Restoring kelp forests, fisheries and strengthening the wellbeing of connected coastal communities guided by indigenous leadership
For the last 15 years Assoc Prof Hepburn has led transformative climate change, aquaculture and fisheries research and teaching programmes in partnership with coastal communities. Key to this work is building capacity and applying fit-for-purpose research to empower decision-makers to alter public policy surrounding marine management and ecosystem restoration. He co-leads Te Tiaki Mahinga Kai a research partnership programme with indigenous communities (primarily Ngāi Tahu) developed to better meet community aspirations and support local action by Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki (customary fishery managers). He has published more than 60 papers on macroalgal ecophysiology, climate change, and fisheries. Assoc. Prof Hepburn currently leads an active and diverse lab group and is committed to supporting the leaders of coastal communities and training the next generation of scientists equipped to gather and share the knowledge we need to traverse an uncertain future.