Professor Paul Millar


Paul is Head of the School of Humanities and Creative Arts, and Director of the UC Arts Digital Lab. He is a professor of English with a particular interest in New Zealand literature and the poetry of James K. Baxter.
Paul has long been involved in Digital Humanities projects and research, having co-founded the VUW NZ Electronic Text Collection, and leading the establishment of New Zealand’s first Digital Humanities teaching programme at UC

Dr Chris Thomson


Chris is a Lecturer in English and Digital Humanities. His research interests lie at the intersection of literary studies and digital humanities, particularly on the way digital media technologies shape and are shaped by cultural practices. He is also interested in the adaptations of literature in digital media; posthumanism in literature; and the application of text mining as a research method in the humanities.

Sacha McMeeking


Sacha holds a Masters of Laws from UC and her career path has woven through public policy, social entrepreneurship and academia. She was formerly the General Manager of Strategy and Influence with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and was the inaugural Fulbright Harkness Fellow in 2010. Sacha is currently the head of Aotahi – the School of Māori and Indigenous Studies at UC and also a co-director of the Maui Lab, connecting students with communities and organisations in order to create Next Generation Solutions for Te Ao Māori.

Assoc. Professor Donald Matheson


Donald is Associate Professor in Media and Communications. His research interests lie in journalism studies, with a particular emphasis on discourse analysis of journalists’ writing practices. This interest has taken him towards researching journalism in new media, as well as historical and ethical aspects of newswriting. Donald is also interested in journalism sociology and in the study of alternative media. He is the current president of the Australia New Zealand Communication Association.


Jennifer Middendorf

Production Co-ordinator

Jennifer is the Lab Coordinator and has skills in website development and various programming languages, and qualifications in secondary teaching.   Jennifer recently completed an MLING thesis, using statistical modelling to compare syntactic structures in the QuakeBox spoken language corpus with the written language of the Christchurch Press.

Samuel Hope

Digital Projects Specialist

Samuel completed a BA at UC in 2015, followed by a BA Hons in 2016. His areas of study were Anthropology and English, and he now works part time as a Digital Projects Specialist for UC Arts Digital Lab. Samuel is a member of the Understanding Place project team, helping with the research and development of a collaborative digital map of the Residential Red Zone. He is also currently working towards a MA in Cultural Studies.


Joanna Szczepanski

Joanna is Associate Curator Human History at Canterbury Museum. Her current research interests focus on using crowdsourcing to transcribe and tag all the names which appear in the G R Macdonald Dictionary of Canterbury Biographies. She is also interested in what motivates people to donate objects to museum. Joanna is a board member of the National Digital Forum and leads the Regional events portfolio.

Chris Jones

Chris Jones, FRHistS, FHEA is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History. He is especially interested in the thought of medieval chroniclers, and in the way in which ideas were transmitted and received in the Middle Ages. Chris is Director of the Canterbury Roll Project, an innovative and ongoing student-led digital venture that in 2017 produced a new edition and translation of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant medieval manuscript.

Ben Adams

Ben Adams is a Senior Lecturer in Geography at UC. He is an associate investigator on the Understanding Place project hosted by the Lab. His current research interests lie at the intersection of text and data mining, natural language processing, and geoparsing. Ben is bringing his knowledge of geographical methods to the research and development of a collaborative digital map of the Residential Red Zone.

Kara Kennedy

Kara is a Postgraduate Research Associate for the UC Arts Digital Lab and a PhD candidate in English at UC, focusing on twentieth-century science fiction. She also researches in the area of Digital Humanities pedagogy.

Jakob Kristensen

Jakob is a Postgraduate Research Associate for the UC Arts Digital Lab and a PhD candidate in Media and Communication. He works with online communication and politics focusing on social media, Big Data and computational models.

Interns and Research Assistants

Melissa Bellitte

Melissa joined the Arts Digital Lab team in early 2018 on an internship from Farmingdale State College in New York. She has been helping to develop new processes for preparing material for the QuakeStudies archive, and assisting with coordination of the Arts Digital Project volunteers.


Manoj Sivakumar

Manoj is an Arts Digital Project volunteer. Along with fellow Master of Applied Data Science students Viknesh and Tushar, he is helping us to create a dataset for the Understanding Place project.

