Awards recognise research achievements
Two University of Canterbury academics have been named the inaugural recipients of UC’s Early and Emerging Career Researcher Awards.
Associate Professor Brendon Bradley (Civil and Natural Resources Engineering) and Dr Daniel Stouffer (Biological Sciences) received the award for their outstanding contribution to research at UC so early in their careers.
The Early and Emerging Career Researcher Award will be awarded annually by the University Research Committee.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Steve Weaver says Bradley and Stouffer have shown exceptional talent in their respective fields, producing ground-breaking research that has real-world applications and significance.
“Brendon and Daniel are both inspiring future research leaders and this award recognises their contributions to their respective fields both nationally and internationally,” says Weaver.
Bradley is an earthquake engineer whose research focus is on the prediction of earthquake-induced ground motions and seismically induced losses to infrastructure, whereas Stouffer is a theoretical ecologist whose primary research focus is the study of complex species-species interaction networks.
“It feels fantastic to be recognised as one of the emerging career researchers at UC and I am very much looking forward to what is to come in the following years with my research,” says Stouffer.
Bradley says the last few years of performing extensive research into the Canterbury earthquakes has been “fruitful but chaotic”.
“So it’s nice to see the efforts rewarded both ‘at home’ and also elsewhere.”
Both Bradley and Stouffer were awarded prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowships in 2013, each receiving $800,000 over five years to help them further their research. The fellowships, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, aim to develop and foster future leaders in the New Zealand science sector.
Stouffer is investigating the ecological and evolutionary implications of species’ interactions for the persistence and viability of species populations.
He says his research will provide an understanding of structure, function and future of ecological communities.
“It will also help develop strategies to preserve the diverse and complex ecological communities that form a key part of New Zealand’s national identity and biological heritage.”
Bradley says his research will have a national and international impact in the assessment and mitigation of earthquake hazards in major cities. Specifically, he will analyse data from the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury region earthquakes and apply world-leading research and expertise to understand severe ground motions in the Christchurch urban area.
Bradley has helped produce more than 60 high-impact journal articles and 101 conference papers in his five years at UC. He was also named Young Engineer of the Year at the New Zealand Engineering Excellence awards. He is also the youngest ever recipient of the USbased Shamsher Prakash Foundation Research award for internationally recognised research in geotechnical earthquake engineering.
Stouffer has produced 28 peer-reviewed articles since 2005, including two each in Science and Nature, and these articles have received more than 1300 citations to date.
“Both researchers are highly regarded within New Zealand and internationally. They both have very bright careers ahead of them, and would be recognised as exceptional in any company of their peers,” says Weaver.