Social and Cultural Group


Lisa Langer, Leader of the Social and Cultural Research Group

Lisa is a scientist at Scion with extensive expertise in qualitative social research, leading the Scion component of CIBR. She specialises in facilitating community dialogue to enable decision-making for sustainable solutions and integrating environmental, economic, life cycle assessment, social and cultural research, particularly within biowaste management. Lisa’s other main area of research is community resilience and recovery following wildfires. / +64 3 364 2987 ext 7204

Virginia Baker

Jinny is a social scientist at ESR, whose expertise includes group facilitation technologies, community consultation and workshop design, and qualitative data collection. She uses systems thinking and participatory action research to understand the interface between science, policy and diverse stakeholders in the community, including Māori. Her skills have been used to design and deliver the social science aspects of CIBR’s work. / +64 4 914 0693

Alan Leckie

Alan Leckie is a social researcher at Scion. Alan has a passion for communicating science and has 10 years of experience in community engagement. Alan brings particular strength to community engagement by developing bonds between CIBR researchers and stakeholders, local government, iwi and the private sector which are key to enabling effective two way communication with communities. / +64 3 364 2987 ext 7207

Dr James Ataria

James’ iwi affiliations include Rongomaiwahine, Ngati Kahungunu, and Ngati Tuwharetoa. He is a senior lecturer at Lincoln University where he lectures in ecotoxicology and Maori and the environment. James also works for the Cawthron Institute on Maori business development and ecotoxicology. As a Trustee of the Tuaropaki Trust James strives to support sustainable Māori development and cultural aspirations through scientific research. / +64 3 423 0729 OR +64 21 978 197

Dr Richard Yao

Richard completed his MSc degree in agricultural economics at Purdue University in 2005 and PhD in environmental economics at the University of Waikato in 2012. He currently works as a Scientist-Resource Economist at the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd (trading as Scion). His work for the CIBR focuses on economic assessment of options for biowaste management, and evaluation of individuals' preferences on household products. / +64 7 343 5747

​Dr Joanna Goven

Joanna received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. She is currently Deputy Director of the Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety (INBI) at the University of Canterbury and Director of Kukupa Research. She was previously Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Canterbury. Her work for CIBR applies her experience both in developing and analysing methods for incorporating public participation into decision-making on issues involving science and technology and in researching the social and political implications of science and technology. / +64 3 304 6861