Skip to content

2023 Seminar Speakers


Colin O’Donnell (Department of Conservation) a Principal Science Advisor for DOC based in Ōtautahi. He been working on braided river wildlife since the late 1970s, particularly on fauna surveys and habitat use studies of river birds. He maintains a number of long-term monitoring databases for braided river bird populations. Colin’s research focuses on threatened species and threatened ecosystems, especially the ecology of rainforest bats and birds, developing predator control techniques for forests, wetlands, braided rivers, and alpine ecosystems, and developing monitoring methods for lizards and invertebrates.

Grant Davey (Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group) has been a mineral exploration geologist in six countries and was a hydrogeologist at Environment Canterbury for four years. He has a PGDip in Environmental Science. For about five years he’s been an active member of the Ashley Rakahuri Rivercare Group and of BRaid.

Sonny Whitelaw (BRaid) has a background in coastal geomorphology and climate change, and has worked on environmental management projects in Vanuatu, Australia, and New Zealand. She was the joint winner (with Lincoln University, DOC, and Hurunui College) of the 2014 Supreme Green-Ribbon Award for the Nina Valley Ecoblitz. The author of several novels, she collaborated with over 100 children to produce the 227-page book Celebrating Biodiversity in the Hurunui District. Sonny has managed BRaid since 2015 and also manages
Please contact Sonny for any questions about the seminar or this website.