Members and Associate Members

Members and Associate Members of the Artificial Intelligence Institute are spread across the globe, comprising researchers, academics, industry professionals, and subject matter experts.

Institute Members are deeply engaged in the strategic priorities of the Institute with core members being responsible for setting the Institutes strategic direction and delivering on its purpose. Associate Members collaborate on research and wider initiatives of the Institute.

Both Members and Associate Members are given the opportunity to be an integral part of a collaborative, innovative and transdisciplinary community, contributing to the development of a vibrant AI ecosystem in New Zealand and around the world.


Professor Albert Bifet

University of Waikato

Albert previously worked at Huawei Noah's Ark Lab in Hong Kong, Yahoo Labs in Barcelona, and UPC BarcelonaTech. He is the co-author of a book on Machine Learning from Data Streams published at MIT Press. He is one of the leaders of MOA, scikit-multiflow and Apache SAMOA software environments for implementing algorithms and running experiments for online learning from evolving data streams. He was serving as Co-Chair of the Industrial track of IEEE MDM 2016, ECML PKDD 2015, and as Co-Chair of KDD BigMine (2019-2012), and ACM SAC Data Streams Track (2021-2012).

Professor Karin Bryan

Karin is the Director of the Environmental Research Institute at the University of Waikato. Karin completed a PhD in physical oceanography at Dalhousie University in Canada and came to New Zealand on a Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada international postdoctoral fellowship and then worked at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

Karin’s work has gradually shifted from nearshore physics (beaches) to working more on ecosystem-geomorphology interactions, natural hazards and in estuaries.

Professor Eibe Frank

University of Waikato

Eibe obtained a first degree in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, and a PhD in computer science from the University of Waikato. He has published extensively in the areas of machine learning and data mining and refereed for many conferences and journals in these areas. Jointly with others, he has received a Service Award from the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining and two Test of Time Awards from the European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases.

Professor Geoff Holmes

Geoff received his degrees in Mathematics from the University of Southampton, England, where his PhD involved the development of software packages to assist Mathematicians in solving Einstein's field equations in General Relativity. This was how he got started in Computer Science. After graduating Geoff became a Research Assistant at the Electrical Engineering Department of Cambridge University, England where he was a member of a large team working on a speech understanding system. Geoff joined the University of Waikato in 1987 as a Lecturer in Computer Science. His research interests include computer speech, speech recognition and speech compression. Geoff is also part of the Department's Machine Learning group where he concentrates his efforts on the application of Machine Learning to agricultural domains. Through his interests in Machine Learning he has recently become very interested in the concept of knowledge discovery in databases.

Professor Bernhard Pfahringer

Bernhard received his PhD degree from the University of Technology in Vienna, Austria, in 1995. He is a Professor with theDepartment of Computer Science at the University of Waikato. His interests span a range of data mining and machine learning sub-fields, with a focus on streaming, randomization, and complex data.

Associate Professor Te Taka Keegan

Te Taka has worked on a number of projects involving the Māori language and technology including the Māori Niupepa Collection, Te Kete Ipurangi, the Microsoft keyboard, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office in Māori, Moodle in Māori, Google Web Search in Māori, and the Māori macroniser. In 2009 Te Taka spent 6 months with Google in Mountain View as a visiting scientist assisting with the Google Translator Toolkit for Māori. Further work with Google led to Translate in Māori. Te Taka’s general research interests include traditional navigation, Māori language technologies, indigenous language interfaces, and multi-lingual usability. His current research interests have focused on the use of Te reo Māori in a technological environment.

In 2013, Te Taka was awarded the University of Waikato's Māori/Indigenous Excellence Award for Research and in 2017 Te Taka was awarded the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Dr Bob Durrant

Bob completed his PhD at the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, U.K. and is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Statistics at the University of Waikato. Before joining academia Bob had a varied career in industry, most recently as a project manager for a large UK stockbroker.

Bob is a member of the New Zealand Statistical Association, the Australia and New Zealand chapter of SIGKDD, the IEEE Computer Society, and a professional member of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Dr Heitor Gomes

Heitor is a Senior Research Fellow with a research interest in advancing the field of machine learning for evolving data streams, both for fundamental and applied research. Besides his academic background, Heitor has also worked in several companies, funded a startup, and provided consultancy services on applied machine learning problems.

Dr Yunzhe Jia

Dr. Yunzhe (Alvin) Jia received his PhD degree in computer science from the University of Melbourne in 2020, before which he received a Master degree in computer science from New York University and a Bachelor degree in Software Engineering from Xiamen University. His research interests include explainable machine learning, deep learning, frequent patterns and their applications in the finance area.

Dr Vimal Kumar

Vimal is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences and Head of the Cybersecurity Researchers of Waikato Lab at the University of Waikato. Vimal’s research interests are broadly in the areas of wireless sensors and security. Specifically he is interested in the development of secure wireless sensor networks, sensor clouds and internet of things. He is also looking into wearable devices security and issues in secure cloud computing.

