School of Natural and Computational Sciences

The School of Natural and Computational Sciences* generates and disseminates scientific knowledge of the highest quality. We coexist with the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study, and together have a formidable research and teaching reputation.


Female student using oculus rift

We offer an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse community in a unique interdisciplinary atmosphere. We are located on Massey’s Auckland campus.

We teach into programmes within biological sciences, computer science and information technology, mathematics, statistics, the physical sciences and wildlife ecology.


Weihong Ji weighing bird

The Natural and Computational Sciences group at Massey University is comprised of some of the world’s leading scientists. Recent recruits have come from Harvard, Cambridge, Max Planck and other leading institutions. They continue their research in New Zealand at Massey, while collaborating with colleagues across the globe.

Our areas of specialisation cross the mathematical and natural sciences disciplines. We disseminate and generate scientific knowledge of the highest quality in our areas of specialisation, producing relevant, globally-influential research.


Find out more about the Massey study programmes, research, facilities, services and people working in the School of Natural and Computational Sciences' areas of specialisation.

Short courses



Head of School of Natural and Computational Sciences

Professor Dianne Brunton

Professor Brunton is the head of School of Natural and Computational Sciences

Her research expertise is in social behaviour and the evolution and ecology of animal communication with her main research interest in the evolution of song.

Deputy Head of School

Associate Professor Alona Ben-Tal

Alona is the deputy head of the School of Natural and Computational Sciences. Her research interests currently focus on the cardio-respiratory system of mammals.

Discipline leader - mathematics

Associate Professor Shaun Cooper

Shaun Cooper teaches mathematics courses at all levels at Massey, including algebra and calculus, discrete mathematics, analysis and theoretical mathematics. His research expertise is in number theory, especially in relation to the work of the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Discipline leader - molecular biology

Professor Timothy Cooper

Tim work focuses on understanding the dynamics of microbial adaptation. His work focuses on the genetics of adaptation, especially on how interactions among genetic mutations and the environment influence evolutionary outcomes.

Discipline leader - biology

Professor James Dale

James’ research focuses on evolutionary ecology, such as the function of elaborate coloration in animals. He also teaches first year zoology and third year ornithology courses.

Discipline leader - chemistry and physics

Associate Professor John Harrison

John is a physical chemist with a particular interest in chemical dynamics and spectroscopy. He is also a founder and director of the Massey startup Lifeonics Ltd.

Discipline leader - statistics

Dr Barry McDonald

Barry’s research focuses on creating statistical methods to give insight into real-life problems in medicine, nutrition, informatics, industry, and social research.

Discipline leader - computer science and information technology

Associate Professor Chris Scogings

Chris is the programme leader for the Bachelor of Information Sciences. His research interests are in design and implementation of agent-based simulations in the areas of computational science, artificial life and military studies.


All staff


Otehe Rohe campus

The School of Natural and Computational Sciences is located on Massey’s Auckland campus (in Albany), predominantly at the Oteha Rohe campus.

College of Sciences

The School of Natural and Computational Sciences is one of six interconnected schools within the College of Sciences.

College of Sciences

Research projects

Examples of research projects from School scientists.

Awards and funding

Meet our graduates

Community outreach

Science lecturer holding beaker, standing outside

We love to get students, parents and educators involved in the science we’re doing at the School of Natural and Computational Sciences.

Community outreach

Equity and Diversity Committee

The School of Natural and Computational Sciences is committed to equitable participation and success of staff and students.

Equity and Diversity Committee

Contact us

*The School name changed on 1 January 2019 from the Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences.