Leadership Team

Cawthron’s science groups are led by a team of senior managers, who work collaboratively across our science themes.

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Leadership Team

Cawthron’s science groups are led by a team of senior managers, who work collaboratively across our science themes.

Cawthron Institute has four core science groups; Analytical Science, Aquaculture, Algae and Bioactives, and Coastal and Freshwater. These groups are supported by the Group Manager Māori, Chief Commercial Officer and the Chief People Officer.

Serean Adams

Volker Kuntzsch

Chief Executive Officer

Volker has a distinguished international career in the seafood industry spanning more than 30 years. Before joining Cawthron in 2021, he was formerly the President of Nippon Suisan (USA), President and CEO of King & Prince Seafood Corp (USA), and CEO of Sanford Ltd (NZ). He has also held senior executive roles in Tokyo, Namibia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and holds a Master of Science from the University of Stellenbosch.

Serean Adams

Serean Adams

Group Manager – Aquaculture

Serean is the Aquaculture Group Manager at Cawthron and is passionate about New Zealand’s Aquaculture industry and its future. Serean has led a number of scientific programmes at Cawthron and currently leads Cawthron’s Shellfish Aquaculture Platform.

Stuart Cooper

Stuart Cooper

Chief Commercial Officer

As Chief Commercial Officer, Stuart is responsible for identifying and developing commercial opportunities for Cawthron. He also oversees and manages Cawthron’s support teams including Finance, Administration, Technology and Innovation, Communications, and the Cawthron Aquaculture Park.

Chris Cornelisen

Chris Cornelisen

Group Manager – Coastal & Ocean Sciences

Chris is the Group Manager for coastal sciences at Cawthron. Chris’s primary area of expertise is in estuarine and coastal processes, and the interaction between the physical environment and biological systems. 

Anaru Luke

Anaru Luke

Group Manager – Māori Business Development 

Anaru joined Cawthron in 2019 to lead Cawthron’s Māori Business Strategy, which aims to enhance Cawthron’s Māori capability profile internally and externally. Anaru provides organisational leadership and strategic guidance for mātauranga and Kaupapa Māori for Cawthron staff.

Johan Svenson

Johan Svenson

Group Manager – Algae & Bioactives 

Johan joined Cawthron in 2019 to lead Cawthron’s development of a New Zealand algae sector by exploring collaborative R&D programmes to generate algal based products, novel bioactives for commercial applications, as well as analytical standards. 

Tim Turnbull

Tim Turnbull

Chief People Officer

Tim joined Cawthron in 2019 as the Chief People Officer and is responsible for delivering organisation-wide impact through the HR, Health, Safety & Wellbeing, and Sustainability functions at Cawthron.

Roger Young, Coastal and Freshwater Group Manager - Freshwater

Roger Young

Group Manager – Freshwater Science

Roger is the Group Manager for freshwater sciences at Cawthron. Roger’s work involves a mix of government-funded research on river ecosystems, and commercial projects assisting a range of clients with freshwater management issues.