Meet the Team

Board

Luc Bohyn Chairman

Luc’s background is in trading. His hobbies and interests are widespread ranging from art, nature, photography and aviation. Before moving to New Zealand in 2009, Luc was trading coal, bauxite and magnesite in Europe. He bought an interest in the Roa Mine near Greymouth in 2001 and was a Director of Roa Mining Company and New Zealand Coal and Carbon until April 2019. In April 2019, Luc took over Verum Group Ltd. He has also established Atarau Sanctuary for breeding and re-introduction of great spotted Kiwi and this is an ongoing interest and passion.

Luc Bohyn
Dr James Pope Chief Executive Officer

James is the Chief Executive Officer of Verum Group. He has a Ph.D. in geochemistry and 20 years experience in the minerals and research sectors. Currently, James is involved in research related to mining environmental management, treatment of contaminated water from mining and agriculture as well as geothermal geochemistry. James has expertise in consultancy, expert witness work, chemical analysis of complex materials and mineral resource evaluation. He is a member of the AusIMM, IMWA and NZ Geological Society, is adjunct to the Department of Geological Science at University of Canterbury as well as the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at University of Windsor. Away from the office, James has a school aged family and enjoys running, adventure racing, biking, skiing and tramping.

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Barry Bragg Director

Barry joined the Verum Group (formerly CRL) Board in 1996 and was Managing Director from 2013 until 31 March 2019. Barry had a 20 year executive career at Solid Energy and was Chief Operating Officer from 2003 until 2013. Barry is of Ngai Tahu descent and joined the Ngai Tahu Property Board in 2009 and has been Chairman since 2012. His other directorships include being Deputy Chair of the Stevenson Group Limited, a Director of Straterra, Deputy Chair of the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust and is a CDHB Board Member chairing the Quality, Audit & Risk Committee. He is currently Managing Director of Nuenz Limited an advanced materials start-up company. He is also a Chartered Accountant Fellow and a member of the NZ Institute of Directors. Barry completed the INSEAD International Executive Programme in France and Singapore in 2002.

Staff

Alex Aitken Senior Laboratory Analyst

Having recently from the UK to New Zealand, Alex is our senior laboratory analyst in the Verum Group’s Christchurch Laboratory. Alex has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Studies and Philosophy from the University of Hertfordshire and a breadth of experience in asbestos consultancy. At Verum Group, Alex’s focus in on coal analysis and asbestos identification. In his spare time, Alex enjoys cycling and spending time outdoors.

Alex on bike
Alex Duncan Environmental Scientist

Alex Duncan is an Environmental Scientist with the Air Quality team in Christchurch. As part of this team, he conducts point source emissions monitoring for clients to fulfil their resource consent requirements. This involves on site sampling, the processing of samples at Verum Group’s Christchurch laboratory and then reporting. His focus is on maintaining the Air Quality team’s high standard of analysis and timeliness of reporting. He has a Bachelor of Environmental Management from Lincoln University. Outside of work, he enjoys surfing, camping and gardening.

Andy Englefield Air Quality Analyst

Andy co-ordinates the Air Quality team in Christchurch. He specialises in point source and ambient emissions for industrial and commercial clients, who are looking to fulfil their resource consent requirements. Andy manages the workplace exposure monitoring services that Verum Group provides, while upholding quality and best practice procedures. He also has involvement in environmental monitoring, performing site investigations, sampling and reporting for resource consent requirements. Providing a high quality and responsive service are Andy’s priorities. Away from work Andy has a young family, enjoys classic cars, barbequing and exploring the outdoors.

Ann Herbert Administration Manager
Ben Rumsey Research Officer

Ben is a Research Officer in the Gracefield Office. He has a wide range of experience in analysis, instrumentation and project management. Ben has a BSc in Chemistry and Technology and a background in providing quality analysis, and clever solutions to the industry over a range of commodities, from biomass and coal to mineral sands. Ben also oversees the on-site pilot plant and washery testing equipment, and conducts testing from scoping trials and delineation through to plant audits and commissioning. Away from work Ben enjoys fishing, mountain biking and his young family.

Billy (William) Porter Environmental Scientist

William (Billy) is an Environmental Scientist and Workplace Exposure Analyst with Verum Group's Christchurch based Environmental and workplace monitoring team. Billy’s current work involves environmental monitoring in the fields of water, soil and air and workplace exposure testing. His previous work experience includes agricultural contracting and trucking. He has an BSc in geology with an environmental endorsement. Outside of work Billy enjoys his time golfing, fishing, diving and getting out and about.

