Meet The Scrub Team

Our team is led by Scrub founders, Rodney and Jane Straka.  Both Rodney and Jane are ecologists and bring expert knowledge and a passion for working on environmental restoration projects that have meaningful ecological outcomes. 

Scrub operates with the highest standards of both environmental best practice, and Health and Safety protocols.  Scrub employs a team of talented and experienced ecologists, horticulturalists, and operational crews to support its projects. 


Rodney Straka

Restoration Ecologist, Director Scrub

Rodney has had over 20 years of experience providing advice on ecology led environmental and conservation projects.  Rodney is well known for his restoration and ecology work in the greater Auckland region.  With a rural background and technical and practical knowledge in all aspects of restoration ecology, Rodney brings a unique blend of skills to any project he is involved in.

Rodney oversees Scrubs ecologists and operational teams, ensuring an ecology- based approach to every project.


Rodney has a Bachelor of Resource Studies majoring in forest ecology, from Lincoln University. He is a member of the Auckland Botanical Society, and the New Zealand Ecological Society. Rodney is a Registered Chemical Applicator (RCA), holding certificates in herbicide, agrichemical use and handling, chainsaw safety, UTV/ATA use, first aid, and toxin handling (CSL for cyanide use).

Jane Straka

Ecologist, Director Scrub

Jane oversees Scrub’s specialised native plant nursery, undertakes all the seed collection for the ecosourcing of Scrubs plants and supports the field teams with their planting projects. 

Jane has a Bachelors’ degree in Plant Science and Ecology from Massey University, and a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons).  Jane is a member of the International Plant Propagators Society, the NZPPI Science and Technology sub committee and the NZPPI Native Revegetation Special Interest Group.  


Jane holds a Level 4 advanced certificate in Horticulture (nursery production) along with certificates in herbicide/agrichemical use and handling, chainsaw safety, and UTA/ATV use.

Geoff Atkinson

Scrub Nursery Manager

With more than 20 years of horticultural experience, Geoff manages all aspects of Scrub’s native plant nursery. 

This includes nursery production / propagation management and planning, propagation of native species from seed, and plant health. 


Geoff is also responsible for ensuring that all aspects of Scrub’s nursey operations are delivered to the highest standards.

Gabriel Daniels

Scrub Operations Manager

Gabriel leads Scrub’s Operations, which involves managing our field crew, and all operational logistics and daily planning across multiple jobs.   


Gabriel focuses on ensuring the highest standards of delivery, strict adherence to health and safety and environmental best practice on every project.


Gabriel has a degree in Human Resource Management, is a Registered Chemical Applicator (RCA) and holds certificates in Outdoor first aid, chainsaw safety and LUV/UTV use. He is a member of the NZ Biosecurity Institute.

Matt Upton

Restoration Ecologist

Matt is a trained ecologist, who specialises in restoration planting plans, pest management plans, bush and wetland assessments, and impact assessments.

Matt also manages our drone aerial and GIS mapping work.


He has a BSc, with a major in Ecology, and a PGDipSci.  Matt is currently completing an MSc in environmental science and is doing his thesis on wetland restoration.

Fleur Dixon

Administration Manager

Fleur re-joined Scrub in 2019 and is the Administration Manager looking after accounts and HR. 

Fleur is an experienced senior administrator. Her career has seen her work in a variety of industries in both privately held and public companies. Fleur's broad skillset includes accounting , marketing,  project management, IT support, website design and HR support – her resourceful working style means she is happy to take on any project and is continuously learning and improving her skills to adapt to any working environment.

Fleur holds a Diploma in Business and a Diploma in Business Administration.