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Published: 2017-03-30 13:00:00

A powerlifting vegan with a strong interest in the hydrodynamics of mudflats is the winner of this year’s Stella Frances Scholarship awarded by Waikato Regional Council and the Department of Conservation.

The $5000 scholarship presentation to Nicola Lovett of Enderley in Hamilton was made at today’s council meeting by chair Alan Livingston.

Nicola, originally from the UK, is studying for a Masters of Science degree at Waikato University with an earth science major.

“My research involves studying the hydrodynamics in the Firth of Thames estuary…and how that affects the sediment dynamics, particularly the effects of turbulence on sediment movement in vegetated areas.”

Nicola already has a degree in archaeology and prehistory and has previously had the opportunity to excavate a bronze age burial site in Greece.

“I came back to university after being a foster parent.  I chose to do science because I wanted to be a scientist after working with Met Office scientists in the UK.”

Nicola does powerlifting in her spare time and hopes to compete eventually.

DOC and the regional council jointly sponsor this scholarship for students in the final year of a master's degree at the university.

Our picture shows Nicola and council chair Alan Livingston, with Hamilton-based DOC senior ranger Andrew Styche.