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Panellist and artist profiles

August 2013: Tangaroa - Our Oceans

Wallace Chapman

Wallace Chapman was charged with drawing forth the panellists’ wisdom as the Of Gods and Men LATE series attempts to answer whether the human race is marching toward anything good having wrested control of our lives from the lap of the gods.

His ‘day job’ spans presenting a politics show, a host role with RadioLive and authoring a book ‘Slow Living’ released this year. Since 2008 Chapman has hosted the popular and one of a kind ‘pub politics’ show Back Benches which now airs on Prime TV. “He’s disarming because he asks that very hard question in a very simple, direct way.” (Listener Jan 2012 issue 3740).

Dr Rochelle Constantine

Rochelle is interested in innovative, integrated research approaches to answering marine conservation questions with a particular focus on cetaceans. She is the Director of

the Joint Graduate School in Coastal and Marine Science and a Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland. Rochelle has spent a lot of time on and in the sea and has been involved in a range of projects examining the ecology and anthropogenic effects on several species of cetaceans, areas in which she advises on policy decisions. She recently received a Fulbright Award to present some of her recent research on whales and ship-strike and to discuss the research challenges associated with understanding whales that live in the immense oceans somewhere between the tropics and Antarctica. The often uneasy alliance between Tangaroa’s realm and humans is a familiar one to marine scientists but she believes that research excellence has a crucial role in informing debate.

Dr Tom Trnski

Dr Tom Trnski grew up at a beachside suburb in Melbourne and spent his summers exploring the local rockpools. Once he learnt how to snorkel his interest in marine life expanded and continues to this day. He now studies fishes of the southwest Pacific region, and he is a specialist on the larval stages of fishes – the stage between hatching from their egg to settlement into juvenile habitat – including their identification and ecology. He spent over 20 years at the Australian Museum, Sydney, before moving to the Auckland Museum in 2007.

Tom’s current research includes the dispersal of fish and the connectivity of species between islands. He has also led a number of remote area surveys throughout the Pacific. In 2011 he led a biodiscovery expedition to the Kermadec Islands with scientists from five different agencies collecting and documenting species. The expedition was the largest of its kind to the Kermadecs – one of the world’s most untouched marine environments – and included discoveries new to New Zealand and to science.

Current projects include the 2013 marine exhibition Moana. My Ocean and the role of contributing author to the Fishes of New Zealand project that will be a published guide to over 1,300 species.

Don McGlashan

With a career that includes Blam Blam Blam, The Front Lawn, The Mutton Birds, and a pair of highly-acclaimed solo albums, Don shows no signs of slacking off, in fact he's been performing more and more in recent years.

Don opened for Crowded House on their 2008 US, European and Australian tours, and was a guest musician with the band. In 2009 he took part in Neil Finn’s Seven Worlds Collide project – collaborating on his own songs with Johnny Marr, and members of Wilco and Radiohead. In 2010 he featured on “Stroke”, the benefit/tribute album for Chris Knox that also includes Yo La Tengo, Lambchop, The Mountain Goats, Will Oldham and Lou Barlow. More recently he's collaborated live with the likes of Australian master-songwriter Paul Kelly and Brian Ritchie of The Violent Femmes, taken his solo show to sell-out audiences in London and New York, and re-formed The Mutton Birds for a hugely successful winery tour in 2012.

David Sheppard of Q Magazine described Don’s songs as “from the same cerebral power-pop motherlode as Big Star and Early REM” and called The Mutton Birds’ 4th album “Rain Steam & Speed” “…a minor masterpiece”

Nick Bollinger, The Listener: "One of our most enduring artists"…"Where most modern pop sounds as if it was cloned from some long-established archetype, McGlashan is that rare musician who only ever reminds us of himself. "

Don is currently working on a new album that is due for release end of 2013.

Sam Judd

Sam Judd, our current Young New Zealander of the Year, is the Co Founder and CEO of the Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust. During his time at the helm of Sustainable Coastlines they have motivated over 26,000 people to remove more than 800,000 litres of rubbish from the coast and educated over 70,000 people in person. Their educational programs have demonstrated exceptional success with regards to positive behavioural change within school, business and offender groups.