Viknesh Elumalai

Viknesh is an Arts Digital Project volunteer. Along with fellow Master of Applied Data Science students Manoj and Tushar, he is helping us to create a dataset for the Understanding Place project.

Tushar Mehta

Tushar is an Arts Digital Project volunteer. Along with fellow Master of Applied Data Science students Viknesh and Manoj, he is helping us to create a dataset for the Understanding Place project.

Luyao Yu

Luyao is studying for her PhD in Cultural Studies, and became an Arts Digital Project Volunteer in order to sharpen her communication skills and technical competence. She is currently assisting us to prepare metadata for QuakeStudies content.

Erin Burgess

Erin is a CEISMIC volunteer, and has been working on writing descriptions for the Street Art collection in QuakeStudies. She is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts at UC. Erin says volunteering with CEISMIC has improved her writing skills, and helped her to be more aware of the effects the earthquakes have had on infrastructure and building in Christchurch.

Paul Pink

Paul began volunteering in the Lab towards the end of 2016 and continues to help out with the description and geo-referencing of items in the CEISMIC archive. Paul has a fantastic local knowledge, which has contributed a level of depth and richness to the metadata associated with items in the archive.

Dana Mageanu

Dana has been a long-time volunteer in the Lab having joined the Friends of CEISMIC program in 2015. Dana has an MA in Japanese from UC and she has previously spent time working in Japan as an English teacher.

Former Staff, Interns and Volunteers

Dr James Smithies

James was a Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities and Associate Director of CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquakes Digital Archive. James has experience in the government and commercial IT sectors as a technical writer and editor, business analyst, and project manager. He is now the Director of King’s Digital Lab (KDL) at King’s College London.

Antoine Landrieu

Antoine completed a Masters in Computer Sciences in 2015 at HE2B-ISIB in Brussels. His interest for Digital Arts grew from his personal background and opportunities available at the local digital lab, LARAS. He joined the Lab in 2017 as a Digital Projects Specialist, putting his computer skills and international connections to the benefit of our ongoing and upcoming projects. Antoine left the Lab at the end of 2017 to continue his travels around New Zealand and Australia.

Lucy-Jane Walsh

Lucy-Jane is a graduate of the English Department at the University of Canterbury. She developed an interest in digital archiving in Paul Millar’s Honours course on Scholarly Editing, following this up with her own digital project on the memoirs of a Canterbury doctor. Lucy-Jane was the programme’s first Digital Content Analyst, and in early 2107 moved on to a software development role with Mish Guru.

Rosalee Jenkin

Rosalee is a UC graduate with a Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and an Arts degree in Psychology. She is the co-founder of the Room Four art space, and carries out her own art projects in the form of socially engaging public events. Rosalee joined the CEISMIC team in 2013, and in early 2017 moved on to work as an advocate for the Anglican Social Justice Unit.

Alex King

Alex worked as a Digital Content Analyst for CEISMIC from September 2013 – May 2015. Alex’s previous experience was as an Assistant Law Librarian for the NZ Law Society Library in Auckland, and she is now travelling and working in Europe.

Han Li

Han started as an intern with CEISMIC in 2012, and then carried on to work as a Digital Content Analyst. She moved to New York to work for the Digital Media team at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and now works at the British Museum.

Andrew Dean

Andrew was Digital Content Analyst for CEISMIC in the early days of the programme, and worked primarily on the Environment Canterbury collection. Andrew was awarded a Rhodes scholarship in 2012 and is completing a Doctorate in English Literature at the University of Oxford.

Bojana Rimbovska

Bojana was a Research Assistant in the UC Arts Digital Lab in late 2017. She recently completed a BA (Hons) in Art History, and worked alongside Laura Dunham (UC Art History and Theory Department) and Samuel from the Lab correcting photographic images of Samuel Hurst Seager’s Lantern Slide collection for display in the Hurst Seager Digital Collection.

Tiana Ratana

Tiana was a Research Assistant for the UC Arts Digital Lab, working on Kōmako: a bibliography of writing by Māori in English, led by Dr Bridget Underhill and Dr Chris Thomson.

