Vikki Ambrose

Vikki Ambrose

Vikki is a scientist with ESR’s Food, Water and Biowaste group and is based at ESR's Kenepuru Science Centre.

Her background is in micro, cell and molecular biosciences. Vikki started out as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in clinical biochemistry and haematology, and completed her Honours degree in Microbiology at Reading University the United Kingdom. Vikki first joined ESR in 2000 after arriving in New Zealand from the United Kingdom.

Between 2000 and 2010 Vikki undertook a variety of research including a study on the New Zealand epidemic strain of meningococcal disease, nicotinic receptors, survival and transmission of pathogens from biosolids to plant tissue, liphophilic toxicity of dinoflagellates, microbial contaminant survival after sewage sludge application to land, biosensor use to screen for poisons and drugs, and environmental water virology. She also became a New Zealand-registered Medical Laboratory Scientist. In 2006 she completed her Masters thesis in Cell and Molecular Biosciences, looking at the effect cigarette smoke particulate matter has upon SH-SY5Y human brain cells, specifically regulation of nicotinic receptors.

After leaving ESR in 2010 Vikki trained as a teacher and returned to ESR as a contractor to write the ‘Up the Pipe’ teaching resources - where students take on the role of investigators, critically reflecting upon how they and their families use household products.

Vikki has worked as an oral health advisor producing educational and training material for the New Zealand Defence Force, and also held health-related positions with the Cancer Society and the New Zealand Organisation for Rare Disorders, before returning to ESR in April 2017.

Vikki’s current research with ESR includes:

  • developing sustainable options for the reuse and reduction in disposal of biowastes into landfill
  • assessing the microbial quality of greywater
  • testing building materials for bacterial and fungal growth after flood events
  • undertaking field site studies to look at the benefits of riparian planting on the restoration of water quality.

Read more about ESR's work on developing sustainable solutions for waste.

Email Vikki: vikki.ambrose@esr.cri.nz