Dr Tanya O’Neill is a former Senior Lecturer in Soil and Environmental Sciences at the University of Waikato where she taught for 12 years. During this time Tanya supervised many successfully completed graduate theses on a wide range of soil-related topics, and it is a joy for her to see her former students now working in CRIs, regional councils or independently with soils. She now holds a Senior Research Fellow position at the University of Waikato, where she continues to serve as the NZSSS student member and soil news liaison, and also works as a soil consultant.
Born in the Horowhenua region, Tanya developed her passion for soil science at Massey University where she completed a BSc and MSc (Hons). After her MSc she worked in the Environmental Chemistry Lab at Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and in 2008 was awarded the inaugural Murray Jessen Memorial Doctoral Scholarship to carry out a PhD programme. Tanya moved to the Waikato to work with Dr Megan Balks investigating the impacts of human activities on the Antarctic terrestrial environment, and rates of soil recovery, and has been based in the Waikato since. She has had 11 trips to Antarctica and is currently working on a number of national and international Antarctic-related collaborations, has contributed to policy decisions on environmental management issues, and most recently involved in an effort to undertake a baseline survey of the Scott Base environment before the major redevelopment of the New Zealand base.
Tanya is married to Trev Rhodes, lives in Hamilton, and they spend their weekends enjoying the great outdoors. Tanya and Trev scuba-dive, fish, hike and mountain bike together, and her other interests include gardening and travel.
Tanya has served on the NZSSS council for a couple of terms and she hopes to bring energy and enthusiasm to the team and is keen to engage with, and promote the care of our important soil resource, to the widest possible audience.