Team New Zealand


Prof Natalia Chaban

Prof. Natalia Chaban is a Jean Monnet Chair and Deputy Director of the National Centre for Research on Europe at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. A UC Teaching Award recipient, Natalia teaches and designs a variety of under- and post-graduate courses and supervises MA/PhD students in European and EU Studies.  In her regional engagement, she is the President of Ukrainian Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand and co-editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies (since its inception in 2009).

Natalia focuses her interdisciplinary research on cognitive and semiotic aspects of political and media discourses, and image and perceptions studies within the EU and IR contexts. Since 2002, together with Prof Martin Holland, she has been co-leading a comparative transnational project “EU Global Perceptions”.  This project has been supported by Jean Monnet Programme of the European Commission, European External Action Service and Asia Europe Foundation. She also co-led a project studying NATO perceptions in Asia Pacific supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme and NATO Public Diplomacy Division (with Vlad Vernygora and Svetlana Beltyukova). Natalia’s contribution to the field of EU external perceptions has been internationally recognized by scholars and stakeholders, and research design and methods have been replicated around the world.

Natalia widely publishes on the topic of EU external perceptions including articles in high impact journals such as the Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Integration, European Foreign Affairs Review, Cooperation and Conflict, Foreign Policy Analysis, Mobilities, Comparative European Politics. Most recently, she co-edited Communicating Europe in Times of Crisis: External Perceptions of the European Union (Palgrave 2014, with M. Holland),  Importing EU Norms (Springer 2015, with A. Björkdahl, J. Leslie and A. Masselot), and The EU’s Global Strategy: Partners and Perceptions (Palgrave McMillan 2018, with M. Holland). She is a Guest Editor of Special Issues – ‘External Images of the EU – Energy Power Across the Globe’ (with M.  Knodt and A. Verdun, Comparative European Politics, 2017);  “The EU and its Eastern Neighbours: Perceptions and Strategic Dialogue in the Region” (with M. Knodt and J. Headley, European Foreign Affairs Review, 2018);  and “NATO Global Perceptions – Views from the Asia-Pacific Region” (with P. Bacon, J. Burton, V. Vernygora, Asian Security  2018). Her book Bilateral Energy Relations between the EU and Emerging Powers: Mutual Perception of the EU and Brazil, China, India and South Africa (co-authored with M. Knodt and L. Nielsen) is published with Nomos in 2017.

Donald Matheson

Donald Matheson’s research interests lie in journalism studies, with a particular emphasis on discourse analysis of journalists’ writing practices. This interest has taken him towards researching journalism in new media, as well as historical and ethical aspects of newswriting. He is also interested in journalism sociology and in the study of alternative media.

Fields of research include

  • Communication ethic
  • Discourse analysis, language as it is used
  • New media, partic online journalism, digital radio
  • Newswriting and news language
  • Social media

Prof Linda Jean Kenix

Linda Jean’s research interests focus broadly on the representation of marginal groups in mass media, with a particular emphasis on the news. Her research gives specific attention to the agenda setting function of both mass and alternative media in the process of social change.

Fields of Research include

  • Media and social change
  • The representation of marginal groups in the news
  • Alternative/Independent media
  • Visual communication
  • Media and non-profit organisations

Early Career Researchers

Dr Viktor Velivchenko

Dr. Viktor Velivchenko is PhD student at the National Centre for research on Europe at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand). Before coming to New Zealand, Viktor was Associate Professor of the Department of English Philology at Cherkasy Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University, Ukraine. His main scientific interest is in the field of lingual and cognitive pragmatics: he investigates how people use language to express information intended but not obligatory exposed by words.  In 2012 he defended his dissertation in Philology on the topic Implicature as a Medium for Manifesting the Speaker’s Emotions. The work deals with indirect (implicative) way of expressing positive and negative emotions under different communicative conditions. At Cherkasy National University, he taught a course Language as a Means of Effecting Human Consciousness. Viktor is also interested in international relations, especially the relations in the triangle Western Countries-Ukraine-Russia. He has participated in many educational activities on NATO (organized by CID NATO in Ukraine) and, together with his colleagues, has initiated The Center of Euro and Euro Atlantic Integration at Cherkasy National University. He has got extensive work experience in planning and realization of successful activities/projects, supported by Peace Corps (Free Kick Project), PEPFAR, The Renaissance Fund, USAID, etc.

Dr. Iana Sabatovych

Iana Sabatovych is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the National Centre for research on Europe at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand).

In 2010, Iana graduated from the Mariupol State University of Humanities (Mariupol, Ukraine) completing her Bachelor degree in International Economy with Honours. In 2011, she graduated Mariupol State University (Mariupol, Ukraine), accomplishing Master in International Economic Activities with Honours. She organised academic events in Malaysia before joining the NCRE as a Ph.D. student in 2014. Her thesis investigated the patterns of Ukraine’s post-communist transition and limitations of Europeanization with a particular consideration of Europeanisation beyond Europe in an absence of EU membership prospect.