Our Vision


To make a difference to New Zealand and New Zealanders through the shared commitment to developing the next generation of national and international leaders in evolutionary, biomathematical and ecological sciences; contributing to a more secure future for New Zealand’s biological heritage; building a larger, stronger national research network that focuses diverse skills on major scientific research initiatives and inspiring the public with new knowledge of the history of our peoples, plants and animals, and better understanding of the ways in which science improves management of the natural environment.

Strategic Goals


1. Forefront Research

Our researchers are international leaders in evolutionary biology. They use forefront methodologies in Genomics and Biomathematics to:

  • make cutting-edge technologies available to New Zealand;
  • create new knowledge in molecular ecology and evolution;
  • develop analytic and predictive models for ecology and evolution;
  • continue world-class research in evolutionary, biomathematical and ecological sciences, commensurate with the legacy of Allan Wilson,  and published in leading scientific journals;
  • continue to place emphasis on major research initiatives involving cross-disciplinary and intra-network collaboration for national benefit.

2. Making AWC Research Matter – Working with End Users

Our research results will translate into practical outcomes for New Zealanders by:

  • undertaking research that provides new knowledge and insights into environmental challenges confronting New Zealanders;
  • supporting the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy through ongoing close links/partnerships with the Department of Conservation and other management agencies
  • engaging and developing mutually beneficial research partnerships with Māori;
  • communicating our research to students at all levels, teachers and the wider public;
  • taking cognisance of the needs of end-user groups, using innovative ways to share new knowledge enhancing existing community engagement and Outreach activities.

3. Outreach – Contribute to our identity as New Zealanders

Our researchers will bring to the public advances in evolutionary biology and stories of the origins and histories of our people, animals and plants, in order to:

  • inspire, educate, and create a strong sense of national identity;
  • show our common ancestry and heritage as humans descended from one woman about 10,000 generations ago;
  • demonstrate the special biological aspects of New Zealand that make our natural heritage so valuable and worth conserving;
  • build on recognised strengths in the nationally-focused information-sharing and awareness-raising AWC Outreach programme.

4. Organisational development – Growing our People & Systems

We will ensure a strong organisation with efficient, effective and transparent systems and processes through:

  • excellent governance supported by an engaged and committed host;
  • high quality leadership and clear organisational processes;
  • international quality researchers who are supported and developed;
  • succession plans to guarantee a strong future;
  • ensuring that the AWC network creates critical mass and is greater than the sum of its parts;
  • continuing to employ best-practice across all aspects of governance, leadership, operational management and human capital development.