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Early Career Researchers’ Network

The NZGS Early Career Research Network (ECRN) has been initiated to strengthen the Geography discipline, build future capacity, and enhance the experience, skills and feelings of belonging among Geography post/graduates across Aotearoa New Zealand universities. We aim to develop a support network where students can discuss, share and learn about issues that directly affect them. To develop the Network’s capacity and generate fellowship, we aim to hold regular postgraduate workshops, theme-based webinars through the access grid, and national workshops at the biennial NZGS Conference. 

NZGS sponsors several awards and grants for early career researchers. For more information and details on how to apply, check out the Opportunities section.  


Network representatives

Meet the team of Early Career Research Network representatives

Salene Schloffel-Armstrong

Early Career Researchers Network Representative to the Executive Committee

A doctoral student in the School of Environment at Waipapa Taumata Rau / The University of Auckland. She is an urban geographer investigating the changing role of the public library in the contemporary city. This research interrogates the trend of newly constructed flagship library branches, to think about the value of social infrastructure in restructuring urban spaces. Her broad research interests are focused on public space, social infrastructures, the right to universal services and their links to potentially radical futures.

Sarah Willette

ECRN Representative

A PhD student in Disaster Risk and Resilience at the University of Canterbury. Her budding research interests lie at the nexus of migration studies and natural hazard science. An interdisciplinary mixed-methods researcher, Sarah is particularly interested in how Aotearoa’s migrant communities perceive, prepare, and respond to different natural hazard risks and events. Prior to starting her PhD, Sarah completed a Master of Development Studies degree at Victoria University of Wellington (2020) which used participatory methods to understand the experiences of refugee background students within New Zealand universities. Through her Masters research, Sarah helped establish the National Tertiary Network to Support Refugee Background Students (90+ members across various tertiary institutions) and is currently completing a collaborative project funded by the Tertiary Education Commission to produce a "best practice" resource for tertiary staff working with refugee learners. 

Qin Qin

ECRN Representative

Commonly known as Kiko, is a PhD student at Lincoln University. Enhancing cultural understanding by studying regional cultural differences is the central theme of her research within the context of leisure study. Her current research focuses on Chinese students’ outdoor recreation experience under the broad concept of cultural communication. This research could provide practical insight for organisations interested in the international students market.

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