Team New Zealand


Prof Natalia Chaban

Professor Natalia Chaban is a twice awarded Jean Monnet Chair and Professor at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Canterbury (UC), New Zealand.  Vice-Leader of the Work Group “Perceptions and Communication”, COST Action EU Foreign Policy Facing New Directions  (ENTER) and Director of Public Diplomacy and Political Communication Forum at UC, she leads multiple transnational research projects supported by the European Commission, EEAS and NATO. In her regional engagement, she is the President of Ukrainian Studies Association of Australia and NZ 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. 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.

Her latest publications include co-edited with Arne Niemann and Johanna Speyer Changing Perceptions of the EU at Times of Brexit: Global Perspectives (Routledge 2020) and co-authored with Ole Elgström The Ukraine crisis and EU Foreign Policy Roles: Images of the EU in the Context of EU-Ukraine Relations (Edward Elgar, 2021).

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.

Donald’s 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.

Linda’s 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

Dr. Iana Sabatovych is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the National Centre for research on Europe at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand). She obtained her PhD degree in 2019 with a research work that investigated the patterns of Ukraine’s post-communist transition in an absence of EU membership prospect. Iana has participated in a number of international research projects that examined public attitudes and perceptions including “Crisis, Conflict and Critical Diplomacy: EU Perceptions in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine – (C3EU)” (2015-2018), and the “Update of the 2015 Perception Study: EU Perceptions in Strategic Partners” (2021). She is an experienced researcher whose skills include data management and project administration. Iana authored and co-authored various publications in academic peer-refereed journals and has presented papers and reports in numerous countries and to diverse audiences, including policymakers.

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