The Team

The Team


Thomas Mattern

Scientific director

With over 15 years of penguin research experience, Thomas is the go-to-guy for foraging research of penguins in New Zealand. He started off studying the foraging ranges of Little penguins on Motuara Island and at Oamaru using old fashioned radio telemetry, before continuing his research on Snares, Yellow-eyed, Fiordland and Erect-crested penguins; and even as far afield as Humbolt penguins in Chile. Thomas’s research is often at the forefront of wildlife tracking technology, being one of the first scientists to successfully deploy newly developed GPS dive loggers and utilise compact video loggers to gain new insights into penguin foraging behaviour. Thomas has the knack for communicating research in a very accessible way that translates into public engagement.

Thomas, along with his wife Ursula, are the NZ representatives of the Global Penguin Society

Richard Seed

Research & conservation coordinator

Richard has been involved with seabird conservation from a young age. He worked with a marine ecology consultancy before completing the Master of Wildlife Management degree at Otago University. Richard worked with Thomas on his research placement; using video loggers to investigate yellow-eyed penguin foraging behaviour. After graduating, he worked as a ranger with the Department of Conservation before coming on board with NZPI. Richard loves the opportunity to promote community-based conservation and is at home in the coordinator role, seeing projects through from ideas to results.

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