Amelie Auge

 I became a spatial ecologist combining my original vocation in animal behaviour and conservation with my interests in spatio-temporal data, GIS and coastal and marine habitats to design and work on projects that provide recommendations for management of coastal and marine wildlife and environments. Along the way, I delved in many other topics, and I also realised the importance of communication and stakeholder engagement along with good applied science.

 

 

 

 

- Biodiversity Planner (2017-now), Department of Conservation, New Zealand

- Senior Marine Ecologist and Project Manager (2014-16), South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute, Falkland Islands

- PostDoc in Conservation Planning (2012-14), ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia

- PhD in Zoology (2011), University of Otago, New Zealand
- MSc in Marine Science/Surveying (2007), University of Otago, New Zealand
- BSc in Animal Biology/Wildlife Management (2003), University of Rennes (France) & University of Quebec at Rimouski (Canada)

 

After completing my PhD that was principally focused on getting data and analysing them to provide management recommendations for an endangered species (the New Zealand sea lion), I wanted to gain more skills in the human side of ecological management and better understand how to make the results of scientific studies reach, be taken up by stakeholders, and be used by policy makers and managers. I moved into the field of Conservation and Spatial Planning. It was a steep learning curve to engage in this field at the frontier with social sciences but it gave me real-world insights into the precarious bridge between science and policies and how to build it better.

 

I have now taken a position outside academia to understand and make a difference on the link between science, policies and efficiency of on-the-ground protection and conservation work. My current role of Biodiversity Planner aims to gather and bring together the best science-based advice and bring in stakeholders' values to design and prioritise work programs that provide the most important and long-term conservation outcomes with the resources available, prepare and support applications for further resources, and analyse data and to identify new research needed to review and improve work programs.

 

My skills and experiences:

 

Initiated and managed several multi-year research projects involving combinations of fieldwork (from logistics, health and safety to training new staff), the creation of large GIS databases as decision support tools, spatial modelling for ecological studies and impact assessments, the development of multi-disciplinary multi-agency approach and conceptual framework, and education of and engagement with stakeholders and governmental staff.

 

Extensive fieldwork experience in remote areas including 5 summers in the Auckland Islands working for the New Zealand Department of Conservation. Also assisted and conducted field research during stints around New Zealand, Australia, and in Canada, Madagascar, Falkland Islands and Peru working on whales, penguins, skinks, dolphins, hares etc using a variety of methods such as satellite and VHF tracking, behavioural observations, diet sampling, boat-based photo-ID and habitat mapping.

 

Experience with stakeholder engagement across academia, research institutes, governmental and non-governmental organisations, industries fishing and tourism). I am trained and experienced in workshop facilitation and organisation. I have experience in teaching undergraduate students (biology and GIS) and supervising postgraduate students (Honours and MSc), volunteers and research assistants, public education and science communication, training rangers and field volunteers.

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Fieldwork

 

 

The map below shows all the locations where I have worked and/or conducted fieldwork, leading, assisting, guiding or volunteering. Marine mammals (pinnipeds and cetaceans) have been the focus of most projects, but I also worked with seabirds, reptiles and small land mammals, as well as habitat mapping.

GIS, Spatial analyses

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial data provide fantastic tools for analysing spatial patterns such as animal movements, habitat use, interactions with humans etc. Most of my research involves GIS and mapping wildlife processes, human activities and impacts.

Stakeholder engagement

Spatial analyses and mapping can provide invaluable knowledge for management. Workshops, public communication, and media are important aspects of my work to ensure science is applied to protect coastal areas (land and sea), islands and oceans sustainably and benefit communities in the long-term.