Archives For research

Tom Brough takes us through the third installment in our blog series from the marine reserve monitoring project at Banks Peninsula. With 75 hours of underwater footage to analyse our marine rangers have their work cut out for them counting a menagerie of fish life caught on underwater camera.

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A joint 10-year Department of Conservation (DOC) and NIWA project to find out more about the great white sharks that inhabit New Zealand waters is coming to an end.

Great white shark with acoustic tag. Photo: Clinton Duffy / DOC.

Great white shark with acoustic tag

DOC’s Clinton Duffy, is one of several scientists who have spent the past decade tagging great whites—a protected species—and following their movements.

Clinton has a database of more than 100 sharks identified from their colour pattern and the shape of the dorsal fin.

Some familiar faces are seen each year at tagging time, because many sharks return annually to the same place.

White shark with acoustic tag. Photo: Clinton Duffy / DOC

Great white shark with acoustic tag

Because so few of us are lucky enough to meet a great white in flesh and fin, we thought we’d take this opportunity to introduce you to a handful of the great whites that frequent New Zealand waters:

Scarface is a bit of a character—inquisitive and a little aggressive:

Caro is one of the biggest female sharks we are tagging (3.7 metres) and certainly not shy:

Houdini, really lives up to his name. He evaded tagging for some time but eventually we put a popup tag on him:

Watch more videos (meet Pip and Ella!) and read more information about the great white shark research on NIWA’s website.

Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Today we profile Judit Farquhar-Nadasi, Knowledge and Information Advisor in National Office.

At work

Judit relaxing outdoors.

Relaxing outdoors

Some things I do in my job include:

Looking after the library: updating subscriptions, buying books, finding articles, tidying and updating the collection, making our library useful for all DOC staff, providing images and giving advice related to images, visiting offices to help with library procedures, making the library services visible…

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Supporting research for all DOC staff—helping to find and provide what people need to do a good job.

The best bit about my job is:

Helping people. I really take it seriously and I love to do it well and make a positive difference.

Judit in stocks while on holiday up north.

On holiday with my family, we had great fun in a corn maze up North

The loveliest DOC moment I’ve had so far is:

When I received a book from Italy, with a handwritten thank you letter from a researcher who I had helped. (It’s added to our collection).

The DOC employee that inspires me most:

My team, the Information Services Team. We have a healthy working relationship here—working hard, but with plenty of laughs and chocolate.

We support each other well and we are here to help all DOC staff.

Judit's team in National Office.

This is my great team, the Information Services champs in National Office

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that:

Originally I wanted to become a psychologist, but I became a high school teacher in Hungary, Budapest (one of the most beautiful cities in the world) instead.

Also, I got a kiss from Leonid Brezsnyev when he came to visit my primary school in Budapest.

And many more things I could tell you over a coffee or two.

If I could trade places with any other person for a week it would be:

Mary Poppins. I would love to travel by umbrella.

My best ever holiday was:

It’s really difficult to choose as I have travelled a lot—all around the world.

It was not really a holiday, but I lived in Russia for half a year as an exchange student when I was at university. It was fun, challenging and very memorable. I love Russia.

If I could be any New Zealand native species:

I’d be a black robin, so I could take a good photo of myself and could add it to DOC’s image library—we really need one! Any native birds actually, so their number would be raised by one!

Black robin on a branch.

Black robin

Before working at DOC:

I was working at Victoria University’s library after we came to live in New Zealand. I enjoyed the academic environment—working with so many different people—and I loved my team.

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is:

From a poem written by Rudyard Kipling, If:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Flowers in Judit's garden.

I love colours. It is not me with green fingers in the family, but I am a great support person.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is:

“It is not a sprint, it is a marathon”. I still think it’s a sprint though…

In work and life I am motivated by:

My family.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

“Keep calm and carry on”. What advice could I give to you? Coming from Europe, I think you New Zealanders do a much better job than other countries. I think New Zealand is a beautiful country. It is great that people are aware that we can develop our country and preserve its unique natural state as a place for generations to enjoy and treasure.

A New Zealand beach.

I love walking on the beach whenever I can

Question of the week…

What would you name an autobiographical book of your life?

“Seize the moment (each of them)”