Amanda is of Tūhoe, Whakatōhea and Whānau-ā-Apanui descent. She completed her BSc (Geology) and MSc (Environmental Science) at the University of Otago, before working for the Otago Regional Council and CRL Energy. She returned to academia with an ESR doctoral scholarship to study soil chemistry at Lincoln University, and was awarded an MSI Postdoctoral Fellowship (TTP scheme) before being employed in 2013 as a lecturer within the Bio-Protection Research Centre.
Amanda’s research expertise is in environmental soil and water chemistry, focusing on major nutrient cycling, including the incorporation of molecular techniques to explore the relationship between functional gene expression and soil product activity. More recent research projects have included ecosystem resilience in soils from managed and natural ecosystems, with a particular focus on investigating disease resistant traits (i.e. evidence of PTA resistance in kauri forests). Amanda’s work has been acknowledged widely, including receiving the Asure Quality Emerging Leader Award in 2018 as well as the Te Tupu-ā-Rangi Award for Health and Science at the Matariki Awards in 2019.