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.

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.


Assoc. Professor Clemency Montelle


Clemency is Associate Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. She has research interests in the mathematical history of several early cultures of inquiry including Mesopotamia, Greece, India, and the Islamic near east. Her first book “Chasing Shadows-Mathematics, Astronomy, and the Early History of Eclipse Reckoning” (Johns Hopkins University Press) focuses on the theoretical treatment of eclipse phenomena in the ancient world. She is currently immersed in a 5-year project on the history of mathematical astronomy in Sanskrit sources, supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand.


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.

Jenny Rees

Digital Projects Specialist

Jenny completed a BA Hons in English in 2010, followed by a Graduate Diploma in ICT in 2012. She worked as a web developer for several years and is now a member of the Understanding Place project team in the UC Arts Digital Lab.

Geoffrey Ford

Postdoctoral Fellow

Geoff began working in the Lab in 2018 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. His research combines politics, linguistics and digital methods. His primary research interest is the rhetoric, psychology and politics of economics in the public sphere. He is also interested in parliamentary rhetoric, Green party politics, corpus linguistics and scientometrics. To conduct his research Geoff develops software to assemble and analyse large corpora and other kinds of data-sets from the web and other public sources.

Adjuncts and Advisors

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.

Professor Paul Arthur

Adjunct Professor

Professor Paul Arthur is Chair in Digital Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the Centre for Global Issues, at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he speaks and publishes widely on major challenges and changes facing 21st-century society, from the global impacts of technology on culture and identity to migration and human rights. His latest book is Migrant Nation: Australian Culture, Society and Identity (ed., 2018).


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.

Dr 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.

Dr Ben Adams

Ben 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

Hannah Turner

Hannah joined the UC Arts Digital Lab as an intern for the Understanding Place project in 2018. She is studying towards a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science ad International Relations. In her spare time she works in administration and sales for a residential property developer.

James Hurren

James is at the end of his 3rd year in a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science and Media & Communications. As the last part of his degree, he is doing a summer internship from November 2018 to February 2019 at the Arts Digital Lab working on the Understanding Place project. He mainly assists in the communications aspects of the project with tasks such as explaining and promoting the Red Zone Stories app, liaising with interested groups and setting up workshops to collect data.

Sarah Siddoway

Sarah completed a BA in English and History in 2017, and will complete the BA(Hons) in History in 2018. She is assisting in the digitisation of the Canterbury Roll as part of her internship, marking up names and places from the commentary in TEI.

Paula Friend

Paula, a BA Hons student, has recently completed her second internship with the Canterbury Roll digitisation project. In 2017 she researched the Anglo-Saxon period and in 2018 completed the TEI markup of individuals named on the Roll. Paula also co-developed a framework for future interns to research the Roll’s geographic locations.


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.

Unmesh Nitin

Unmesh is studying towards the Master in Applied Data Science, and became an Arts Digital Project Volunteer to gain some real world experience. He has been helping us to clean data for the Understanding Place project.

Eleanor Hurton

Master of Writing student Eleanor joined the Arts Digital Project Volunteer team in 2018. She has been helping us to clean data for the Understanding Place project.

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.

Pratik Mehta

Pratik 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.  Pratik says volunteering in the Lab helped him learn skills such as leadership, teamwork and dedication.

Melissa Bellitte

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

Erin Burgess

Erin joined the team as a CEISMIC volunteer in 2017, and worked on descriptions for the Street Art collection in QuakeStudies. She is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts at UC. Erin says volunteering with CEISMIC 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, helping out with the description and geo-referencing of items in the CEISMIC archive. Paul has a fantastic local knowledge, which contributed a level of depth and richness to the metadata associated with items in the archive.

Dana Mageanu

Dana was 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 had previously spent time working in Japan as an English teacher. In 2018 she returned to Japan to take up new work opportunities.

Rebeka Martinka

Rebeka volunteered with the Arts Digital Lab in 2018, while majoring in English and History at UC. She helped prepare metadata for the QuakeStudies archive.

Manoj Sivakumar

Manoj was an Arts Digital Project volunteer in 2018. Along with fellow Master of Applied Data Science students Viknesh and Tushar, he helped us to create a dataset for the Understanding Place project.

Viknesh Elumalai

Viknesh was an Arts Digital Project volunteer in 2018. Along with fellow Master of Applied Data Science students Manoj and Tushar, he helped us to create a dataset for the Understanding Place project.

Tushar Mehta

Tushar was an Arts Digital Project volunteer in 2018. Along with fellow Master of Applied Data Science students Viknesh and Manoj, he helped us to create a dataset for the Understanding Place project.