds an MSc in Physical Geography from Victoria University of Wellington. She is particularly interested in “source-to-sink” problems and untangling the web of variables that influence the export of macronutrients, sediments and other contaminants from catchments.

Although not from an agricultural background, she is keen to assist farmers and land managers to improve environmental performance while maintaining the ability to produce. She and her family are currently working on improving the productivity of their own 600m2 “urban farm”.

Dang Anh Nguyet

Anh is furthering LUCI development through applying the model to the Vietnam Mekong Delta in order to support sustainable management of ecosystem services mainly through nature-based water resources management. Anh aims to use LUCI to map multiple services and identify where synergies exist for win-win solutions that ultimately contribute to sustainability of the delta and local farmers' well-being.

Anh’s research interest is the application of geographic information system and remote sensing in natural resources management. Anh obtained BSc (Honors) in Environmental Sciences from the Vietnam National University (2009) and MSc in Geo‐information science and earth observation application from the University of Twente, The Netherlands (2012). Before moving to VUW for her doctoral project, she worked as a research associate at Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand.

Colleagues and Contributors

Brian Anderson, PHD

Research Scientist

Brian Anderson (Senior Research Fellow) works at Victoria University of Wellington’s Antarctic Research Centre. Brian is a glacial modeller, specialising in using his knowledge of glacier dynamics, mass balance and glacier-climate interactions and mathematical modelling to investigate questions in paleoclimate science and present-day/future climate change. Hiswork for the LUCI project aims to improve our understanding of snow hydrology, extending the applicability of the model beyond temperate climatic zones.

Brian holds a PhD from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

Shaun Astbury

Research Scientist

Shaun Astbury is a spatial analyst at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), based in Bangor, Wales. He contributes to the core development of the LUCI toolbox, acquisition of input data, and the scoping of novel techniques and applications for the continued expansion of the project. He has over six years’ experience of working with the ESRI ArcGIS software package and other GIS systems, and of writing code with the Python programing language.

Shaun obtained an MRes in Ecology and Environmental Management from University of York, UK, with a focus on spatial and quantitative analysis. Shaun has a particular interest in working with open source GIS solutions, and has an ongoing fascination in cartography and data visualisation.

Kremena Burkhard, PhD

Kremena is presently involved in the collaborative project VIWA (Virtual Water Values): Multiscale Monitoring of Global Water Resources and Options for their Efficient and Sustainable Use. Her main responsibilities include the development of water use sustainability indicators stepping on existing frameworks and data availability (from models and other), in order to address the water-related UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

She has previously been involved in the development and testing of LUCI for a case study in Bulgaria, the first LUCI case study in continental Europe. Furthermore, Kremena explored the possibilities of using LUCI in the water and environmental accounting activities within the UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) and other accounting frameworks (as Corporate Water Accounting and Water Footprint).

Her main research interests are are the implementation of different spatial analysis techniques, models, other tools and different data sources for the spatial assessment of ecosystem services and sustainability indicators and the ways they are influenced by changes in the socio-ecological system.

David Cooper, PhD

Research Scientist

Based at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the United Kingdom, David Cooper is a Senior Environmental Modeller with a background in mathematics. David worked closely with Bethanna Jackson applying the LUCI model to the Bassenthwaite catchment in a project funded by Natural England. His key research interests include water quality modelling, particularly in particle tracking techniques for the land component of the hydrological cycle.

David holds a holds a PhD in Statistics from the University of Wales. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a Chartered Mathematician.

Jack Cosby, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Jack Cosby is Group Leader of Integrated Catchment Management and Soil Systems at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK. He has over 35 years of research experience in the U.S., Canada and Europe studying the hydrology and biogeochemistry of soils and natural waters.

His research focuses on development of process-based ecosystem models for catchment soils, low-order streams and small lakes, and coastal and estuarine systems. He uses these models both as tools for increasing scientific understanding of biogeochemical processes, and, through their application at landscape and regional scales, as tools for knowledge transfer and environmental decision-making.

Jack holds a B.S. in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences both from the University of Virginia. In addition to his position at CEH he is Research Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Fellow of Brown College at the University of Virginia, Adjunct Professor in the Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program at Trent University in Canada, and Honorary Research Associate at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland.

