Rhian Salmon

Rhian Salmon profile picture

Senior Lecturer Science in Society, Faculty of Science


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

My research seeks to inform the communication practice of scientists using knowledge taken from other disciplines – especially science communication, social psychology, and science and technology studies – so that best practice and theories, which have been developed in the social sciences, can be integrated into science engagement efforts and that these experiences can further inform the field and practice as a whole. My current projects include:

  • leadership of the Deep South National Science Challenge Engagement Programme
  • The Reflexive Scientist: research into new models for public engagement with science
  • Research into climate change communication, especially in New Zealand
  • Research into blended, flexible and resilient learning in tertiary education

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in hearing from students seeking postgraduate supervision in any of my areas of research interest.


BSc in Chemistry (EUR) from the University of Leeds (UK), including one year at the University of Regensburg, Germany (1997); PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry from York University, Canada, Commonwealth scholar, (2002).


Publications from 2004 - Now


Prior to coming to New Zealand, Rhian Salmon was based at the British Antarctic Survey (UK) for seven years, first working as an Antarctic atmospheric chemist—including 18 months ‘overwintering’ on a remote Antarctic base—and later as education, outreach, and communication coordinator for the International Polar Year 2007-08. She has expertise in catalysing conversations between scientists and different publics and has worked with a range of audiences on science festivals, public debates, global community events and expeditions. Her research explores the context within which science communication and engagement operates both in New Zealand and internationally, with a specific focus on communication about environmental issues. She is a Principal Investigator in Engagement Research with the Deep South National Science Challenge (about Climate Change), Te Pūnaha Matatini Centre of Research Excellence (about complexity) and the MBIE SeaRise Project (about Sea Level Rise) and teaches a variety of courses about Contemporary Issues in Science and Society, both online and face-to-face.


Teaching in 2019