Monica leads the Pacific Biosecurity programme. Since 2008, Monica has contributed to invasive ant applied research and management activities in Australia, New Zealand, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, French Polynesia, Niue and Fiji. Monica conceived of and led the development of the Pacific Invasive Ant Toolkit and Coconut Pests and Diseases Toolkit.
As part of Wellington UniVentures, Monica engages Victoria University of Wellington expertise and research with in-country partners (NGOs, government departments and communities) and regional agencies, to achieve shared development goals.
Monica worked in Information Technology for 15 years in a variety of roles, including programming, systems, business and market analysis, project management and team leadership, and as a result brings an exceptionally well-rounded programme management mindset to her role.
Monica enrolled in Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington as a mature student, where she became hooked on research. After completing her PhD in 2012, she spent six years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Biological Sciences, working in ecology, evolution, genetics, genomics, statistics and bioinformatics. She has been a Principal and Associate Investigator on several Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden-funded projects.
Monica’s PhD research led her to the Pacific, resulting in the formation of Wellington UniVentures' not-for-profit entity Pacific Biosecurity, of which she is co-founder and director.
Read more about the Pacific Biosecurity Programme here.