Dr Sydney J Shep, Victoria University of Wellington

Sydney is a Reader in Book History and The Printer, Wai-te-ata Press. She focuses on the interdisciplinary study of transnational and cross-cultural book history and print culture in the contexts of the history of empire, history of technology, and the history of reading. Technological convergence is an additional platform for research and practice, bringing both historic and contemporary media into creative conversation though explorations into the digital handmade, generative computer art, and typographically-situated augmented reality experiences. Her current research focuses on big cultural data and collaborative kaupapa Māori approaches and is grounded in the theories, methods, and practices of digital humanities, spatial history, and cultural informatics. In 2014, she was awarded a Marsden Fund grant (her third) to study William Colenso and the Victorian Republic of Letters, with a focus on personal geographies and global networks. Sydney is also a practising letterpress printer, exhibiting book artist, and designer bookbinder who undertakes creative research commissions at Wai-te-ata Press

Dr Joep de Ligt, Institute of Environental Science and Research Limited

Joep de Ligt is the Lead Bioinformatics at ESR, New Zealand, covering a wide range of organisms and genomic technologies. He has a long track record in the analysis of sequencing data in both a diagnostic and research setting. Within ESR strategic investments have been made to increase sequencing and bioinformatics capability. The genomics team he leads has a strong international network and had the ARTIC protocol for sequencing SARS-CoV-2 implemented and ready for the first New Zealand case of COVID-19. This work has subsequently demonstrated the capability and value of real-time whole genome sequencing to assist surveillance. The current research of de Ligt focuses on delivering positive health impacts across Aotearoa through genomic technologies.

Shaun Hendy, Te Pūnaha Matatini, a New Zealand Centre of Research 

Shaun Hendy is Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a New Zealand Centre of Research 

Excellence. Te Pūnaha Matatini is a national research network that uses methods from complex systems to develop better economic, social, and environmental policies. Shaun has been a Professor of Physics at the University of Auckland since 2013 and has sat on Callaghan Innovation’s Board from 2018. In 2012, Shaun was awarded the Callaghan Medal by the Royal Society Te Apārangi and the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize for his work as a science communicator. Shaun was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2020 for leading the modelling programme in New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.