Wananga landing Wananga landing
Student story

Roseanna Gamlen-Greene

20 July 2023

"There’s a lot of exciting and innovative research that’s being carried out all the time at UC..."


Keen to get a general background in science, Roseanna chose to come to UC for undergrad because “it offers interesting, well-taught courses across many areas of science.”

“I love that I’ve been able to take a range of subjects over the course of my degree,” she says. “I’ve taken courses in Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Maths.

“I’m a scientist because I want to know how the world around us works, and I want to have the knowledge and tools to help solve real-world problems.

“My aim is to be able to do research which excites me and hopefully makes significant contributions to the scientific and general community at the same time.”

Roseanna made a flying start in developing her research skills and experience by winning two UC Summer Research Scholarships. These saw her investigate how plants are affected by earthquake liquefaction, and model the distribution of a native snail that is invasive overseas.

Roseanna’s honours research investigated the role of marine subsidies (an independent resource input from one system to another) in freshwater ecosystems brought to the mainland by nesting seabirds and seals.

To find out more about Roseanna’s past and current research, check out her website.

“If you look around you, there’s a lot of exciting and innovative research that’s being carried out all the time at UC,” she says, urging fellow students to “be assertive and find out what’s happening in your field which excites you – both inside and outside university”.

There was just as much going on for Roseanna away from study while at UC. When she wasn’t running between lectures, labs and tutorials, or helping out with BioSoc (UC Biology club) and “catching up with friends in between all the craziness”, Roseanna was busy establishing herself as a singer-songwriter. “Another thing I liked about UC is being so close to the outdoors – I love tramping, cycling, running, ocean swimming and football.”

With her experiences from UC, Roseanna took on the challenge of a PhD in Conservation Biology at the University of British Columbia in Canada. She worked with local communities on a remote archipelago in British Columbia (Haida Gwaii) to: discover how to best protect the only native amphibian there (Western toad); conduct genomic analyses to compare to mainland toads; and to investigate the spread of an introduced frog (Northern red-legged frog) and discover whether it was having a negative impact on the native toad.  Alongside her PhD research, she also carried out an extensive public outreach program, working with the Council of the Haida Nation (the indigenous people on Haida Gwaii), provincial and federal agencies - including BC Parks, Parks Canada and the Ministry of Forests, and elementary and high schools in the area. She also involved non-profit organizations and local people - including farmers. She started a citizen science monitoring program, see here: She received a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship towards her PhD research, Canada’s most prestigious natural science PhD scholarship, and an Early Career Grant from the National Geographic Society.

She is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Otago, researching various genomics projects with and for Māori, and other communities.

Roseanna says that one of the best things about her time at UC has been the people she has met here, both staff and students. Her advice to new students is to “get to know your classmates – help each other and share ideas, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and look ahead to what happens after UC”.

More student stories
Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.