Dr Nick Lim

Nick Lim is a post-doctoral research fellow doing research in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Nick obtained his MSc (Mathematics) and his PhD (Statistical Learning) from the University of Waikato and his doctoral dissertation is on "Ensemble learning of High Dimensional Datasets". Prior to doing his graduate studies, Nick worked in a semiconductors MNC as a component design engineer. Nick is passionate about technology, education, social justice and the welfare of children. In his free time, Nick enjoys photography, music, paper craft, cooking, and the mountains.

Dr Michael Mayo

Michael is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Waikato with research interests in evolutionary algorithms, design optimisation, machine learning/data mining and artificial intelligence.

Dr Yaqian Zhang

Yaqian Zhang is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waikato. She obtained a Ph.D. degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 2020 and a Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2015. Her research is mainly focused on reinforcement learning and machine learning.

Dale Fletcher

Dale is a Senior Research Manager with the Applied Machine Learning Group in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Waikato.

Peter Reutemann

Open-source advocate, lead developer of the ADAMS workflow engine, contributor to a wide range of open-source projects and Docker fan. Works mostly on commercial projects, developing and integrating open-source solutions in business processed in various commercial environments. Applies traditional machine learning techniques and ones based on deep learning frameworks (TensorFlow and PyTorch) to solve real-world problems (e.g., processing spectral data and images).

Organizes the Linux and Python meetups in Hamilton.

Corey Sterling

Corey is a Senior Research Manager with the Applied Machine Learning Group in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Waikato.

Associate Members

Emeritus Professor Ian Witten

Ian H. Witten graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA and MA (First Class Honours) in mathematics in 1969 and an M.Sc. in mathematics and computer science from the University of Calgary, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar, in 1970. He received his Ph.D. for Learning to Control in 1976 from the University of Essex, England (Electrical Engineering Science). Witten discovered temporal-difference learning, inventing the tabular TD(0), the first temporal-difference learning rule for reinforcement learning. Witten is a co-creator of the sequitur algorithm and also conceived of and obtained funding for the development of the original WEKA software package for data mining. Witten further made considerable contributions to the field of compression, creating novel algorithms for text and image compression with Alistair Moffat and Timothy C. Bell. He is also one of the major contributors to the digital libraries field, and founder of the New Zealand Digital Library project. Witten is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a recipient of the Hector Memorial Medal which was awarded to him in 2005.

Professor Talel Abdessalem

Télécom Paris, Institut Polytechnique de Paris

Professor Jose Luis Balcazar

Department of Computer Science, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Professor Hendrik Blockeel

KU Leuven & Leuven.AI

Professor Jose del Campo

University of Málaga, Spain

Professor Javier Del Ser

TECNALIA, Basque Research & Technology Alliance (BRTA), Spain

Professor Joao Gama

INESC TEC, and University of Porto, Portugal

Professor Ricard Gavaldà

Amalfi Analytics and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Professor André Ricardo Abed Grégio

Department of Informatics, Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba, Brazil.

Professor Latifur Khan

Department of Computer Science, Director Big Data Analytics and Management Lab, University of Texas, Dallas, Texas, USA

Professor Niklas Lavesson

Professor of Computer Science at Jönköping University, Sweden.

Professor Rafael Morales-Bueno

University of Málaga, Spain

Professor Luiz Eduardo S. Oliveira

Department of Informatics, Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba, Brazil.

Professor Mykola Pechenizkiy

Chair Data Mining, Data and AI Cluster, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Professor  André C. Ponce de Leon F. de Carvalho

Institute of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, University of Sao Paulo at Sao Carlos, Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil

Professor Omer Rana

School of Computer Science & Informatics, Cardiff University, UK

Professor Jesse Read

DaSciM team in LIX at École Polytechnique, working in areas of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science and Mining.

Professor Luis Torgo

Canada Research Chair in Spatiotemporal Ocean Data Analytics and Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Professor Heike Trautmann

Data Science: Statistics and Optimization, University of Münster, Germany

Associate Professor Emanuele Della Valle

Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Associate Professor Maciej Grzenda

Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

Associate Professor Yun Sing Koh

Yun Sing is an Associate Professor at the School of Computer Science, The University of Auckland. Her research is in the area of machine learning. Within the broad research realm, she is currently focusing on three strands of research: data stream mining, lifelong and transfer learning, and pattern mining. She has published more than 100 research papers in this field at top venues.  She has been active in the research community including serving as the Program Co-Chair of the Australasian Data Mining Conference 2018 and as the  Workshop Chair for the 15th Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.  She has just been awarded a Marsden Fast-Start grant in the 2018 round.

Associate Professor Silviu Maniu

LaHDAK team of LISN at Université Paris-Saclay in Orsay, France.

Associate Professor Rodrigo Mello

Rodrigo Mello is Associate Professor at the Institute of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Department of Computer Science, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, SP, Brazil. He obtained his doctoral degree in 2003 from the University of São Paulo. His research interests include machine learning, applications in dynamic systems, time series analysis and data streams.

