Twitter: @hanareiaehau


  • M.S., First Class Honours specializing in Biological sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand

  • Postgraduate Diploma, Science, Distinction specializing in Biological sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand

  • B.S./B.A., Biological sciences, Māori studies and Writing studies, University of Auckland, New Zealand


Pseudomonas syringae is a foliar bacterial pathogen with a wide host range and is responsible for a number or economically important disease. In addition, P. syringae serves as a model for understanding host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions. Bacteriocin activity has been shown to provide a fitness benefit for the producing strain in animals and laboratory settings.

My research focuses on the dynamics of microbe-microbe interactions within the plant environment to understand when and where bacteriocins are beneficial for the producer. Furthermore, as bacteriocins are thought of as potential biological control agents, this work will aid our understanding of how to effectively employ them in plant environments.

As an Indigenous scientist from Aotearoa, New Zealand I highly value integrating my cultural values, identity and language in my career and research aspirations. I understand that both Indigenous and western science approaches and perspectives have their strengths and can greatly complement one another. To pay homage to the Indigenous peoples of Michilimackinac (Turtle Island), who’s land I visit, I hope to follow the tradition of the Three Sisters by examining the phytobiome transfer between three traditional crops (maize, squash, corn). Understanding how the microbiome may have contributed to the success of the three sisters for the Indian people of North America could contribute to future agricultural endeavors.


  • Rose Hellaby Postgraduate Scholarship – Developing today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders thereby benefitting their Whānau / Iwi and the wider community. Rose Hellaby Trust and Māori Education Trust, Wellington, New Zealand. 2018

  • Herbert Cole Jr. Fund for Plant Pathology And Environmental Microbiology Award. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. 2018

  • SACNAS Travel Scholarship, SACNAS, Santa Cruz, CA. 2018

  • APS General Graduate Travel Award, APS Foundation Board, St. Paul, MN. 2018

  • Fulbright New Zealand Science and Innovation Graduate Award – In recognition of excellence in educational achievement and participation in New Zealand Fulbright program, Wellington, New Zealand. 2017

  • Funds for Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR), The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. 2017


Richards NK, Ehau-Taumaunu H, Ferguson CM. (2017) DNA from 33-year-old dried moth specimens help confirm larva as the elusive Wiseana fuligenea. New Zealand Plant Protection 70:235-240.

McGreal B, Maslen-Miller A, Ehau-Taumaunu H, Herwini E, MacDiarmid RM, Bradshaw R, O’Callaghan M, Scott P, Green J, Hunter R, Waipara N, Wilcox P, Mark-Shadbolt M. (2015) Māori and Pasifika research: supporting students and integrating perspectives. Bio-Protection Research Center June newsletter.