Associate Professor Kura Paul-Burke blends western science with mātauranga Māori to help coastal communities manage marine taonga.

Shellfish such as mussels indicate the health of our coastal environments and are a valued food source. In Ohiwa Harbour, Paul-Burke used local understanding of natural signs – ngā tohu o te taiao – and maramataka (the Māori lunar calendar) to complement western tools and support a co-developed management plan to revive and sustain the area’s mussel population. Her methodologies – along with techniques such as taura whiri (use of spat lines woven from harakeke, ti kouka or kiekie fibre instead of plastic) – are being eagerly adopted by scientists and iwi in other regions, normalising mātauranga Māori in marine science, empowering iwi, and delivering tangible environmental, cultural and social gains.

Associate Professor Kura Paul-Burke

Bilingual with Bivalves

University of Waikato Vision Mātauranga Science Award

Associate Professor Kura Paul-Burke blends western science with mātauranga Māori to help coastal communities manage marine taonga.

Shellfish such as mussels indicate the health of our coastal environments and are a valued food source. In Ohiwa Harbour, Paul-Burke used local understanding of natural signs – ngā tohu o te taiao – and maramataka (the Māori lunar calendar) to complement western tools and support a co-developed management plan to revive and sustain the area’s mussel population. Her methodologies – along with techniques such as taura whiri (use of spat lines woven from harakeke, ti kouka or kiekie fibre instead of plastic) – are being eagerly adopted by scientists and iwi in other regions, normalising mātauranga Māori in marine science, empowering iwi, and delivering tangible environmental, cultural and social gains.