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Choose Science Careers Evening

07 February 2024

UC's Choose Science Careers Evening is a careers event like no other. You get to hear from inspiring UC Science graduates, meet our current students, and learn about career opportunities in science. Check it out.


With science, anything is possible. A science degree can open doors to all sorts of careers, all over the world.


If you are thinking about studying science at university, but not sure where it can lead, UC’s Choose Science careers evening will help you.

Contact us:


Details for 2024 to be confirmed.

Meet our speakers for 2023

Amy Osborne 1
The MC (& Genomic Investigator): Dr Amy Osborne

Amy Osborne is a Senior Lecturer and passionate geneticist. Her research delves into how environmental exposures impact genome regulation and its effects on human health. Together with her graduate students, Amy is investigating the impact of maternal tobacco and cannabis use during pregnancy. Her lab aims to define how these exposures affect the neurodevelopment of exposed children at a molecular level. Amy's insatiable curiosity has made her a lifelong learner in the field of genetics, where she seeks to map out the intricacies of how our genomes are shaped by our environment. Her advice for those thinking about entering the field? Be prepared to challenge yourself every day… and of course, enjoy the journey!

Kate Lightowlers
The Natural Helper: Kate Lightowlers

After completing her studies in biological sciences, Kate Lightowlers springboarded into a people-based role as Peer Assisted Learning Support Coordinator at UC. Kate leads the charge in the PALS program, which supports first year students to succeed in their studies. She leads a team of 55 student leaders across 10 courses, bringing students, lecturers, course coordinators and senior staff together to deliver an effective programme. While she admits her role isn’t exactly a straight path from her degree, the skills she accrued – data analysis, problem solving and critical thinking to name just a few – have been key to her success. Kate plans to continue growing her career in tertiary education and looks forward to making a difference for students on their journey.

 Izzy Raziff
The Rock Star: Izzy Raziff

Izzy’s love for the outdoors led him into the field of geography and geology. Since graduating from UC with a Professional Master of Engineering Geology, Izzy has launched his career as a graduate engineering geologist at AECOM where he interned during his degree. Izzy’s role involves assessing ground conditions for built structures, 3D ground modelling, slope stability assessments, evaluating seismic hazard and risk and conducting geomorphological studies. He relishes the amount of time he gets to spend on site and enjoys the challenge of developing unique engineering solutions for each situation. Izzy has his sights set on becoming a Chartered Professional Engineer and would like to pursue his passion for tunnelling on large overseas projects.

Maisy Hopkins
The Microplastic Maven: Maisie Hopkins

Meet Maisie Hopkins, graduate environmental scientist at Beca. Maisie specialises in Environmental Chemistry and loves the variety that her role offers. Her main focus is on contaminated land, where she conducts site investigations, soil and water sampling, monitoring, and risk assessments. While at UC, Maisie completed an Honours research project investigating the accumulation of trace elements on microplastics in wastewater treatment plants, as part of the Aotearoa Impacts and Mitigation of Microplastics national research programme. Maisie is proud to be part of growing efforts to create sustainable cities and communities across Aotearoa New Zealand, and excited to have entered a rapidly expanding and relevant field of work.

Ellen Wilson-Hill
The Soil Detective: Ellen Wilson-Hill

Ellen’s career as an environmental scientist is truly starting from the ground up. After graduating from UC with a double major in Biology and Environmental Science, Ellen landed a graduate role at Stantec. Her job sees her largely focused on contaminated land assessments, where she performs preliminary and detailed site investigations. She also conducts field work, collecting and logging soil samples for geotechnical purposes. Recently, Ellen has been part of geotech investigations for the Hawkes Bay cyclone recovery work. Ellen is passionate about the environment and finding solutions to improve or protect it. The variety of her day-to-day work and numerous pathways available in environmental science is a perfect match for her adventurous spirit.

The Stargazer: Zachary Lane

A desire to learn about the biggest mysteries in the universe inspired Zachary to turn stargazing into his life’s career. Soon to embark on his Doctorate of Philosophy in Astronomy at UC, Zachary’s research is focused on Type Ia Supernovae and Active Galactic Nuclei. He is also looking at exploring deep-fields to find transient objects. Down here on earth, Zachary spends his time managing data sets for analysis, collaborating with experts around the world, and looking for new patterns in cosmological data. Zachary is currently a Senior Tutor at UC and aspires to become a lecturer in Astrophysics. “There is nothing more exciting than the highest energy objects in space – and that is what I study.”

The Aspiring Geophysicist: Dona Banerjee

Dona Banerjee is studying towards her Bachelors of Science in Physics and Geology. She also works as physics lab demonstrator for first year labs. Dona was inspired to pursue science after a number of hands on experiences — coding, welding and electrolysis etching to name a few — cemented her love of learning and gave her the confidence to go further. At UC, Dona is relishing the opportunity to better understand the world, participate in multi-day field trips and share her passion with physics newbies. “Many things look magical when we don’t understand them. I have found them to be even more magical when I do understand them.”

The Geospatial Grad: Ben Robinson

After finishing his honours degree, Ben applied for a job at Pattle Delamore Partners (PDP), a leading engineering and environmental consultancy in Christchurch. He was welcomed into the geospatial team and well supported through the Covid lockdowns. Ben enjoys the range of tasks assigned to him and the range of projects he is involved with. Recently, Ben was involved in the city’s Sydenham Rezoning project. He used a range of Hazardous Land Data to plot out contaminated sites around the area, which he delivered to the client via an interactive geospatial dashboard. Ben says that communication skills and the ability to collaborate are key to his role, and is looking forward to further growing his knowledge in the field.

Check out some of our past speakers

The MC (& Crime Fighter): Dr Jacinta Cording

Jacinta is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology within Te Kura Mahi ā-Hirikapo | the School of Psychology, Speech & Hearing at UC. A self-described (and proud) science nerd, Jacinta’s journey started with a BSc from UC and has taken a winding path through a variety of diverse roles, including in investigation support for the NZ Police, and as a statistical analyst and researcher in the public and private sectors. 

The Digital Entrepreneur: Luke Campbell

Entrepreneurship has been the name of the game since Luke first started at UC. During his undergrad he took part in the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship Summer Startup Programme where he co-founded Vxt, a digital communication platform (that now boasts a cool 10,000+ users).



The Ice Man: Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor is the Environmental Manager for Antarctica New Zealand. His role sees him leading the environmental strategy for the $344M Scott Base Redevelopment Project – New Zealand's largest and most complex construction project ever undertaken in Antarctica.

The Food Engineer: Dr Olivia Ogilvie

Olivia is a research fellow in the Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC), a multi-disciplinary centre dedicated to the study of molecular interactions critical to biological function. Her research spans a range of areas: coeliac disease, gluten, allergies and food protein structure. At BIC she’s looking into cultivated meat, a technology that may enable people to make meat without animals.

The Data Wrangler: James Williams

James is an avid data scientist and software engineer, developing bespoke data-driven software for companies around the world through his consulting company Modality. He is also the Data Science Industry Coordinator at the University of Canterbury, where he teaches and manages student projects for the Masters of Applied Data Science (MADS). 

Study Master of Urban Resilience Renewal at UC

The Sustainability Specialist: Tessa Meyer

Tessa specialises in corporate and infrastructure sustainability, helping organisations and large projects to reduce their carbon emissions, improve resilience and achieve broader sustainability outcomes.




Explore where science can take you!

Check out our Youtube Channel for UC Science graduates' stories

University of Canterbury College of Science graduates discuss their careers and explain how their studies helped them get to where they are now.

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