Ruzica Dadic, PhD

Research Scientist

Ruzica Dadic (Research Fellow) works at Victoria University of Wellington’s Antarctic Research Centre. Ruzica’s research focuses on different aspects of the energy and mass balance of the cryosphere. Her work for the LUCI project aims to improve our understanding of snow hydrology, extending the applicability of the model beyond temperate climatic zones.

Ruzica holds a PhD from ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). She is currently on maternity leave until September 2016.

Mairéad de Roiste, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Mairéad de Roiste leads the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) programmes at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research interests involve GIS capability and human use of geographic information, with particular expertise in public participation.

She is developing a cultural mapping approach to include features of community and historical interest within LUCI. These features can have a profound impact on whether possible land use scenarios are acceptable to land owners and the community.

Mairead is collaborating with iwi and hapū (tribes/subtribes of New Zealand’s indigenous Māori population) to enable LUCI to honour kaitiakitanga (guardianship) principles and customary use.

Mairéad gained her PhD from from Trinity College, Dublin. 

Bridget Emmett, PhD

Senior Research Scientist and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology lead

Professor Bridget Emmett is Head of Site for the UK Natural Environment Research Council’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology station in Bangor, Wales. She is a biogeochemist and ecosystem scientist with a background in pollution, land management and climate change science. Her research interests include the impact of land management on soils and hydrology, and the role of nitrogen in ecological systems.

Bridget leads the Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme. This programme uses LUCI to pull together a wide variety of information to inform environmental and economic decision making. This work covers water, soil, biodiversity, cultural factors and econometrics. She has also led or contributed to other projects that use LUCI to make the best possible land management decisions.

Bridget holds a PhD in Soil Ecology from the University of Exeter. She is a Fellow of the Society of Biology, a Member of the British Ecological Society, and a Member of the British Soil Science Society.

Damien Farrelly, PhD

Research Scientist

Damien Farrelly is an environmental engineer who worked on developing the carbon accounting ecosystem service within LUCI for application in New Zealand. His work mainly involved assembling look-up tables for LUCI on soil carbon and land cover, based on tier 1 IPCC defaults initially (climate, soil, land cover, land management). This was followed by collating more explicit, local data obtained using New Zealand’s Land Use and Carbon Analysis System (LUCAS) methods for tier 2 IPCC reporting. 

Damien has a keen interest in carbon accounting, carbon mitigation, climate change, environment and sustainability. He has worked as an environmental consultant and has research experience in carbon mitigation using microalgae and biochar.

Damien has a PhD in Biosystems (Environmental) Engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland on the topic of biological carbon mitigation using microalgae. He also has a BE in Biosystems Engineering capturing a range of subjects in food engineering, environmental engineering and renewable energy.

Kevin Norton, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Kevin Norton is a geomorphologist and geochemist, and a member of the Physical Geography faculty at Victoria University of Wellington. His research focuses on understanding and determining processes changing the landscape, such as erosion rates, landslides, slips and soil formation.

Kevin is an authority on how planetary surfaces form and evolve. He draws on expertise across the geosciences, and uses a variety of sophisticated tools including cosmogenic nuclides, geochemical tracers, GIS, surveying, and numerical modelling.

Kevin’s expertise in erosion is greatly enhancing our understanding of how people affect their landscape with respect to freshwater quality, primary production and hazards.

David Robinson

Senior soil scientist

David Robinson is a senior soil scientist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. His research focuses on land, soil and water management, soil natural capital and ecosystem service framework development.

His key role in the LUCI team is providing input and advice on ecosystem service evaluation, soils and soil hydraulics.

David’s contributions to soil science have been recognized by several international awards, for soil physics and soil water management and conservation, awarded by the Soil Science Society of America, for which he was recently selected as fellow. As part of the International Year of Soil he has provided leadership serving as a co-lead author for the world soil resources report compiled for the UN’s intergovernmental technical panel on soils.

David holds a PhD in soil physics from the Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxon, and University. of Ulster, United Kingdom.

Orane Reuland

GIS Web Developer

Orane Reuland is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist. She has worked across many aspects of the field: from technical to project management, from backend to frontend, from database to imagery analysis. She is an experienced trainer, has undertaken development of web mapping, and written GIS procedures for promote successful deployment of GIS technology.

Orane implemented ArcGis Server on the Cloud for LUCI and developed some python scripts for the project. She defined and tested multiple solutions relating to data storage, the implementation of a web map, and geoprocessing services.

Orane holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering (orientation physics) from the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, and a Continuing Education Diploma, Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland.