Dr Marie McEntee

PhD Environmental Science, MA(Hons) First Class, LTCL,


Marie is a social scientist in the School of Environment with teaching and research interests in science / society interactions particularly relating to environmental issues.  Her 26 years of tertiary teaching has focused on science communication, science innovation and community engagement.  Marie was awarded a University of Auckland Sustained Teaching Excellence Award in 2014 and a National Teaching Excellence Award in 2015 and is now the Vice President of the Ako Aotearoa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence.  

Marie is responsible for coordinating and lecturing on three interdisciplinary undergraduate courses - SCIGEN 101/101G ‘Communicating for a Knowledge Society’ (taught jointly with the Department of Mathematics), SCIGEN 201/201G ‘Innovating for a Knowledge Society’ (taught jointly with the Business School) and SCIGEN 301/301G, 'Engaging in a Knoweldge Society',  (taught jointly with staff from the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences).   These courses can be taken individually or as a module called "Science in Society".

Marie has worked in the public and private sectors.  After graduating with a BA, she qualified as a registered nurse in 1987, before moving into the pharmaceutical industry and advancing over eight years to sales management.  During this time she developed an interest in the wider dissemination of scientific information.  With a teaching diploma (LTCL) in Speech and Drama from Trinity College London, and earlier experience as a private communications consultant, Marie began lecturing part time on the newly established Science Communication course at the University of Auckland in 1992.  Over subsequent years her role expanded to include course coordination and overseeing significant re-development of the course's content, that enabled it to move from a boutique course taught to around 40 students to its current position as a significant undergraduate course now taught annually to over 400 students from a wide range of disciplines and year levels.

Marie graduated with a Masters with first class honours in 2006. Her thesis titled: ‘Science Communication in an age of risk’ investigated two biosecurity events in Auckland, New Zealand, which involved the aerial spraying of a biological insecticide over urban populations to control invasive exotic moths. She examined these programmes within the wider global debates about ‘participatory science’ , 'risk communication' and the media’s role in a risk society. 

Marie was awarded her PhD in Environmental Science in 2016.  Her thesis titled, An Exploration of Collaborative Learning Spaces in the Quest for Agricultural Sustainability in New Zealand, explored six projects where scientists and farmers collaborated to advance sustainability.  Marie developed a conceptual model which shows how partner relationships and the informal and formal institutions that shape how partners engage in research, influence the capacity of the collaborative learning space that is created in projects.  This space was shown to be essential for advancing innovation in the agricultural sector, although the model has application well beyond agriculture.

In general Marie's research identifies principles that facilitate greater alignment and more effective communication between scientists and end users to advance innovation, to facilitate community science interactions including citizen science projects or to facilitate community dialogue around contested issues.  Marie is currently investigating community engagement in biosecurity and pest management issues that feed into issues like kauri dieback mangament and Predator Free 2050.

Research | Current

Marie's research focuses on multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaborative learning, community-based participatory research (CBPR) particularly in relation to environmental issues,  agricultural extension, science communication and citizen science.

Teaching | Current

SCIGEN 101/101G: Communicating for a Knowledge Society
SCIGEN 201/201G: Innovating for a Knowledge Society (previously Managing Science and Technology)
SCIGEN 301/301G:  Engaging in a Knowledge Society
GEOG 205: Environment and Society
EDCU105G:  Teaching Traditions and Tales

Postgraduate supervision




2015: National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award - Ako Aotearoa

2014: University of Auckland Sustained Teaching Excellence Award



Co-ordinator:  SCIGEN 101/101G

Co-ordinator: SCIGEN 201/201G

Co-ordinator: SCIGEN 301/301G

Areas of expertise

  • Participatory Research
  • Collaborative learning in multi-stakeholder partnerships
  • Science Innovation
  • Science Communication
  • Agricultural Extension
  • Citizen Science

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Member of the Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence - Ako Aotearoa

School of Environment Academic Committee

School of Environment Marketing & Communications Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • McEntee, M. J. (2015). The Effect of Project Initiators in Participatory Partnerships. Paper presented at Australasia-Pacitic Extension Network, Grand Chancellor, Adelaide, Australia. 10 November - 12 November 2015. Related URL.
  • Phillips, T., Klerkx, L., McEntee, M. J., Wood, B., & Edmond, P. (2014). How Social Media is used by Rural Professionals and Farmers to Create Agricultural Innovation Systems. Paper presented at Digital Rural Futures Conference, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia. 25 June - 27 June 2014. Proceedings of the Digital Rural Futures. Related URL.
  • McEntee, M. J. (2013). The Challenge of Communicating Complexity. Paper presented at Kauri Dieback Symposium, University of Auckland. 30 November - 30 November 2013. Related URL.
  • McEntee, M. J. (2013). Beyond linear technology transfer: Examining learning environments in six sustainable agriculture participatory research projects. Extension Farming Systems Journal -- vol. 9, Papers from the 2013 APEN International Conference, 9, 114-123. Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand. Related URL.
  • McEntee, M. J., & Mortimer, C. (2013). Challenging the One-Way Paradigm for More Effective Science Communication: A Critical Review of Two Public Campaigns Addressing Contentious Environmental Issues. Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 12 (2), 68-76. 10.1080/1533015X.2013.820630
  • McEntee, M. J. (2012). Challenging the Production Paradigm: Learning from History to Advance Sustainable Futures. Paper presented at Australasian Agrifood Research Network Conference, Massey University, Palmerston North. 10 December - 13 December 2012. Related URL.
  • McEntee, M. J. (2010). More Carrot and Less Stick: Lessons from Agricultural Extension in New Zealand. Paper presented at Eighth ALARA World Congress 2010 Participatory Action Research and Action Learning (6-9 Sep), Melbourne, Australia. 6 September - 9 September 2010.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/16586
  • McEntee, M. J. (2010). Communicating science in agricultural extension. Paper presented at New Zealand Geographical Society (with the Institute of Australian Geographers) Conference 2010 (5-8 Jul), Christchurch, New Zealand. 5 July - 8 July 2010.


Contact details

Alternative contact

DDI:  +64 9 923 2499

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 4, Room 437
New Zealand

Social links

Web links