Dr Tanya O’Neill is a Lecturer in Soil and Environmental Sciences at the University of Waikato and teaches both undergraduate and graduate students. Born in the Horowhenua region, Tanya developed her passion for soil science at Massey University where she completed a BSc and MSc (Hons). After enjoying a taste of research she worked in the Environmental Chemistry Lab at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and in 2008 was awarded the inaugural Murray Jessen Memorial Doctoral Scholarship to carry out a PhD programme. Tanya moved to the Waikato to work with Dr Megan Balks investigating the impacts of human activities on the Antarctic terrestrial environment, and rates of soil recovery, and has been based in the Waikato since. She has had six trips to Antarctica and is currently working on a number of national and international Antarctic-related collaborations, has contributed to policy decisions on environmental management issues, and most recently involved in an effort to undertake a baseline survey of the Scott Base environment before the major redevelopment of the New Zealand base.
Tanya is married to Trev Rhodes, the General Manager of a construction company in Hamilton, and they spend their weekends enjoying the outdoors. Tanya and Trev scuba-dive, fish and mountain bike together, and her other interests include cooking, gardening, travel, and cracking the whip when she instructs indoor cycling classes at the Waikato University rec centre!
This is Tanya’s first term on the NZSSS council and she hopes to bring energy and enthusiasm to the team and is keen to engage with, and promote the care of our important soil resource, to the widest possible audience.