The opportunity to study Anthropology at UC was too good to miss for Bret, who had moved from Alberta, Canada to Christchurch with his partner.
'I've always had an interest in traditional cultures… The way they use resources, particularly plants and animals; the various belief systems that are out there; the way they live their lives in general, and how that can differ completely from our own way – that's what I enjoy about Anthropology.'
Bret decided to study Anthropology to degree level after taking a course in Ethnobotany, focusing on the relationship between people and plants.
'UC has a good Cultural Anthropology programme and, from the looks of it, is going some way to creating an Environmental Anthropology programme which I think might be the first in New Zealand.'
Bret praises the teaching he has experienced at UC, saying that his lectures are stimulating and varied.
'The professors at UC are really good. They've done lots of field work so they usually have some interesting stories and photos from this.'
He adds that Anthropology is a great subject for students to develop their own thinking.
'Always have an open mind. There are some amazing cultures out there, and they all come from a different viewpoint.'
When he isn't busy with his studies, Bret likes to spend time outside, exploring his interest in people and plants on a more personal level.
'I enjoy working in my garden, or as I like to call it, small-scale farming. We've crafted a few batches of apple cider and now have our eyes set on trying some brewing out – but we are looking at it from a more traditional and experimental view,' he says. 'We also go tramping, rock climbing, skiing in the winter and kayaking when we can.'