Cameron McCabe Project Geologist

Cameron is a Project Geologist based out of the Christchurch office. Cameron’s role at Verum Group covers exploration and permit management, GIS analysis and geological fieldwork and reporting across a verity of commodities in the mining industry. Cameron has a BSc is Geology and Physical Geography. With over 8 years’ experience in the New Zealand minerals industry, he has experience working as a mine geologist and worked for New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals. Cameron is a full member of the AusIMM. Away the office and hanging out with rocks, Cameron enjoys hiking, getting out into the wilderness and playing the guitar.

Craig Fraser XRF Laboratory Manager
Dave Trumm Senior Scientist

Dave Trumm is an environmental scientist and geologist for Verum Group in Christchurch. Dave has over 20 years experience in commercial geo-science and geological research and a MSc in geology. His current work involves research and consulting on environmental impacts from coal and gold mining in New Zealand, with a focus on Acid Mine Drainage. He also has expertise in managing and remediating sites contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons. Away from work, Dave has a young family, is a keen mountain biker and holds several New Zealand speed skating national records.

Dr Hannah Christenson Research Scientist

Hannah is a research scientist and geochemist at Verum Group in Christchurch. Her background is in chemistry, and she completed her PhD on phosphorus biogeochemistry at the University of Canterbury in 2015. Hana has experience working on the distribution and mobility of contaminants and nutrients in aquatic systems in New Zealand and Antarctica. Away from work, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, gardening and is a member of the national women’s ultimate frisbee team.

Hannah christenson
Dr Murray McCurdy Research Officer

Murray is the Chief Technology Officer at Verum Group. Murray designs and leads engineering science research for Verum Group and clients. Murray is a chemical engineer with experience in public and private sector R&D, including a successful technology start-up. Murray has demonstrated success leveraging Government research funding into projects, including Callaghan Innovation, Endeavour and Vision Mātauranga Capability funding.

Dr Ziyin (Simon) Zhang Research Scientist

Ziyin (Simon) Zhang is a research scientist at Verum Group in Wellington. He completed his PhD on chemical and process engineering at the University of Canterbury in 2017. His background is in combustion, gasification and renewable energy. Simon currently works in the R&D department, his research includes carbon foam materials science, and zero CO2 metal production and coal or biomass fuel efficiency testing. Outside of work Simon enjoys time with his young family and sport actives.

Harry Jones Environmental Scientist

Harry Jones is a Christchurch born and bred environmental scientist. He left for Dunedin to complete a Bachelor degree in Environmental Management at the Otago University before coming back to Christchurch. He’s been with Verum Group for the past three years with a focus on Emission Testing and Water Sampling for a wide range of industrial businesses. On his spare time Harry enjoys social sport, the outdoors and cooking!

Jacob Hamill Environmental Officer

Jacob is originally from Taranaki, he moved to Australia for couple of years before settling in Hamilton to complete his Master Degree in Environmental Science. He recently integrated the Emission and Environmental Testing Hamilton team of Verum Group as our Environmental Scientist. His focus is on Emission Testing and Water Sampling for a wide range of local industrial businesses. On his spare time, Jacob enjoys going tramping.

Jaime Laughton Greymouth Laboratory Assistant

Born and bred on the West Coast, Jaime is our Laboratory Assistant in Greymouth. Jaime spent a year studying Tourism and Hospitality at the local Tai Poutini Polytechnic and working in the industry before transitioning to a career with Verum Group. Her main role is the sampling and analysis of drinking water and assisting with environmental sampling and coal work. Jaime spends her time outside of work enjoying what the West Coast has to offer with her dog, Billie.

Kelly Lamers Office Administrator Christchurch

Born in Canada, Kelly is Verum Group’s Office Administrator based in Christchurch. She has a Business Administration Diploma from Seneca College with a Major in Human Resources Management and recently added a bookkeeping certificate from Durham College to her skill set. Before coming to New Zealand, Kelly worked for a well-known Canadian grocery store chain Loblaw as a manager where she also did recruitment and office administration. A broad experience, she brought to Verum Group when she joined the team in March 2020. At Verum Group she looks after the office administration and accounts payables. Outside of work, Kelly enjoys traveling and experiencing the great kiwi outdoors kayaking, hiking, snowboarding, and practicing martial arts.

