Dr Hart’s research focuses on saving native bees.
Ngaire says her interest in bees came about during her undergraduate studies when she was asked to design a tracking device for insects, which proved impossible given there was virtually no information on any of the 27 native New Zealand species.
So for her PhD she created special image-processing software which monitored the habitats of the bees to see if there was a drop in nests at three sites in Parihaka and Northland. She found the number of active nests reduced about 60 per cent over her seven-year research period.
Ngaire is the first Māori woman to get a PhD from engineering at AUT. She is believed to be only the second Māori woman to have the qualification in this field.
Read more about our native bees here
Listen to this RNZ podcast where Ngaire talks about her thesis on native bees