Knowledge about the Styx River ecosystem and the impacts on it, is essential to protecting the river's values. This knowledge will come about through research and investigations, then applying this knowledge to decisions associated with its management.

Research is currently undertaken by Christchurch City Council and Environmental Canterbury in terms of their statutory roles to safeguard the natural environment while at the same time allowing for development. The results of this research can be found in the reports in the Document section of this website.

The Styx Living Laboratory Trust has also been established to oversee the establishment of the Styx catchment as “a place that focuses on both learning and research”. The Trust has initiated the Styx Living Laboratory Trust Summer Student scholarships and supports the Royal Sociaty Teacher fellowship programme. Details of past recipients are listed below. If any teacher or student is interested in becoming involved in these programmes, contact the secretary of the Styx Living Laboratory Trust.


As part of its ongoing research programme, the Styx Living Laboratory Trust endeavours to offer an annual scholarship to enable tertiary students to undertake a particular research project within the Styx catchment over the summer holiday period.

To date, this scholarship has been offered in partnership with Lincoln University and the Shirley Papanui Community Board, Christchurch City Council. Past recipients and their area of interest are listed below.


2011 - 2012 Maree Henderson-Fitzgerald Recommendations for establishing a community volunteer bird monitoring program at Styx Mill Conservation Reserve

(1.49 MB)

2011 - 2012 Chris McClure Effectiveness of a predator-proof fence for conserving lizard fauna in the Styx catchment: A mark-recapture study

(953 KB)
2010 - 2011  Andrew Pugh Quantitative sampling of the community volunteer invertebrate sites  

(1.11 MB)
2009 -2010

Jasmine Braidwood

Assessment of the diversity of algae in the Styx Catchment

(3.07 MB)
2009 -2010

Chris McClure

Lizard abundance in two conservation reserves in the  Styx Catchment  

(1.31 MB)
2008 - 2009 Katie Collins
Aimee Robinson
Terrestrial arthropod abundance and diversity at four reserves along the Styx River

(4.43 MB)
2007 - 2008 Katie Collins Spatial Distribution of Aquatic Invertebrates, Styx River, Smacks Creek and Upstream of Styx Mill Conservation Reserve.

(5.88 MB)
2006 - 2007 Guinevere Coleman The effectiveness of restoring the Radcliffe Drain: a comparison with the Styx River.

(9.87 MB)
2005 - 2006 Shona Sam Invertebrate sampling of the plant trial area, 75 Lower Styx Road

(1010 KB)


This Scheme is funded by the Government and administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand. It offers primary, intermediate and secondary teachers the opportunity to improve their teaching through experience in technological, scientific or social sciences practice. During their fellowship, teachers fully immerse themselves into the discovery of knowledge or the transformation of it into useful products or systems and, as a consequence, become more skilled in the communication of sciences and technology. More information about the programme can be found at the Royal Society of New Zealand website.


2012 Susan Yardley On-line key to various species found in the Styx www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/identification/plants/styx-mill-biodiversity


Sue Pearce
Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti
The Styx Web  
2008 Peter Cooper
Christ's College
Brooklands Lagoon - Past, Present and Future (sedimentation)  
2008 Graeme Worner
Christ's College
How do salt marshes age? Temporal and spatial changes in structure and composition (Brooklands Lagoon).

(96.6 MB)
2007 Willem C. van den Ende
Burnside High School
Freshwater Aquatic Macrophytes in Christchurch Waterways

(234 KB)
2002 Julia Tu'ineau The Styx Living Laboratory  
2000 Margaret Yorke
Middleton Grange
Writing learning programmes for school waterway restoration projects