Julie-Ann Buick

Julie-Ann is fourth-year Geography student at UC, studying towards a Masters in Urban Resilience and Renewal. She completed an internship with CEISMIC which involved identifying and gathering information on temporary, post-quake projects for the Transitional City archive.

Dan Bartlett

Dan was a Summer Scholar for the Voices Against War project over the summer of 2015/2016, writing and loading content about the pacifists, conscientious objectors and seditious Cantabrians of WWI. He completed a BA(Hons) in History at UC, and has recently taken up a position with Ngāi Tahu, working on their WWI website.

Matthew Lattin

Matt was a Research Assistant for CEISMIC, preparing a large collection of content from the All Right? mental wellbeing campaign for the archive.

Simon Palenski

Simon volunteered with CEISMIC in 2015 and also worked in a paid role to digitise the Townsend Telescope Visitors Book, which has been added to the QuakeStudies archive and was displayed in an exhibition led by the UC Physics department. He is now working at the Christchurch Art Gallery.

Toril Orlesky

Toril is a former CEISMIC volunteer. She has a background in film, so was able to put her skills to use by filming the 2016 Seismics in the City conference for us, and has helped us prepare videos for the archive

Jane Ross

Jane was one of our CEISMIC volunteers, helping with the describing of content for the archive. As an editor for many years, she is also an adept proofreader! She says that volunteering for CEISMIC made her feel more connected to the city and to all who have struggled since the quakes.

Julian Vesty

Julian was a volunteer with the Lab and helped to mark up digitised Roy Bruce letters – a collection of correspondence sent back to New Zealand during World War 1 by Major Roy Bruce of 8th Squadron, Canterbury Mounted Rifles.

Maree Shirota

Maree volunteered with CEISMIC in 2015. She helped with the describing of content for the archive and is now completing a PhD at Universität Heidelberg in Germany.

Lesley Gilder

Lesley was the first of our CEISMIC volunteers, joining us in early 2015 to help with the describing of content for the archive. Lesley is currently working in the finance sector.

Brooke Maslin

Brooke was one of our CEISMIC volunteers and helped with the describing of content for the archive. She currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Media and Communications and minoring in English and Entrepreneurship, with plans to move into the world of media, news and public relations.

 Zhivannah Cole

Zhivannah joined the Lab on a PACE 495 internship, working on the Canterbury Roll project. Her contributions to the project included assisting with the TEI markup of the transcription and translation text, and coordinating the contributions of the students from Nottingham Trent University who were researching the historical figures mentioned in the Roll.

Saskia van der Wal

Saskia’s PACE 395 internship with the Lab was also part of the Canterbury Roll project. One of her main tasks was the compilation of a list of all of the historical figures mentioned in the Roll, and identifying where the same figure was mentioned in multiple places.

Puimini Bowatte

Puimini was one of our CEISMIC volunteers, helping us identify relevant content for the archive. Puimini recently graduated with a BCom from UC, majoring in Accounting and Finance.

Tasha Tan

Tasha was one of our CEISMIC volunteers and helped with describing and geo-locating content for the archive.  She is a UC student, currently studying Engineering.

Brad McNeur

Brad’s background is in Computer Science. He began volunteering with CEISMIC in mid-2016 and helped the team to develop apps and scripts that automate parts of the archival process. Brad has now secured a position working with ICTS at UC.

Aidan Millow

Aidan began volunteering with Friends of CEISMIC in mid-2016. Aidan has a background in IT, and along with
Brad and the Lab team, put these skills to use helping develop tools for the archival process.

Emlie Gallaugher

BCom student Emilie was a CEISMIC volunteer in 2017, and helped write descriptions for the Street Art collection.

Josh Kim

History Honours student Josh worked in the Lab as an intern alongside fellow student Jayson Boon to document arcs on the Canterbury Roll. This involved conducting research to identify relationships between figures on the manuscript (familial, political, or otherwise).

Jayson Boon

History Honours student Jayson worked as a Lab intern with Josh Kim to document the arcs on the Canterbury Roll. As well as researching the relationships between figures on the Roll, Jayson and Josh added entries into the biographical database, in preparation for the project’s second phase.

Pratiik Mehta

Pratiik is currently studying towards a Masters in Applied Data Science at UC. As a CEISMIC volunteer, he worked with Chris Thomson to develop maps based on CEISMIC data.