Our Team

Dr. Clint Rissmann
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management
University of Canterbury and Lincoln University

Prior to founding Land and Water Science, Clint has worked in the research and Regional Council science sector. Clint has over 15 years’ experience in the geothermal, greenhouse gas and water quality industries. His work includes delivering national and international assessments for geothermal exploration and resource assessment, landfill gas dynamics and environmental forensics including site and regional scale water quality assessments. He is also the leading proponent of the Physiographic Approach to understanding spatial variation in water quality outcomes, which is based upon an integrated understanding of the relationships between soil, geology, hydrology and biogeochemistry. Clint is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Waterways Center for Freshwater Management and a Project Scientist with the National Science Challenge. He is actively involved in supervising postgraduate students and is passionate about data-led scientific inquiry.

Dr. Lisa Pearson 
Lead Earth and Environmental Scientist

Lisa is a senior environmental and earth scientist with over 8 years' experience in land and freshwater research and management. She has worked in both the academic and regional council science sectors, and in collaboration with research institutes. At Land and Water Science, Lisa is the lead Earth and Environmental Scientist. Lisa has extensive knowledge and experience in physiographic application, soils, nutrient management, catchment modelling, and GIS mapping. Lisa holds a Doctorate in Philosophy and Masters in Science (1st class Hons) in Geochemistry from the University of Waikato. Her academic research focused on lake nutrient dynamics and sediment geochemistry and has published nationally and internationally on these topics. She also has a Bachelor in Science in Earth Sciences. Lisa is a member of the New Zealand Soil Science Society and the New Zealand Freshwater Science Society.

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Michele Rutherford
Office Coordinator

Michele is the person to contact for general enquiries or queries about your accounts. If you’d like to arrange a meeting with any members of the science team, she can organise this for you.

Michele has previously been a sheep, deer, beef and dairy farm owner in South Otago. Initially training in medical laboratory science, she has also worked for Parliamentary Services and managed operations for several guided walking companies in Fiordland. She now enjoys a part time role at Land & Water Science working Monday to Thursday 8 to 1pm. Michele has a passion for conservation and the outdoors which often takes her tramping. She enjoys active relaxation at her family crib in the Catlins and is a founding member of Bluff 2024, an urban rejuvenation group in our southernmost town.

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Mary Dang
Graduate Environmental Scientist

Mary joins the team at the Land and Water Science after graduating from the Southern Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Environmental Management in 2020. She has an interest in the field of soil-gas emissions and is an enthusiast of systems thinking and integrated approaches. At Land and Water Science, Mary is responsible for soil-gas monitoring surveys, doing research associated with soil-gas emission, direct gas measurement technologies, and methods for landfill, waste, and the agricultural sector. She also takes part in catchment hydrological projects.

Yan Li (Emma)
Data Scientist

Yan is a Data Scientist with a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Data Science from the University of Canterbury. At Land and Water Science, she helps to support and evolve the application of Machine Learning techniques to understand the relationship between landscape factors (e.g. climate, geology, hydrology) and resultant water quality measures in surface and ground water. She also  designs, implements and maintains R shiny apps for data processing and visualisation. 

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Ruby Meades
Graphic Designer

Ruby creates the unique visual figures for Land and Water Science projects. She has a Graduate Diploma in Visual Media and a Bachelor of Screen Arts (Animation). Her work at Land and Water Science has enabled her to explore scientific figure design and problem solve how to effectively communicate the science to a broad audience through a visual medium. Ruby enjoys learning about the science behind the figures she makes and what they're for. The most exciting part is having a distinctive overall style for the figures which will make them truly unique to Land and Water Science.


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Professor Matthew Leybourne

Matthew Leybourne is a Professor in Analytical and Isotopic Geochemistry at Queen’s University, Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering (Canada). His research is focused on developing new analytical methods related to solution and laser ablation ICP-MS and low-level trace element determinations, the geochemistry of fluids associated with ore deposits (groundwater, marine water and hydrothermal systems), geochemical exploration, the petrogenesis of igneous rocks, and the timing of the onset of Plate Tectonics. Matt is also the Co-Director of the Queen’s Facility for Isotope Research (QFIR). Previously, Matt held roles at Laurentian University, GNS Science in New Zealand, and the University of Texas at Dallas.

James Harvey

James Harvey is a partner McCulloch and Partners and has had vast experience in both the commercial sector and public practice. James spent five years in Australia with an international mining company before returning home to become the Commercial Manager at Fonterra, Edendale. James works closely with rural clients providing strategies to mitigate risk and deliver economic benefits, growing businesses is a challenge that he enjoys. James has partnered up with Land and Water Science to help put in perspective the gains that Farmers and other industry groups can achieve by providing environmental strategies lead by science.

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Dr. Mark Harvey

Mark has over 13 years’ experience in international consulting, specialising in remote sensing methods including thermal infrared, photogrammetry, and satellite InSAR.  Mark holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Auckland. His academic research focused on UAS surveying, CO2 flux surveys, and surface heat flow evaluation of high-temperature geothermal areas.  Prior to working as an independent consultant, Mark worked at Jacob’s, gaining experience in GIS, geostatistics, geophysics (magnetic and gravity surveys), groundwater and gas sampling, geochemistry, and geology.

Dr. Pierre Chanut

Pierre is an Environmental Scientist with expertise in hydrological, water quality and hydro-ecological modelling. Pierre has a degree in Environmental Engineering, a Masters in Hydrology, Hydrochemistry, Soils and Environment and completed his PhD in Ecohydrology in 2019. He has worked internationally on projects focused on the impact of land use on river ecosystems, managed regional groundwater monitoring programmes and provided technical advice for policy makers. Pierre has published several papers documenting his ecohydrological research.  

Nic Conland

Nic has 25 years’ experience in the environmental assessment field being involved in both the preparation and review of water quality effects assessments and in monitoring, managing, reviewing, and reporting on water quality programmes at the farm, enterprise, and catchment scale. In consultancy, Nic has undertaken project management for a wide range of clients including MfE, the EPA and several regional councils, as well as providing strategic advice and science communication to the primary sector on their water quality impacts and potential mitigations for catchment scale management within a freshwater quality accounting framework.

Gavin and Karen Tippett

Mt Iron Geodrill is based in Wanaka, Central Otago, New Zealand. It is owned and operated by Gavin and Karen Tippett. Gavin was born and raised on a farm in Southland, New Zealand, and studied at the University of Canterbury where he earned his Bachelor of Science (Geology), Post Graduate Diploma of Engineering Geology and Master of Science (Engineering Geology) qualifications. Gavin has over 15 years of experience in the geotechnical field and has worked for geotechnical consultancies in New Zealand and Australia. This has bought him a diverse range of experience over a wide range of projects from single house lots to large scale mining operations and civil projects.

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Troy Baisden

Troy specialises in understanding the flow of nutrients, water and carbon through terrestrial ecosystems and resulting impacts in freshwater. Troy studies climate change issues and land-to-water nutrient management at catchment scales, as they link into wider policy, health and economic systems. He connects science to policy and management through roles as an Honorary Professor in Auckland’s School of Environment, as Motu affiliate, as a Principal Investigator in Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre of Research Excellence on networks and complexity, and consultancy.