Richard Parker



Dr Richard Parker is a human factors researcher who specialises in developing work practices to enhance productivity and safety in dangerous occupations (e.g. forest harvesting and rural fire fighting). His research includes teleoperation and robotics, aimed at removing workers from high risk situations.


  • PhD (Ergonomics & Management),    Massey University, New Zealand - 2010
  • M. Erg (1st Class Hons), Massey University, New Zealand - 2003
  • P.G. Dip. (Ergonomics), Massey University, New Zealand - 1996
  • P.G. Dip. (Ag. Sci.), Lincoln College, New Zealand - 1983
  • B.Sc. (Zoology), Canterbury University, New Zealand - 1980

Research capabilities

  • Ergonomics and Human Factors of dangerous and demanding tasks
  • Extensive knowledge of forest harvesting and rural fire fighting 
  • Forest teleoperation and robotics

Career highlights

  • Recipient US Forest Service Travel & Study Grant to Technology Centers – San Dimas and Missoula – Wild Fire Human Factors May 2004
  • Granted US Patent No. 6,756,789 Parker, R. & Todoroki, C. 2004. Method for imaging logs or stems and apparatus. New Zealand Forest Research Institute.
  • Developed integrated system of GPS, video and physiological monitors for analysis of fire fighter and forest worker analysis
  • Theme Leader – Advanced Ergonomics 2009- 2010
  • Project Leader – Rural Fire Research Group 2010 - present.

Selected papers

Parker, R.J. 2010. Technological advances in the analysis of work in dangerous environments: Tree felling and rural fire fighting. PhD Thesis, Massey University, Palmerston North.

Parker, R.; Ashby, L. 2010. Rural firefighter exposure to fireground gases with relevance to physiological workload and fire suppression productivity. New Zealand Fire Service Commission, Wellington. New Zealand Fire Service Commission Research Report 108. 28 p.

Parker, R J; Roper, J G; Watson, M; 2006. Radar scanning on green pruned logs. SCANTECH 2006, Sawmill Scanning & Optimisation Technologies Seminar, Rotorua, New Zealand, 30-31 May 2006.

Parker, R. 2003 An ergonomic analysis of a closed circuit television rear vision system for forestry machine operators.  M.Erg Thesis.  Massey University. pp 102.

Bentley, R.; Parker, R.; Ashby, L. 2002: Occupational falls outdoors - Falls in forestry operations.  Chapter 10 in: Haslam, R.; Stubbs, D. (Ed.) “Understanding and Preventing Fall Accidents - An Ergonomics Approach.” Taylor & Francis.

Parker, R.; Bentley, T.; Ashby, L. 2002: Forestry applications of human factors research.  Chapter 14 in: O’Brien, T.G.; Charlton, S.G. (Ed.) “Handbook of Human Factors Testing and Evaluation.” Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.