Erskine News and Events

Erskine Programme News


Professor Patrick Flood from Dublin City University visited UC as an Erskine Fellow in Semester 2 2017. Professor Flood's thoughts about his time at UC were captured in a blog which can be read here.

2016 Visiting Canterbury Fellow, former UK MP Austin Mitchell's visit to UC resulted in a new book published by Canterbury University Press. The book, titled "Revenge of the Rich: The Neoliberal Revolution in Britain and New Zealand", discusses neo-liberal ideology in both countries (July 2017).

Visiting Erskine Fellow Professor Mark Turnbull held a "Magic of Chemistry" show for over 300 people, most of whom were from local schools (June 2017).

'Making Sense of moves and the world' an interview in The Press featuring Canterbury Fellow, Professor Daniel Bernardi from San Francisco State University (May 2017)

2017 Visiting Fellows Find out more about the Visting Fellows who will come to the University of Canterbury under the Erskine Programme during 2017. The list is prepared as at February 2017 (156kb).

We will be welcoming 52 Fellows during Semester 1 2017; this is the largest number of visitors through the Erskine Programme in a single semester. We look forward to welcoming all our Visiting Fellows and their families to UC.

Applications for 2018 visits for the Canterbury, Cambridge and Oxford Academic Exchange Programme will open in February 2017.


The University of Canterbury's Te Reo programme in Aotahi: School of Maori and Indigenous Studies welcomes its first ever Visiting Canterbury Fellow, Dr Te Raukura Roa, to UC. Dr Roa (Waikato-Tainui), from the University of Hawaii at Manoa will teach in UC's postgraduate Te Reo Te Kohure course.You can read an article about Dr Roa published in Chronicle (He Kupu Whakamahara) here

Canterbury Visting Fellow Austin Mitchell makes a return to the University of Canterbury and New Zealand

Erskine Visting Fellows Professors Suzanne Baldwin and Paul Fitzgerald visited the Department of Geological Sciences teaching and researching Earth Sciences.

Canterbury Visiting Fellow, Austin Mitchell, talks about his book and later TV series The Half Gallon, Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise which looks at politics and culture in New Zealand.

Cambridge/Canterbury and Oxford/Canterbury Academic Exchange Programme 2016 visits.

Recipients of a Cambridge/Oxford Visiting Fellowship or Grant during 2016 are:

Visits to the University of Canterbury in 2016 (Fellowships)

  • Dr Jennifer Wallace from the University of Cambridge will visit the Departments of Classics and English Literature;
  • Professor Julian Dowdeswell from the University of Cambridge will join Gateway Antarctica;
  • Dr Thomas Forster from the University of Cambridge will join the School of Mathematics and Statistics; and
  • Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson from the University of Oxford will visit the Department of Classics.

Visits from the University of Canterbury in 2016 (Grants)

  • Dr Patrick O’Sullivan from the Department of Classics to the University of Cambridge;
  • Dr Debra Wilson from the School of Law to the University of Cambridge;
  • Professor Peter Roberts from the School of Educational Studies and Leadership will visit the University of Oxford; and
  • Dr Xiaoming Wu from the School of Language, Social and Political Sciences will visit the University of Oxford.

In additional both Dr O’Sullivan and Dr Wilson have each been awarded a Rutherford Visiting Scholarship at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge


Dr Jenny Macleod, visiting Humanities and Creative Arts in July, says the difference between how Australia and New Zealand look at Anzac Day could be borne out of the fact that New Zealand, unlike Australia, had sent men to fight overseas as representatives of the country before Gallipoli.

Professor Tom O'Rourke visiting Civil & Natural Resources Engineering from Cornell University, USA, is teaching a course at University of Canterbury which focuses on case histories of extreme events, such as earthquakes, their effects on infrastructure, and ways to develop resilient communities through improved system performance. He is also doing research with UC staff on the effects of earthquake-induced ground movement on buildings and facilities critical for the safety and wellbeing of communities through New Zealand.

Dr Christina Atanasova visiting Economics and Finance from Simon Fraser University, Canada, together with Dr Kuntal Das, a Canterbury economics and finance lecturer are analysing the asset allocation decisions being made by people who invest in Kiwisaver. Dr Atanasova says they want to find out if super scheme plan participants are making the best choices in their savings.

Associate Professor Robert Mohr visiting the Department of Economics and Finance from the University of New Hampshire, USA taught a University of Canterbury summer course looking at how the climate change debate has switched from the sciences to business, economics and law. He says the debate is about what policies and international architectures are best to address in climate change - and that is an area of economics.


Professor Gary Froyland visiting the Department of Mathematics and Statistics from the University of New South Wales, Australia is one of a group of UNSW mathematicians and oceanographers who have developed a model that could reveal who is to blame for litter in the floating garbage patches in the world’s oceans.

Erskine Programme office on the move

The Erskine Programme moved back into Matariki-Registry Building on 7 August 2014. We will be located in the southwest corner of Level 5.

Cambridge/Canterbury Academic Exchange awards for 2015:

Professor Elizabeth Toomey from the School of Law has been awarded a Cambridge Grant and aaccompanying Rutherford Scholarship to visit the Cambridge Faculty of Law in 2015.

