"The research forum helped me get up to speed with the latest research and was a valuable networking opportunity."

- secondary school deputy headmaster

Research Forum 2018 - Presenters



Reece Bassett is a Policy Analyst in the Skills and Regulatory Stewardship Team at the Ministry for Primary Industries. His current role focuses on the capability and capacity of the primary industries and employment conditions with a focus on forestry. Reece is currently in his final year of a Masters of Professional Economics at Victoria University of Wellington, and has a BA (Hons) in Political Science from University of Canterbury.




Mark Hampshire is a Data Analyst working with the Skills and Regulatory Stewardship Team at the Ministry for Primary Industries. His current role focuses on human capability in the primary industries workforce data, new entrants data, forestry sector workforce needs, and working on a full review of the agriculture production statistics survey. Mark has a diploma in business studies at Massey University, and has worked in various data environments for over 12 years including spells with MBIE on labour market statistics & immigration data, ANZ and Kiwibank working with credit risk engines for basel reporting and MOH in the primary healthcare area working with the capitation funding model for primary health organisations.




Dr. Sarah Meadows is a Senior Science Adviser in the Science Policy Team at the Ministry for Primary Industries. Her current role focuses on science system strategy, policy and priority setting, and managing and developing relationships with research providers. Sarah received her PhD in Zoology from the University of Otago, where she studied agroecosystem biodiversity and farmer perceptions of native and introduced biodiversity. She received her Masters in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she investigated shag depredation of a commercial fishery.




Lynda Coppersmith is the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of NZ Young Farmers and has been in the role since October 1st, 2018. Prior to this, she has held a variety of roles across the rural sector with Fonterra, DairyNZ and LIC (previously Livestock Improvement), and most recently she worked for accounting software company MYOB in their Enterprise area where she held leadership roles in Sales and Account Management. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and is currently completing an MBA with the University of Canterbury. Her research interest is in the Future of Work and the demographic drivers behind it - particularly the implications for employers and how they attract and retain people in the future. 




Dr. Amy Fletcher is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at The University of Canterbury. Her area of research and teaching expertise is science, technology and environmental policy.  Her current research focuses on public policy and governance issues related to biotechnology, agricultural transformations and disruptive technology. She is an Associate Editor for Politics and Life Sciences Journal (Cambridge University Press). 




Dr. Adam Barker is the director of Scarlatti.  Scarlatti is a research and analytics firm which does much of its work with organisations that operate in New Zealand’s primary industries.  Adam has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, previously worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Co and once designed plastic fridge feet for Fisher & Paykel.




Susan Stokes is the Industry Education facilitator at DairyNZ, managing the DairyNZ undergraduate scholarship and attract programme. She joined DairyNZ in 2013 after 25 years teaching agricultural and horticultural science in secondary schools. Susan has been motivating, encouraging and supporting students into careers in the primary sector for a long time and plans to continue to do so.





Dr. Mark Oldham is a Reporting Analyst in the recently formed Customer Insights team at Lincoln University.  In addition to his background in research chemistry, Mark has over 15 years working in the education sector, including team leader roles in university student administration with a focus on process efficiency initiatives and improving the student experience. 





Dr. Linda Sissons has been involved in management and governance roles with a learning flavour for most of her career, and currently holds the Chief Executive position at Primary ITO. Current governance roles include being Chair of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth of Learning, one of only two pan-Commonwealth organisations, based in Vancouver Canada, and dedicated to furthering economic and social development through technology-enabled education; and a Board member of Education New Zealand, the agency that promotes NZ education for overseas students and offshore. Before moving into primary sector management in 2014, Linda was Chief Executive of the Wellington Institute of Technology for fifteen years, and a Senior Counsellor at The Open University of Scotland for six.





Mike Styles is the National Specialist of Literacy and Numeracy at Primary ITO. He has worked in adult literacy and numeracy for the last 18 years, and has spent most of the last 6 years specialising in adult dyslexia. Mike has led several research projects examining how best to support adults with learning differences in the workplace, presented at several international conferences, and delivers workshops for Ako Aotearoa in dyslexia and adult numeracy.






Fraser Sloane is part of TEC’s Information Directorate and heads its Innovation Team responsible for exploring opportunities that can be created through using data in different ways.  This exploration includes using Statistics New Zealand’s integrated data infrastructure (IDI) to gain insight into what happens to learners once they leave the tertiary system. 





Brigitte Ravera is currently the 2IC on a 980 cow dairy farm in the Manawatu. She has been working as part of the management team of the farm since the beginning of 2018, after returning from traveling overseas. Prior to going into farming, she worked as a Consulting Officer for DairyNZ for two and a half years.





Becs Lough has worked in the field as an Accounts Manager for Ravensdown for the past three years, looking after farmers within the Taihape area. She is originally from Christchurch and attended Lincoln University, gaining a Bachelor of Social Science, before starting her career with Ravensdown at their Christchurch head office.