Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu

  • Ph.D. Candidate
  • Advised by: Dr. Kevin Hockett
Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu
315 Buckhout Lab
University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-863-3073
Fax: 814-863-7217

Areas of Expertise

  • Microbe-microbe interactions
  • Microbe-host interactions
  • Microbiomes/Phytobiomes
  • Indigenous ways of knowing


  1. B.S. and B.A. conjoint majoring, Biological Sciences, Māori Studies, and Writing Studies, The University of Auckland
  2. Postgraduate Diploma, Science, specialisation in Biological Sciences, with Distinction, The University of Auckland
  3. M.S. Biological Sciences, First Class Honours, The University of Auckland

Research Interests

Pseudomonas syringae is a foliar bacterial pathogen with a wide host range and is responsible for a number or economically important disease. In addition, P. syringae serves as a model for understanding host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions. Bacteriocin activity has been shown to provide a fitness benefit for the producing strain in animals and laboratory settings.

My research focuses on the dynamics of microbe-microbe interactions within the plant environment to understand when and where bacteriocins are beneficial for the producer. Furthermore, as bacteriocins are thought of as potential biological control agents, this work will aid our understanding of how to effectively employ them in plant environments.

As an Indigenous scientist from Aotearoa, New Zealand I highly value integrating my cultural values, identity and language in my career and research aspirations. I understand that both Indigenous and western science approaches and perspectives have their strengths and can greatly complement one another.

Grants and Awards

  • Phytobiomes Fellowship, Penn State Microbiome Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. 2019.
  • Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association & Vegetable Marketing and Research Program Funding, K. L. Hockett & H. Ehau-Taumaunu. 2019.
  • Rose Hellaby Postgraduate Scholarship - Developing today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders thereby benefitting their Whānau / Iwi and the wider community, Rose Hellaby Trust and Māori Education Trust, Wellington, New Zealand. 2018.
  • Herbert Cole Jr. Fund for Plant Pathology And Environmental Microbiology Award. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. 2018.
  • SACNAS Travel Scholarship, SACNAS, Santa Cruz, CA. 2018.
  • APS General Graduate Travel Award, APS Foundation Board, St. Paul, MN. 2018 
  • Fulbright New Zealand Science and Innovation Graduate Award – In recognition of excellence in educational achievement and participation in New Zealand Fulbright program, Wellington, New Zealand. 2017.
  • Funds for Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR), The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. 2017.


Richards NK, Ehau-Taumaunu H, Ferguson CM. (2017) DNA from 33-year-old dried moth specimens help confirm larva as the elusive Wiseana fuligenea. New Zealand Plant Protection 70:235-240.


Treasurer of the Plant Pathology Association, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology. The Pennsylvania State University. 2018-2019.

Co-founder and member of the Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. 2018-2019.