Visiting Cambridge Fellowships at Canterbury in 2015 have been awarded to:
Dr Kristine Black-Hawkins, Faculty of Education, to visit the Schools of Educational Studies and Leadership, Teacher Education and Health Sciences; Dr David Wilson of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology to visit Chemical and Process Engineering; Professor William Milne, Department of Engineering to visit the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Oxford/Canterbury Academic Exchange awards for 2015:

Grants to visit the University of Oxford in 2015 have been awarded to Professor Jeremy Finn, School of Law, visiting Oxford Faculty of Law, and Dr Brigid McNeill, School of Teacher Education visiting Oxford Experimental Psychology. Professor Craig Jeffrey, Department of Geography University of Oxford, will be visiting UC Department of Geography as a Visiting Oxford Fellow.


Associate Professor Sue Conger, from University of Dallas will give a public lecture to help organisations perfect their IT service desk for the public good. She says service desks are critical within organisations and also for companies for their user communities.

Professor Michael Metzler, a professor of physical education teacher education at Georgia State University, is regarded by his international peers as an influential leader in children’s physical health. His public lecture focused on what schools could do to increase children’s physical activity as advocated by the US Institute of Medicine in their 2013 report.

Professor Bill Hsiao, from Harvard University in Boston, who has been an adviser to three US presidents, gave a public lecture on campus about the challenges facing the New Zealand health care system. He says New Zealand has an admirable health care system, but is facing severe challenges.

Professor Pete Convey, of the British Antarctic Survey, says that Antarctica was protected from human contact until about a century ago but the threat of biological invasions continues to grow. For the last 100 years or so, humans have deliberately and accidentally carried all sorts of organisms around with them on the ice, he says. Read more...

Professor Peter Newman, who visited the Department of Geography in 2013, produced a documentary film about Christchurch's rebuild, which will be premiered in 2014. Professor Newman made the film with Professor Tim Beatley, from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, to show the world how important are the many signs of hope that have been happening in Christchurch. Read more...


Dr Amy Milton from the University of Cambridge is examining memory reconsolidation, which underlies memory persistence and the updating of memories at retrieval.

The Cambridge scientist has found that by disrupting or erasing memories associated with drug use during recall she could prevent the memories from triggering relapses and further drug-taking. Read more...

Professor James Goff from the University of New South Wales in Sydney says local and regional authorities are still only just waking up to the fact that their coastlines are exposed but they don't really know how bad things could be when a tsunami hits New Zealand’s shores.

Chemical physicist Dr Claire Vallance earned her PhD at UC before going to Oxford to lecture in chemistry. She has returned this semester as a Visiting Oxford Fellow, which is part of the Erskine programme. Dr Vallance is researching medical imaging to help in the treatment of cancer and other disease.

Professor Mary Comerio, an architectural professor from the University of California, Berkeley, says Christchurch’s rebuild is a once in a lifetime opportunity and challenge for students and professionals across a range of disciplines to help reshape a new city.

Oxford/Canterbury Academic Exchange:

Grants to visit the University of Oxford in 2014 have been awarded to Dr Jedrzej Bialkowski, Department of Economics and Finance, Dr William Hopkins, School of Law and to Associate Professor Ray Kirk, School of Health Sciences. Professor Helen Byrne from the Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics will visit University of Canterbury's Mathematics and Statistics as a Visiting Oxford Fellow.

Cambridge/Canterbury Academic Exchange:

Grants to visit the University of Cambridge in 2014 have been awarded to Professor Ursula Cheer of the School of Law and Professor Garry Hornby of the School of Sport and Physical Education. The University of Cambridge have awarded both Professor Cheer and Professor Hornby a Rutherford Scholarship.

Dr Jeff Johnson, visiting the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering has kindly offered to share his amazing photographs of New Zealand


According to Visiting Erskine Fellow Professor Simon Gächter, experimental economics can shed light on the “social side” of human economic behaviour. Professor Gächter shared his views in a “What if Wednesday” lecture at the University of Canterbury on 8 August 2012.

Professor Russell Green arrived 20th June to take up an 'Earthquake Special' Visiting Erskine Fellowship. Professor Green is on the faculty of Virginia Tech located in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. His area of expertise is Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, and he was the US lead for the National Science Foundation-sponsored post-earthquake reconnaissance teams that came to New Zealand following the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquake. In this capacity he partnered with the faculty from both the University of Canterbury and the University of Auckland to document the damage that occurred during these events; such documentation is extremely valuable for improving engineering design and analysis procedures. Professor Green will at the University of Canterbury until the end of August.

Professor Ben du Boulay, Visiting Erskine Fellow in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering for four months, is an expert in artificial intelligence in education from Sussex University, United Kingdom.
Prof Ben du Boulay “Artificial intelligence could be a huge help to teachers in the classroom. I don’t see a future where we have replaced teachers with computers but I think there are times when a teacher is trying to divide attention between a lot of kids and specially designed computer programmes can help fill that gap,” he says.



It took Erskine Fellow Professor Paulo Ribeiro 24 years to make it to the University of Canterbury but he says it has well and truly lived up to his expectations.


The arts and cultural experiences could play a positive role in the regeneration and rebuilding of Christchurch says Visiting Canterbury Fellow Professor Richard Gough. Read more...


Teaching into the undergraduate programme on his first Erskine visit to the University of Canterbury in 2007 was the catalyst for a number of successful research collaborations, says return Erskine Fellow Professor Jonathan Fannin from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada.


Research carried out by Visiting Erskine Fellow Dr Jonathan Pitchford and Department of Mathematics and Statistics members Dr Alex James and Dr Michael Plank during the Fellowship September-December 2011 has recently been published in Nature.

Dr Pitchford says "This was a new research area for all of us, and I am certain that this work would not have happened without the time and support given to me by UC, and by the Erskine programme in particular. Thank you once more for making it such an enjoyable and productive experience."