Meet Morgane Merien, Country Coordinator for New Zealand

National Moth week is delighted to welcome Morgane Merien as our country coordinator for New Zealand. Morgane currently is a Science and Curatorial Communicator at Canterbury Museum in Christchurch. She also is completing her doctoral thesis on camouflage and color in her country’s native stick insects at the University of Auckland. She also serves as the outreach officer for the Entomological Society of New Zealand.

 Morgane tells us about herself:

 “I am incredibly lucky to have lived in Aotearoa (“New Zealand” in the Maori language) for the past 15 years, but am originally from New Caledonia and spent much of my early childhood there. I’ve also lived in French Guyana for a few years!

 “Like many people, I like all kinds of animals but I am particularly interested and fascinated by the ones on the smaller side of the spectrum. New Zealand is incredibly fortunate to host a huge range of diversity in its native flora and fauna due to its history of long geological isolation. As such, New Zealand is home to a very high number of unique and endemic species, especially insects.

 “Insects are incredibly widespread in our environment and have a huge impact on their ecosystem, whether we humans notice it or not. We rely on them as a resource and for a range ‘services’; from agriculture, to medicine and technological innovation, etc. This makes them an ideal and important subject to study. Furthermore, due to the sheer number and diversity of species (of which many are still unknown), we have much to find out and learn!

 “I believe that science belongs to everyone, and that it is part of our jobs as scientists to avail ourselves to the public and help communicate our research, making it accessible to everyone. I enjoy talking to people about bugs, and science in general and hope to do it for the rest of my life!”

 Welcome Morgane! We’re happy that you’ll be helping to encourage interest in moths and participation in National Moth Week in New Zealand!

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