What our students have gone on to do.

If you’re a Lincoln Conservation & Ecology or Bioprotection & Biosecurity graduate, let us know where your are and what you’re up to.


Carina Pohnke

Bachelor of Science, with an Individual Major (Conservation and Ecology, Environmental Management), Lincoln University

Now studying: Master of Biology, Specialisation in Transnational ecosystem-based Water Management


Carina Pohnke began her studies at Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Environmental Management and Planning with a Major in Conservation and Ecology and transferred to a Bachelor of Science when she realised her particular interest in applied science. “I have always enjoyed the project work and practical components of the ecology courses, especially the field trips! Having the opportunity to work on a topic you enjoy makes the course more interesting and it is easier to learn and apply new principles.”

Through the exposure of field work, GIS skills and undertaking an individual research project in ECOL393, Carina managed to gain a position as a research assistant at Lincoln University after the completion of her Bachelor degree. Carina worked as a GIS Analyst as well as a Field Research Assistant for the Faculty of Environment, Society & Design. “I could apply and expand my GIS skills and gain more field work experience by working in remote areas for extended periods of time.” Carina is now working on preparing a manuscript for the spatial ecology research on New Zealand’s beech forest and presented her undergraduate research at the New Zealand Ecological Society Conference in 2015.

Carina has started her Masters in Europe to specialise further in the field of Water Resources Management by doing an international joint degree in the Netherlands and Germany. “Lincoln University has prepared me well for postgraduate studies and having some work experience helped with my application to study in Europe. I have always had a great interest in water environments, and I am really excited for the opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills in an environment that might tackle these issues differently.”




Tim Sjoberg

Bachelor of Science in Bioprotection and Biosecurity; Master of Science, Lincoln University


Tim Sjoberg was originally a landscaper by profession, but after an injury, he decided he would take a crack at undergraduate study in science, specifically within bioprotection and biosecurity with Lincoln University.

“From speaking with friends and family who work in the primary industries, I took an interest in the importance for New Zealand to remain free from overseas pests, foreign pathogens and harmful diseases to prevent economic disaster.”

Tim graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in science and desired to study further so he took on postgraduate study at Master’s level, graduating with a Master of Science.

Tim has happily worked at Zero Invasive Predators as a research technician, where he researches and gets to work on many great projects that are making a positive impact on New Zealand and the world.

“I get to be a part of that, and I want to keep working in science, especially within conservation or bioprotection.”


Tim Sjoberg (right) in his preferred habitat (the field), with students Justin Lamplough (left) and Denise Ford on our very first field ecology course in the Nina Valley in 2012. Tim worked as a demonstrator on that trip.


Chrissie Painting

Bachelor of Science (Conservation and Ecology) (Hons), Lincoln University; PhD University of Auckland


Chrissie with weevils

Chrissie with the giraffe weevils she studied for her PhD.


Christina Painting was a student at Auckland’s Birkenhead College with a particular interest in organic horticulture, when a careers advisor told her about Lincoln University. After a stint travelling the South Island and volunteering on farms, Chrissie realised she had a more general interest in science and ecology.

“This led me to choose the Bachelor of Science majoring in Ecology and Conservation. I have always been passionate about plants and animals, and this was a great way to combine my love of being outdoors in the bush with the possibility of a career.”

During her studies at Lincoln, Chrissie became increasingly interested in scientific research, insects and their behaviour. After completing her degree with First Class Honours, she was able to expand on her interests by studying towards a PhD at the University of Auckland.  This led to a post-doctoral fellowship at the same institution.

“I completed a post-doctoral position with Greg Holwell, looking at weapon diversity in Neopilionid harvestmen (a very crazy looking group of arachnids). I also lectured in Behavioural Ecology and co-supervised several honours and master’s students working on insect behaviour.”

Lincoln’s emphasis on practical work and getting out into the field has set Chrissie in good stead for her career in science.

“Now that I spend a lot of time doing my own field work and teaching practical skills to undergraduates, I really appreciate that Lincoln set me up to be confident in this way.”

Chrissie’s research has recently been featured on TV news, on science websites and radio shows. Chrissie has been a postdoctoral fellow at the National University of Singapore and is now based at the University of Auckland. You can learn more about Chrissie and her research on her website.


Belinda Margetts (nee Whyte)

Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Canterbury; Doctor of Philosophy, Lincoln University



Belinda inspecting restoration works in the Avon River Precinct


After completing her Honours degree in terrestrial ecology, Belinda worked for over a decade in New Zealand and overseas in terrestrial, marine and freshwater environments, for consultancies and research institutes. Her most notable times were running a marine megafauna project in Mozambique and surveying fish within estuaries of Ireland. Having always wanted to do a PhD, Belinda then decided to undertake her studies at Lincoln University, which appealed to her because of the smaller size, the practical research being undertaken and the friendly teaching environment. She completed a PhD investigating changes in the movement patterns of possums in response to control.

Belinda is now working at the Christchurch City Council, returning to the freshwater environment as their Waterways Ecologist. Her role is to run the waterways monitoring program, and provide internal and external advice on ecology, particularly for resource consents. She loves this role because of the blend of science with policy and management, and the responsibility of being the ‘expert’ in Council. She enjoys having a front-line role in ensuring our effects on waterway environments are mitigated and environments are restored.

Belinda enjoyed her time at Lincoln, particularly the friendships she made with staff there, who were knowledgeable, respectful, engaging and approachable. She believes her PhD project not only made her a competitive candidate for her current job, but having worked for a decade before her PhD, she believes she approaches work in a much more effective and knowledgeable way due to her PhD experience.

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