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Student story

Gareth Taylor

20 July 2023

"Studying science taught me to self-learn and apply learnings quickly…"


Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biological Sciences

Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Environmental Science

PhD in Environmental Science

Senior Environmental Consultant and Director, Taylor Collaborations

When it comes to career planning, Gareth Taylor has a simple strategy – "follow your interests".

It’s an approach that’s paid off. After finishing Burnside High School, he enrolled in a Bachelor of Science at University of Canterbury, and went on to earn a PhD in Environmental Science.

"I ended up doing Environmental Science because that’s what I was interested in, and that’s mostly how my career has developed too – ultimately, I decided to follow my interests towards environmental consulting."

Gareth now leads a world class team of engineers, scientists and planners at Jacobs – one of the world’s largest construction and engineering companies.

"Our projects include large scale infrastructure design, environmental assessments, and strategic advisory for clients. I also have project roles in areas of environmental management, project management and ecology, and manage a number of projects in flood management that evaluate earthquake effects on flooding and how best to resolve flood risk in Christchurch."

Being able to help in the rebuild of his home city after a series of devastating earthquakes is one of the highlights of his career. He’s also proud to lead a great team of people who are providing long-term benefits for people and communities all over the world.

The work is diverse and varied and involves a high amount of problem solving and ability to think on your feet – all skills he honed while studying science at UC.

"Studying science taught me to self-learn and apply learnings quickly. It gives you a chance to get outside and the skills learnt are adaptable to many different areas."

Gareth’s advice to anyone considering studying science? It’s the same recipe that worked for him.

"Do what interests you firstly – there’s no point studying something you don’t like doing."

From there, it’s up to you.

"The exact topic is not the ultimate decider of your career, personal attributes are equally as important."

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