BEANZ Membership

All professional educators who have an interest in Biology Education in New Zealand are encouraged to become members of BEANZ.

Membership of BEANZ is via membership of NZASE. A supplementary subscription is payable for NZASE members to become a member of BEANZ.


Sharyn Varcoe – President (NZASE Representative)

Involved in education since 2003, I passionately believe that professional development of educators is one of the keys to improved outcomes for all learners. This led to my involvement in BEANZ, initially as Canterbury regional representative and co-chair of the BioLive2013 conference and latterly as president.

I am currently Deputy Principal at Oxford Area School, a rural Years 1 to 15 school in North Canterbury. In my spare time I can usually be found making the most of the amazing environs of Canterbury with my partner and grown-up children.

Dr Nic Rawlence – Tertiary Representative

Dr Nic Rawlence is the director of the Otago Palaeogenetics Laboratory. His research projects include:

Impact of humans and climate change on New Zealand’s terrestrial, coastal and marine fauna

Evolution and phylogeography of New Zealand’s extinct avian fauna

Southern hemisphere biogeography

Fisheries induced evolution

Peter Sutton – Treasurer

Ben Himme – Website Coordinator

I’m a full-time Biology teacher at Napier Girls High. In my spare time I’m developing a website ( for Science & Biology Teachers. I enjoy riding Vespas and collecting Lego.