Our team

Key contacts

Michelle Daly, GNS Science
Michelle Daly, GNS Science
Charlotte. Brown, Resilient Organisations
Charlotte. Brown, Resilient Organisations
Garry McDonald, ME Research
Garry McDonald, ME Research

Other contributors

A large team of researchers support the ongoing development and mission of MERIT:

  • Tracy Hatton, Resilient Organisations
  • Nicola McDonald, ME Research
  • Emily Harvey, ME Research
  • Christina MacGill, GNS Science
  • Jacob Pastor-Paz, GNS Science
  • Celia Wells, GNS Science
  • Nico Pondard, GNS Science
  • SR Uma, GNS Science
  • Stephania Mattea, ME Research
  • Nam Bui, ME Research

PhD students

Dr. Ashton Eaves

School of Environment, University of Auckland

Supervisors: Prof. Paul Kench (School of Environment, University of Auckland), Assoc. Prof. Mark Dickson (School of Environment, University of Auckland), Dr. Garry McDonald (MEResearch)

Modelling the economic implications of coastal managed retreat

My thesis presents a new method to support robust approaches to implementing coastal managed retreat for coastal communities exposed to climate change through rising sea levels and increasing storminess. It uses Evolutionary Economic analysis, System Dynamics, Scenario Planning and Robust Decision Making to identify Dynamic Adaptative Policy Pathways for implementation. The approach models scenarios of baseline climate risk, coastal mitigation and adaptation to assess the economic implications of a large-scale managed retreat for a study area in Hawke's Bay, well known for exposure to a range of coastal hazards. It develops a new integrated assessment model called C-ADAPT to assess possible pathways for vulnerable communities to adapt to coastal hazards until 2050. The economic impact modelling utilises the MERIT tool.

Completed in 2022.

Annal Dhungana

Joint Centre for Disaster Reduction (JCDR), Massey University, 2021-

Supervisors: Dr. Emma Hudson-Doyle (JCDR, Massey University), Dr. Raj Prasanna (JCDR, Massey University), Dr. Garry McDonald (MEResearch), Prof. Douglas Paton (Charles Darwin University, Australia)

Effective communication of model uncertainty

Scientists/modelers have designed different mathematical and computational models with an aim to support decision-making during emergency response and recovery. However, in these modelling processes, uncertainties are manifested starting from input data, during the model run, and during generating output. Communication of these model uncertainties is believed to be helpful during decision-making. However, we lack knowledge on decision-makers' need for model uncertainties. So, through this research, decision-makers' needs will be identified, while also interacting with scientists around current practice. Through gaining rich, insightful, and nuanced understandings of decision-making needs, and current uncertainty communication practice by the scientist, the study will help develop a guiding mechanism to communicate model uncertainty."

Robert Cardwell

School of of Engineering, University of Auckland

Supervisors: Prof. Liam Wotherspoon (School of Engineering, University of Auckland), Dr. Garry McDonald (MEResearch)

The application of integrated land use and economic models to the simulation of natural hazard events

To date, most applications of economic and land use change models to the assessment of natural hazards have focused on assessing vulnerability, capital, fatality, and short-run economic impacts. This research applies the integration of a land use change and an economic model to a hypothetical volcanic eruption to demonstrate the simulation of long-term land use change and economic impacts and recovery pathways after a natural hazard event has occurred.  The research also develops a concept called Built Environment Services that enables bringing more holistic measures of well-being and important characteristics of the built environment into integrated modelling.

Completed in 2022.

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