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Chris Hepburn


Job title and place of work

Senior Lecturer, University of Otago. 

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I provide practical support for maintaining the CARIM moorings at the Huriawa Peninsula at Karitane, just north of Dunedin and help supervise students on the programme.

What do you do on an average work day?

Go to the office and send emails, give lectures, go diving in kelp forests all around the country.  It all depends - my job is very diverse and very few days are the same.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Because coastal seas are important, and ocean acidification could be a major stressor for key species that support many values associated with our marine environment.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I played a lot of basketball at school and tried to avoid class.  I was pretty good at English and Biology but was an average student and a very poor mathematician and chemist.  At University I studied Botany, an excellent and underrated degree I think. 

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

Long term monitoring of pH in coastal seas and other aspects of the CARIM programme will answer many questions around what our marine environment will look like in 50 to 100 years.

What excites you about working on this project?

The opportunity to work with leading chemists like Kim Currie who have great practical experience and are good to work with. Our ability to work underwater and provide the biological and ecological side of the story is massively improved with precise measurements of the chemical and physical environment. The team within CARIM brings together people with very different skill sets, this is the way science is done today.