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Kerry Gordon Consultancy & Business Development Manager

Kerry is a Senior Geologist with a MSc in Natural Hazards. At Verum Group, he is responsible for the Environmental Monitoring and Resource Proving and Modelling, Management of exploration projects. With over 14 years’ experience in the Energy and Mining Industry, Kerry has worked on a diverse range of exploration and operational projects, including coal seam gas, underground coal gasification, underground and opencast coal mining and conventional oil and gas. Kerry brings to Verum Group skills and experience in project and operation management, drilling planning & supervision as well as geological modelling. Before commencing a career in the consultancy industry, Kerry developed excellent communication, leadership skills. As Senior Glacier Guide, Kerry gained valuable experience in management and decision-making skills in unforgiving environments. In his spare time, Kerry enjoys taking his kids into the outdoors.

Kerry at the mine
Khurram Waqas Malik Laboratory Analyst

Khurram is lab analyst for XRF sample analysis and coal testing. He has MSc in Biochemistry and having more than 16 years of laboratory experience in field of coal, minerals, and water analytical services. Outside of work, Khurram enjoys his time with his young family, reading, home improvements, and gardening.

Kim Knight Greymouth Laboratory Manager

Kim is our Laboratory Manager in Greymouth. With a very diversified experience going from lab analysis for Coal Corp and the Waikato Regional Council, to running her dairy farm or setting up her hydroponic business, Kim brings a great set of skills to her management role. She is responsible with her team for running coal, drinking and waste water sampling and analysis for a wide range of local councils, mine sites and businesses. In her free time she enjoys being outdoors and spending time in the Pacific Islands.

Laura Molles Behavioural Ecologist

Originally from California, Laura has called New Zealand home for the last 10 years. With a PhD in Animal Behaviours from the University of California San Diego, she is a specialist is animal communications. In New Zealand, she has done a post doc on the North Island Kokako and has been a senior lecturer at Lincoln University working with the students on a wide range of species from the Kokapo, penguins and the kiwis. To show its support to the Atarau Sanctuary in its conservation work for the Great Spotted Kiwi in the Paparoa Range, Verum Group hired Laura as a behavioural ecologist. Her mission will be the development of a technologic system for the identification of individual kiwis by their calls. This will help monitor the population size and reproduction. On her spare time, Laura enjoys hiking in the great outdoors and looking after her house full of pets.

Laura Monitoring
Mike Young Christchurch Laboratory Manager

Mike is the manager of Verum Group's Lyttelton laboratory for coal testing and also responsible for safety in the Christchurch office. He has an MSc in chemistry and his previous work experience has included quality control in the petroleum industry as well as HSNO compliance, raw material purchasing and dabbling in IT. Outside of work Mike enjoys time with his young family, church, and keeping active.

Mike in the lab cropped
Nathan Frost Hamilton Air Quality Manager

Nathan was born and bred in Hamilton. He first started with Verum Group as part of his Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science completed at the Waikato University. He then moved onto a permanent role leading him to the coordination of Emission Testing and Environmental Testing for the Hamilton area. During his spare time, Nathan enjoys the outdoors and playing hockey.

Phyllis Shi Laboratory Analyst

Phyllis is our Laboratory Analyst for the Christchurch Lab. After studying chemistry and getting bachelor degree in science in China and working as a teacher, Phyllis moved to New Zealand 24 years ago. She started at Verum Group as a casual lab analyst in our Lower Hutt lab with a focus on coal. She then moved to Christchurch as an environmental analyst working for Solid Energy. Phyllis became a permanent member of Verum Group Christchurch as a Laboratory analyst in 2012, focus on coal analysis and also undertake some testing for environmental projects. When Verum Group moved its coal lab from the North Island to Christchurch in 2019, her focus moved onto solid fuels (coal, wood and oil) analysis. On her free time, Phyllis enjoys spending time at the gym, especially in the Zumba class

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Ray Beckford Manager Atarau Sanctuary

Born in Christchurch, Ray then spent all his life on the West Coast of New Zealand. Trained to dairy farming through AGITO, Ray has spent 17 years involved with the Dairy industry. Farming is now Ray’s hobby as he integrated Verum Group’s team in January 2019 as the Atarau Sanctuary Manager. His role currently involves maintaining and improving the facility to create the right environment for the safe development of the Great Spotted kiwi chicks before being released in the wild. On his spare time, Ray enjoys the outdoors and looking after his beef animals.

