ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Abbie Spiers

Abbie SpiersAbbie Spiers
ILWS PhD Candidate

Topic An exploration of community perceptions about wetland health in New Zealand

Thesis submitted September 2016


Abbie began her PhD in July 2011, with supervisors Prof Max Finlayson and A/Prof Rosy Black.  With a background as a wetland ecologist, Abbie has previously worked at the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientists  (ERISS),  where she coordinated a global review of wetland resources, and study tours for wetland managers from Vietnam and for Aboriginal communities, worked in Biological Monitoring programs including a fish monitoring program in Papua New Guinea, and organised the Australian Society for Limnology Conference in Darwin in 2000. 

Her PhD research collected qualitative and quantitative data from over 60 wetland managers in NZ through semi-structured interviews, an electronic survey, and analysis of relevant media. Wetland managers' perceptions were explored concerning wetland health, wetland management role/s, key wetland-related challenges, barriers, successes and personal journeys. 

Key findings indicate that political will to implement real change in wetland management is currently lacking in NZ. This is out of step with the will of wetland managers, as shown by the study results, and the environmental concerns and values of the NZ public. This study shows that effective action to improve wetlands and water bodies as settings for human health and wellbeing will have the support of wetland managers and many New Zealanders. 

Bachelor of Science (Biology), Northern Territory University, 1997
Certificate of Mediation, David Newton of The Accord Group, 2002
Graduate Diploma Professional Communication (Public Relations), University of Southern Queensland, 2007

Campus Albury-Wodonga  Email A Spiers