About us

Wildbase Oil Response is a team of five full-time staff who are responsible for coordinating oiled wildlife response activities in NZ. Other members of the team are postgraduate students conducting applied research associated with oil spills and wildlife.

Our purpose

To minimise the damaging effects of oil pollution on wildlife.


We are respected global leaders in oiled wildlife response.

Guiding principles

  • We will be known globally for our leadership, training capacity and capability in responding to oil spill events impacting wildlife.
  • Through research, education and hands-on leadership, our team of highly capable professionals will build capability in effective and efficient oiled wildlife response throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
  • We aim to raise awareness to mitigate impacts, increase preparedness and achieve greater success in rehabilitated oiled wildlife survival.
  • We will collaborate globally to maximise and improve oiled wildlife response preparedness and outcomes.
  • Internationally, we will be trusted oiled wildlife response trainers, planners and advisors.


Kerri Morgan, Wildbase Co-Director, Senior Lecturer

Kerri Morgan headshot Responsibility of Wildlife Coordinator in the command/control centre in an oil spill response. 

Kerri is Director of Wildbase Oil Response within the School of Veterinary Science, Massey University. Kerri has a clinical and research background in avian and wildlife health and completed her PhD at Massey on coccidiosis in kiwis.

Kerri has a strong interest in wildlife health associated with oil spills and has coordinated training programs for oiled wildlife response in both management and wildlife rehabilitation and was one of the Wildlife Managers during the C/V Rena oil spill in New Zealand (2011). She is also the co-ordinator of the National Oiled Wildlife Response Team (NOWRT) on behalf of Maritime New Zealand and is a key player in the establishment of a global response network for oiled wildlife response.

As a senior lecturer in Avian and Wildlife Health, Kerri is also responsible for supervising graduate and post-graduate students within IVABS.

Louise Chilvers, Senior Lecturer

Responsibilities in the command/control centres in an oil spill response.

Louise’s background is predominately in marine animal biology and ecology. Her PhD was on the social and biological impacts of trawling on bottlenose dolphins. She has undertaken research into the diving behaviours of dugongs, seals and penguins, and has extensive population level research into New Zealand sea lions including genetics, diet, stable isotope analysis, behaviour, population viability, abundance, reproduction, social structure, parasitology and growth.

Prior to joining Wildbase in April 2014 Louise worked for the Department of Conservation as Senior Marine Mammal scientist. She was the lead scientist on the New Zealand sea lion programme and Head of the New Zealand science delegation for the International Whaling Commission. She is responsible for coordinating New Zealand's Oiled Wildlife Response research program, oiled wildlife response training and supervising postgraduate studies. Louise continues to undertake research  into wildlife conservation and management throughout Australasia, particularly in New Zealand's subantarctics.

Hayley Pearson, Research Officer


Hayley received her Animal and Veterinary Bioscience degree as well as her PhD in epidemiology and risk analysis from the University of Sydney. She has undertaken research in terrestrial wildlife disease and used risk analysis techniques to provide recommendations to reduce disease transmission between invasive pest animals and livestock. 

Before joining the Wildbase Oil Response team in April 2014, Hayley worked as a science communicator for zoonotic disease at Massey University and at the University of Sydney as a teacher and assessor in the areas of epidemiology, wildlife management, biology and agriculture. Hayley joined Wildbase as a research officer and is responsible for improving oiled wildlife response preparedness through planning, training and research. She will be applying her risk analysis expertise to evaluate oiled wildlife response options in New Zealand, prioritising preferred actions to protect New Zealand’s wildlife. She will also be involved in other research on oiled wildlife as well as developing and delivering training on oiled wildlife response both in New Zealand as well as internationally. 

Bridey White, Technical Officer

Responsibilities either in the command/control centre or in the oiled wildlife facility in an oil spill response.

Bridey has a background in marine animal husbandry and rehabilitation and has worked at Massey University as part of the veterinary teaching hospital, Wildbase, for nine years. She completed a diploma in veterinary nursing and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Science.

Bridey was a wildlife technician during the RENA response and was part of the oiled wildlife facility team rehabilitating oiled wildlife. In her current role as a technical officer, Bridey is responsible for developing training modules for oiled wildlife response and assisting with training and research. A current project is working with Department of Conservation to finalise a minimum standard of care for yellow eyed penguins. Bridey maintains a keen interest in the Wildbase hospital, and enjoys teaching bird behaviour into the undergraduate veterinary program and continues to work closely with wildlife rehabilitators throughout the country, particularly the WReNNZ group (Wildlife Rehabilitators Network of New Zealand) where she is on the committee.


Karin Sievwright, MSc First Class Honours

Karin achieved first class honors for her masters thesis in conservation biology at Massey University, Palmerston North. Her research involved monitoring the post-release survival and productivity of little blue penguins (Eudyptula minor) that were oiled and subsequently rehabilitated following the 2011 C/V Rena oil spill off the coast of Tauranga. This research provides important feedback on the effectiveness of the oil-rehabilitation process by assessing whether rehabilitated penguins are able to transition to life back in the wild and thereafter have survival and reproductive rates similar to control(non-oiled) penguins. Karin is also interested in the conservation, protection, and preservation of New Zealand’s native fauna.

Karin is also interested in the conservation, protection, and preservation of New Zealand’s native fauna.

Chris Muller, PhD candidate

Chris Muller with seal, in wilderness Chris is undertaking an ecological PhD on the population dynamics and foraging ecology of endangered yellow-eyed penguins at the Auckland Islands, New Zealands’ sub-antarctic islands.

His research involves undertaking the first complete population count of yellow-eyed penguins at this species strong-hold, the Auckland Islands, understanding their foraging ecology and diet, and investigated possible tourism disturbance affects.

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