Matthew Walters

Scientific Communication SpecialistMatt Walters

Science Communication, Digital Imaging, Outreach
Julius von Haast 432
Internal Phone: 95211

Research Interests

Science Communication - Teach and support students and staff in research informed communication methods.
Scientific Photography - Studio and location photos for research, presentation and publication.
Design of Technical Figures - Extensive experience designing figures for scientific publications to effectively communicate complex scientific information within the constraints of journal guidelines.
Remote, distance and blended learning design - developing research informed teaching practices.

Recent Publications

  • Kraberger S., Schmidlin K., Fontenele RS., Walters M. and Varsani A. (2019) Unravelling the single-stranded DNA virome of the New Zealand blackfly. Viruses 11(6)
  • Oso S., Walters M., Schlechter RO. and Remus-Emsermann MNP. (2019) Utilisation of hydrocarbons and production of surfactants by bacteria isolated from plant leaf surfaces. FEMS Microbiology Letters 366(6)
  • Kraberger S., Geering ADW., Walters M., Martin DP. and Varsani A. (2017) Novel mastreviruses identified in Australian wild rice. Virus Research 238: 193-197.
  • Kraberger S., Saumtally S., Pande D., Khoodoo MHR., Dhayan S., Dookun-Saumtally A., Shepherd DN., Hartnady P., Atkinson R. and Lakay FM. (2017) Molecular diversity, geographic distribution and host range of monocot-infecting mastreviruses in Africa and surrounding islands. Virus Research 238: 171-178.
  • Walters M., Knight A., Chapman HM., Kraberger S., Stainton D., Varsani A., Bawuro M. and Christopher A. (2017) Novel single-stranded DNA virus genomes recovered from chimpanzee feces sampled from the Mambilla Plateau in Nigeria. American Society for Microbiology 5(9): e01715-e01716.

Technical Services

  • Science Communication - Teach and support students and staff in communication design for posters, presentations and publications and video. Effective Poster DesignCommunication Design: Graphics and Figures.
  • Scientific Photography - Studio and location photos for thesis, posters, presentations and publication.
  • Information Design - the translation of complex, unorganised, or unstructured data into valuable, meaningful information.
  • Design of Technical Figures - Extensive experience designing figures for scientific publications to effectively communicate complex scientific information within the constraints of journal guidelines.
  • Training and troubleshooting for graphics software - Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, ImageJ, Acrobat.
  • Web - maintain and develop content on the Biological Sciences websites.
  • Outreach - Manage, develop and present a range of Biology outreach modules to primary and secondary school students and teachers.
  • Coordinate school visits and student tours.
  • Lead the annual ABC student showcase

Outreach Modules

Communications Outputs (selected)

Invited Presentations and Workshops (selected)

  • Communication Design, New Zealand Brain Research Institute, July 2021
  • Science communication and poster design seminars Riddet Institute, Nov. 2020 and March 2021 
  • Workshop on Becoming a trusted broker of knowledge, QuakeCoRe Conference, Sept 2018
  • Workshop on Barriers to communicationDisastrous Doctorates, March 2017
  • Adventures in Scientific Photography, Nature Photography Society of New Zealand, Sept 2017
  • A beginner’s guide to successfully communicating your science workshops (x3)New Zealand Marine Sciences Society conference, July 2017
  • Twitter 101 workshop,  Science Communicators' Association of New Zealand (co-presenter) May 2016
  • 252 Black Robins, One Island, Many Stories - A trilogy of stories presented to the Christchurch Bird Club, May 2015
  • Figure it Out, Workshop on designing technical figures, Science Communicators Association of New Zealand, March 2015
  • Mastering MailChimp Workshop, International Association of Business Communicators, South Island Branch, Sept 2014
  • Adventures in Science CommunicationEcopathways seminar series at Lincoln University, Aug 2014
  • Adventures in Science Communication, Joint event by the International Association of Business Communicators (South Island) and The Science Communicators Association of New Zealand, July 2013
  • Introduction to Botanical Photography, Christchurch Botanical Society, Oct 2012
  • A Trip to Ancient New Zealand, Canterbury Science Teachers Association, July 2010
  • Rangatira Island Life, Christchurch Bird Club, July 2009

UC Teaching

  • Biology 305 Practical Field Botany Field Coure, co-teach course, focus on plant taxonomy, botanical photography, Annually 2009-2021
  • Biology 429 Conservation Genetics, co-teach course on species conservation, focus on communicating science, Annually 2016-21
  • Chemisty 431 Research Methods 2, lecture on communication design, July 2015-2021
  • Geography 402 Resilient Cities, workshop on communication design, May 2021
  • Biology 411 Research Preparation, lecture on the science of science communication, networking, Feb 2007-2021 Annually
  • Biology 211 Invertebrate Biology, insect photography laboratory, Sept 2012, 2014,
  • Envronmental Sciences 414 Case Studies in Environmental Science, lecture on Communicating as a Scientist, 2012-2019, 
  • He Puna Pūtaiao Science Outreach programme, UC, Nov. 2013-2020 Poster Design workshop
  • Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management postgraduate students, Communication Design Workshop - Conference Posters - May 2016-20


  • College of Science Outstanding General Staff Award (2018)
  • Vice-Chancellors General Staff Development Award (2014)
  • QEII Technicians Study Award (2006)
  • QEII Technicians Study Award (2002)

Conferences (selected)

  • Presentations:
    •  Communication Design - Effective Graphics - Nov 2015, Science Communicators Association of New Zealand National Conference
    • Communication Design - Workshop on Conference Posters, Mar 2014, Science Communicators Association of New Zealand conference. 
  • British Science Association Science Communication Conference, Manchester, 2015
  • Science Communicators Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) Annual Conferences 2004-2020
  • Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference, Capetown 2002, Dunedin 2018