Helen Morris joined ESR as a full-time graduate data scientist in 2022 and is a groundwater scientist based at Christchurch Science Centre. She uses a mix of statistics and computer science to find value in data or research projects that are being conducted at ESR and make it more available to the public.
Helen is currently working on ESR’s mobile wastewater dashboard for COVID-19, an easy-to-use tool that allows anyone to access wastewater sampling results from around the country. Helen enjoys the potential that wastewater-based epidemiology has to help the public track their health and create initiatives to help smaller communities that might need a bit more support managing illnesses.
Helen has a Biology degree and a Masters of Applied Data Science, for which she completed her final project at ESR. She worked with the Groundwater team to help predict nitrate levels in groundwater based on changes in microbial environments. Her research helped to pinpoint where there might be issues in the water and where strategies could be applied to stop high levels of nitrate.
Helen is inspired by the range of research happening at ESR – in particular its relevance to the future of New Zealand in terms of public health and the environment. She loves working in a role where what she does makes a difference to her community and country.