Dr Catherine Knight

Catherine's areas of specialty are environmental history and policy.

Underpinning both is an interest in how people perceive and interact with the environment. A current area of focus is the nexus between nature and wellbeing in New Zealand, the subject of her next book.

A profile image of IGPS Senior Associate Catherine Knight.

Contact details

Email: catherine@khm.co.nz

Phone: 021 0270 4400

Doctoral research

Catherine's doctoral research examined the relationship between the humans and the Asiatic black bear in Japan from pre-historic times through to today, exploring themes of human-animal conflict, the 'endangered pest' paradox, and the dualism between domesticated (or idealised) nature and wild nature.

Environmental policy

Catherine worked for nine years at the Ministry for the Environment, in policy areas ranging from hazardous waste and waste minimisation to freshwater and biodiversity policy. She now works as an independent consultant from her base in the Manawatu, mainly for councils and charitable trusts.

Environmental history research

Catherine has written extensively on the environment and its history. Most recently, in 2018, she published Beyond Manapouri: 50 years of environmental politics in New Zealand (Canterbury University Press), which was a finalist in the New Zealand Heritage Book Awards. In 2016, she published New Zealand’s Rivers: An environmental history (Canterbury University Press, 2016), which was long-listed for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, short-listed for the New Zealand Heritage Book Awards and selected as one of The Listener’s Best Books for 2016. Her 2014 book, Ravaged Beauty: An environmental history of the Manawatu (Dunmore Press) was the winner of the J.M. Sherrard Award for Regional and Local History. In 2018 she published her fourth book: Wildbore: A photographic legacy (Totara Press). See www.catherineknight.nz for more information about Catherine's research and to read her blog.