Land resources were a defining part of my childhood growing up in the Manawatu. My Grandparents’ Pohangina farm was governed by the high erodibility of the sand gullies, whereas down home it was the dense Pallic soils which ran the show. On our Taupo holidays it was the pumice soils that captured my attention, in those long hours waiting to hook the big trout!
Originally I left to study Landscape Architecture at Lincoln Uni, but drifted off to work for a few years. Returning to study in the mid 1990’s I stumbled on soil science, and the light bulb clicked on! At last I’d found something that I felt at home with. In the late 1990’s I headed first to work on completing the regional lowland soil survey for Southland, then joined Landcare Research to complete the Otago region. In the mid 2000’s I returned to Lincoln to complete my PhD in soil water physics, before returning to Landcare in 2009.
My work now is split between pedology and soil physics work, across a range of collaborative multi-agency projects. Part of my time is also teaching in the Lincoln University Soil and Physical Sciences Department. Thankfully my soil science light bulb that flicked on 20 years ago is still gaining more energy, as I keep learning each new fascinating aspect of the world under our feet and the great influence it has on human society.