Associate Professor Carlos Soares

Carlos Soares obtained an undergraduate degree (licenciatura) in Systems Engineering and Informatics from U. Minho, Portugal, an M.Sc. degree in Artificial Intelligence and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from U. Porto, Portugal.  After 15 years at the Faculty of Economics, he is now an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of U. Porto, where he holds the positions of Subdirector of the Dep. of Informatics Engineering, Director of the Ph.D. programme on Informatics Engineering and Adjunct Director of the M.Sc. programme on Data Science and Engineering.

Associate Professor Indrė Žliobaitė

University of Helsinki

Assistant Professor Felipe Bravo

Department of Computer Science, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Assistant Professor Joaquin Vanschoren

Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Dr Maroua Bahri

Postdoctoral Researcher, Télécom Paris, Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

Dr Remco Bouckaert

Senior Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science at the University of Auckland.

Dr Matthias Carnein

Provinzial Insurance, Germany

Vitor Cerqueire

Researcher at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

Dr Eva Garcia-Martin

Data Scientist at Ekkono Solutions

Dr Mark Hall

Mark obtained his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Waikato and is now an Honorary Research Associate.

Dr Lyn Hunt

Lyn initially joined the University of Waikato in 1985 as a graduate student before taking on the role of Tutor in 1988 and Senior Tutor in 1995. Lyn completed a doctorate degree and attained a lecturing position in the Department of Statistics in 1996, and is now a Senior Lecturer.

Dr Chaitanya Joshi

Chaitanya is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Waikato. His research interests primarily include Computational Bayesian inference, Statistical modelling/Bayesian modelling.

Dr Nicolas Kourtellis

Nicolas holds a PhD in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of South Florida, USA (2012). He has done research  at Yahoo Labs, USA & at Telefonica Research, Spain, on online user privacy and behavior modeling, Internet measurements and distributed systems, with 70+ published peer-reviewed papers. Lately, he focuses on CyberPrivacy (Privacy-preserving Machine Learning (ML) and Federated Learning on the edge, user online privacy and PII leaks), etc.) and CyberSafety (modeling and detecting abusive, inappropriate or fraudulent content on social media using data mining and ML methods, and how they can be applied on the edge on user-owned or network devices). He has served in many technical program committees of top conferences and journals (WWW, KDD, CIKM, ECML-PKDD, TKDD, TKDE, TPDS, etc.).

Dr Dino Ienco

INRAE, UMR Tetis, Montpellier, France

Dr Beatriz López

AI applied in Medicine and Health Lab, eXiT research group

Universitat de Girona, Girona, Spain

Dr Jesús López Lobo

TECNALIA, Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), Spain

Dr Viktor Losing

Honda Research Institute Europe, Offenbach, Germany

Dr Diego Marron

Applied Scientist, Amazon

Dr Jacob Montiel


Dr Gianmarco Francisci De Morales

Senior Research Scientist at ISI Foundation, a private Foundation conducting research rooted in the area of Complex Systems Science, a field that the institute has contributed to shape for more than three decades.

Dr. Panos Patros

Panos, an Official Member of Engineering New Zealand, is interested in various aspects of Software Engineering but in particular, Self-Adaptation in Clouds, Language Runtimes and Embedded Systems, focusing on the Testing and Satisfaction of Nonfunctional Requirements as well as Systems' Security. He joined the University of Waikato in July 2018; soon after, he started the Oceania Researchers in Cloud and Adaptive-systems (ORCA) lab. Additionally, he is serving as an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of New Brunswick in Canada.

Dr Tony Smith

Tony received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science from the University of Calgary, and earned my PhD at the University of Waikato. A general theme of his research is adaptive systems. He has a background in artificial intelligence and machine learning, with particular focus on language processing problems. More recently he has been spending quite a bit of time working on bioinformatics projects, and on applications of reinforcement learning within autonomous agents.

Tony is a member of the editorial board for the International Journal on Intelligent Data Analysis, and a chartered member of (among other things) the Australasian Language Technology Association.

Dr Varvara Vetrova

Varvara is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury’s College of Engineering. Her research interests include applied statistics and machine learning in the environmental domain, applications of deep neural networks for fine-grained recognition. Varava also works on developing new methods for spatio-temporal forecasting, in particular with applications to extreme climate events.

Dr Joerg Simon Wicker

Joerg is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science at the University of Auckland. His main research area is machine learning and its application to bioinformatics, cheminformatics, computational sustainability, and privacy. In his career, Joerg worked on diverse machine learning topics including autoencoders, Boolean matrix decomposition, inductive databases, multi-label classification, privacy-preserving data mining, adversarial learning, and time series analysis.

Dr Amanda Williamson

Amanda is a lecturer in innovation and strategy at Waikato Management School, at the University of Waikato. Her research focuses on the health of entrepreneurs and artificial intelligence. Previous to arriving at the University of Waikato she worked at the New Zealand Centre for SME Research, held a Visiting Researcher position in Chile (PUC), and was awarded her PhD at the Institute of Work Psychology (Sheffield, UK).

Dr Shaoqun Wu

Senior Lecturer (Computer Science), University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

Dr Wenbin Zhang

Postdoctoral Researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Ziad Ismail 

Security engineer, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Peng YU

Telecom Paris & Shopify Inc