ESR | Keeping people safe and healthy through science

Our science team

ESR employs around 400 expert minds including the largest team of forensic, social, radiation, environmental and infectious disease scientists and epidemiologists in New Zealand.

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To find out more about us and our work, use one of our contact channels below


Our expertise, experience and networks are trusted to solve complex problems, collect, collate and analyse huge amounts of data and manage a range of critical national science assets and facilities for New Zealand. Read about our people below or use the filter to find an expert in a particular science discipline.

Murray Close

Murray Close

Principal scientist Murray Close is a member of ESR’s Food, Water, and Biowaste group and leads its Groundwater team. With over 38 years’ experience in groundwater research, Murray is an expert in groundwater conditions and processes in New Zealand.

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Nikolaus Hermanspahn

Nikolaus is one of the senior scientists in ESR’s Radiation Science Group

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Olga Pantos2

Olga Pantos

Olga is a research scientist in ESR's Food, Water and Biowaste group.

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Our health labs

Our health laboratories

Find out more about what our Health Laboratories are responsible for and the independent scientific advice, support and services they can assist with.

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Phil Abraham

Senior Groundwater Technician Phil Abraham works in ESR’s Water, Food and Biowaste group. Phil has an engineering background and BSc (Hons) degree in Geology from Canterbury University. Phil has over 15 years experience working in the natural resources industry both overseas, as an exploration geologist, and in New Zealand for...

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Theo Sarris crop

Theo Sarris

Based in Christchurch, Dr Theo Sarris is a Senior Groundwater Modeller and Research Scientist with ESR’s Groundwater team. 

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