Cawthron welcomes seven new summer scholars 


14 November 2023

This week Cawthron Institute welcomed seven talented tertiary students to commence their highly sought after summer research placements.

Established in 2016 to support young scientists, the $7,500 scholarships provide students with 10-weeks of fulltime research at Cawthron. Students will work on a specific research project and will be mentored by top Cawthron scientists.

All scholars are very high academic achievers, have contributed to community activities, and are strong advocates for the environment and science-led research. The 2023-24 scholars are:

• Nicole Parnell – Antarctica – Emerging Scientist Scholarship.
• Anna Sang – Simplicity in toxic cyanobacteria – Kathleen Curtis (Lady Rigg) Scholarship.
• Rose Sommerville – Niche shifts of freshwater fish– Emerging Scientist Scholarship.
• Claudia Mark – Using eDNA to identify lake stressors- Madge Johnston Scholarship.
• Matthew King – Ocean technology research and development – Emerging Scientist Scholarship.
• John Noble – Vaccines to boost shellfish resilience – Sir Theodore Rigg Scholarship.
• Sophie Whittall – Restoring Aotearoa’s seagrass – Emerging Scientist Scholarship.

Dr Jonathan Puddick, who has supervised two students since the scholarship programme’s inception said his motivation for taking on students was to give something back to the next generation of scientists.

“I was helped by established scientists when I was at that stage, so it was great to have an opportunity to mentor these young people. I love that Cawthron offers this programme, as lots of people studying at universities don’t know that we exist.”

“The experience of mentoring a student is very satisfying, which is why I have done it twice. Both times we had a challenging project and the 10-week block is quite intense. However, because the scholars are here for a limited time-period they go for it and that leads to great outputs.”

“Cawthron’s freshwater work can make a real difference to enhancing biodiversity, improving water quality, and help to mitigate climate change impacts. It is fascinating to watch the students develop over their ten weeks at Cawthron and see how they come to understand that science is used to solve real world problems.”

The scholarships are open to students enrolled at a New Zealand tertiary institution and provide an opportunity to experience the challenges and rewards of research, working alongside Cawthron scientists.

These scholarships are part of Cawthron’s philanthropic activity where our mahi is shared with the community to inspire the next generation of scientists. The dividend of this philanthropic work benefits Te Tauihu and Aotearoa New Zealand.

For more information about the scholarships, including how to make a donation, please email us on

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