Rebecca Skansie Environmental Technician/Coal Sampling Analyst

Originally from Ashburton, Rebecca is Verum Group’s Environmental Technician/Coal Water Sampling Analyst for our Greymouth facility. Having graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Environmental Management, she moved to the West Coast to join the Regional Council as a Hydrological Technician. Following a 12-month OE in the USA, she worked for DOC as part of the Biodiversity Monitoring Team before joining Verum Group in late March 2020. Rebecca is responsible for environmental monitoring predominantly through the sampling and analysis of water from mine sites. She is also involved in sampling and processing of coal from trains and local mines. Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her family, the occasional run and baking delicious cakes!

Rodney Brown Senior Engineer
Stephanie Huet Promotion & Sustainability Coordinator

Born in France, Stephanie is our Promotion & Sustainability Coordinator based in Christchurch. Raised in French Polynesia, she became passionate about sustainability and environment protection. With a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and a Master Degree in Industrial Ecology & Environmental Management, she built her expertise in waste management & minimization. Before coming to Verum Group, Stephanie worked over the past 10 years for businesses and councils in France & New Zealand. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys gardening, looking after her chickens and exploring our beautiful country.

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Trevor Dine National Laboratory & Quality Manager

Trevor is Verum Groups National Laboratory and Quality Manager. Trevor brings a broad experience gained both in New Zealand and Europe over the past 40 years from wastewater surface water and potable waters, in both microbiology and chemistry. In 2001, Trevor joined Verum Group (then CRL Energy) initially to set up the water testing laboratory, then manage the fuel lab and emissions testing crew, before taking over the management and quality of all Verum Group’s laboratories. Outside of work, Trevor is a keen tennis player.

Yukinori Iwasaki Research Officer

Yukinori is a Research Officer in the Gracefield Office. Before, moving to New Zealand, Yukinori graduated with a MSc in Material Science in Japan and worked at research department in Babcock Hitachi (now Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems) powerplant manufacture. At Verum Group, Yukinori performs X-ray fluorescence analysis, inorganic materials analysis and reports elemental contents. Away from work he enjoys playing with his young sons and playing tennis.

Associates

Chris Nelson Associate Geologist

Chris, now a consultant for Verum Group, has led the coal seam gas (CSG) group at Verum Group. He has an MSc in engineering geology and worked for seven years in engineering geology and mineral exploration prior to joining Verum Group. He has been involved in the development of methods for CSG determination since 2001. During the past decade, he has worked extensively on exploration programmes for CSG in New Zealand and in Asia. He has been the project manager for all of the international CSG programmes, enjoying the challenges of remote field locations and cross-cultural client liaison. Recently Chris’ focus has turned to coal mine gas content and developing robust methods for assessing this. Along the way at Verum Group, Chris has accumulated over seven years of experience in air quality analysis and monitoring and has now climbed, and sampled, many industrial stacks throughout New Zealand. Chris is interested in practical problem solving with no particular emphasis on the field. Away from the office, Chris enjoys tramping, surfing, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding.

Dr Nigel Newman Associate Senior Geologist

Nigel Newman has trained in geology, geochemistry, and coal science. Nigel has a PhD in geochemistry and 20+ years experience in geological science from academia to exploration. He currently works in the fields of exploration, applied geology, coal quality, coal and environmental chemistry, petroleum chemistry, and marine surveying. Away from the office Nigel has a mature family, and enjoys tramping, bee keeping, and fixing stuff.

Dr Trevor Matheson Associate Scientist

Trevor Matheson, is a former General Manager Operations and Deputy Chief Executive of Verum Group, has a BSc (Hons) in chemistry and a PhD in Organometallic chemistry. Prior to joining Verum Group as Senior Scientist, he carried out research at Cambridge University, the Australian Research School of Chemistry, and the CSIRO Division of Materials Science.

Wayne Hennessy Associate Senior Scientist

Wayne is Verum Group’s specialist in greenhouse gas accounting. He has a BSc (Hons) and a MSc in Chemistry from the University of Canterbury. Wayne brings 4O years of experience to Verum Group. His current research work is assessing synthetic greenhouse gas emissions for the Ministry for the Environment's national inventory, with particular expertise in the refrigeration industry. He has undertaken other studies on emission reduction in relation to energy efficiency and renewable energy utilisation in industry. Wayne enjoys spending much of his spare time bird and pest monitoring at Nelson's Brook Waimarama Sanctuary. He is excited at the prospect of re-introduction of kiwi, tuatara, carnivorous snails and other rare species.

Wayne Hennessy at the Waterfall cropped