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Komathi Kolandai

Research Fellow, Public Policy Institute and COMPASS Research Centre, University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau

Housed at the University of Auckland’s Public Policy Institute and Centre of Methods and Policy Application in the Social Sciences, I am working on several research projects, including the Gender Responsive Analysis and Budgeting project and the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). My present research work includes:

- the gendered impact of COVID-19,
- COVID-19-related environmental perceptions,
- COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy,
- COVID-19 vaccination policies,
- international equity in COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and
- trends and changes across decades in various ISSP social attitudes measures (e.g., law abidance, social inequality, social networks, work orientations) in different jurisdictions.

I am also collaborating with researchers from the Queensland University of Technology and Victoria University of Wellington on a study focused on media framing and coverage of the underlying causes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between 2018 and 2020, with a post-doctoral fellowship from the George Mason Centre for the Natural Environment, I undertook a challenging transdisciplinary communication research project. To enhance public awareness about marine issues and motivate action, the project explored the significance of message framing strategies, communication format, communication media, and journalist-scientist working relationships. I was also a research fellow with a Sustainable Seas Project, where I carried out a media content analysis on the reporting of marine environmental risk and uncertainty and provided recommendations to the team on the types of framing to focus on for effective marine science communication. My earlier research areas include environmental communication, environmental journalism, education and training, gambling addiction and public health policies, agricultural sustainability, theology and pro-environmental attitudes, and fisheries policy and wetlands governance.


  • –present
    Research Fellow, University of Auckland


  • 2009 
    University of Canterbury, PhD Mass Communication