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Professor Alison Cree

Email alison.cree@otago.ac.nz

Phone 64-3-479-7482

Associate Professor Alison Cree

Teaching

Research Interests

Woodworthia OtagoSouthland gecko

  • Reproduction of reptiles in cold climates
  • Thermal biology and climate change
  • Environmental and evolutionary influences on gestation length
  • Sex determination and sexual differentiation
  • Comparative endocrinology of stress and pregnancy
  • Conservation and captive management of New Zealand reptiles

Potential Postgraduate Projects

If you have a strong academic record and interest in projects associated with the thermal ecology, reproductive biology and conservation of reptiles in Otago, including effects of climate change and/or reintroduction to Orokonui Ecosanctuary, please contact me to discuss. Please include a description of your relevant experience, your career goals and a copy of your CV and academic record.

Current Postgraduate Students

  • Scott Jarvie: Reintroduction biology of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) (PhD; co-supervised by Prof. Phil Seddon, UOO; external advisor Dr Michael Kearney)
  • Lindsay Anderson: Patterns of corticosterone secretion in tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) and relationships with performance measures (PhD; primary supervisor Assoc Prof Nicola Nelson, Victoria University of Wellington; co-supervisors Assoc Prof David Towns, Department of Conservation and Auckland University of Technology)
  • Georgia Moore: Environmental control of delivery date and resulting juvenile fitness in the Otago-Southland gecko (MSc)

    Cree lab gp Orokonui Nov 2012

Recent Research students

  • Samantha Botting: An investigation of sex identification methods in New Zealand reptiles (MSc 2013: co-supervised by Dr Bruce Robertson, UOO)
  • Sophie Gibson: Basking behaviour of a primarily nocturnal, viviparous gecko in a temperate climate (MSc 2013)
  • Sophie Penniket: Trends in body size and female reproductive frequency with elevation and temperature in a viviparous gecko (MSc 2012)
  • Rachel Buxton: Ecological drivers of seabird recovery after the eradication of introduced predators (PhD 2014: Primary supervisor Prof Henrik Moller, UOO; co-supervisors Dr Chris Jones, Landcare Research; Assoc Prof David Towns, Department of Conservation and Auckland University of Technology; external advisor Dr Phil Lyver, Landcare Research)

Other Links

Click here for more information on Alison's recently published book "Tuatara: biology and conservation of a venerable survivor"

Australian and New Zealand Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry

Society for Research on Amphibians and Reptiles in New Zealand

Science Learning Hub

Keywords

reproduction, ecophysiology, herpetology, conservation

Full Publication List - download here

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Publications

Cree, A. (2014). Tuatara: Biology and conservation of a venerable survivor. Christchurch, New Zealand: Canterbury University Press, 584p.

Anderson, L., Cree, A., Towns, D., & Nelson, N. (2014). Modulation of corticosterone secretion in tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus): Evidence of a dampened stress response in gravid females. General & Comparative Endocrinology, 201, 45-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.03.035

Knox, C. D., Cree, A., & Seddon, P. J. (2013). Accurate identification of individual geckos (Naultinus gemmeus) through dorsal pattern differentiation. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 37(1), 60-66.

Besson, A. A., & Cree, A. (2011). Integrating physiology into conservation: An approach to help guide translocations of a rare reptile in a warming environment. Animal Conservation, 14(1), 28-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00386.x

Hare, K. M., & Cree, A. (2010). Incidence, causes and consequences of pregnancy failure in viviparous lizards: Implications for research and conservation settings. Reproduction, Fertility & Development, 22(5), 761-770. doi: 10.1071/rd09195

Authored Book - Research

Cree, A. (2014). Tuatara: Biology and conservation of a venerable survivor. Christchurch, New Zealand: Canterbury University Press, 584p.

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Journal - Research Article

Anderson, L., Cree, A., Towns, D., & Nelson, N. (2014). Modulation of corticosterone secretion in tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus): Evidence of a dampened stress response in gravid females. General & Comparative Endocrinology, 201, 45-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.03.035

Knox, C. D., Cree, A., & Seddon, P. J. (2013). Accurate identification of individual geckos (Naultinus gemmeus) through dorsal pattern differentiation. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 37(1), 60-66.

Hare, K. M., Caldwell, A. J., & Cree, A. (2012). Effects of early postnatal environment on phenotype and survival of a lizard. Oecologia, 168, 639-649. doi: 10.1007/s00442-011-2145-3

Germano, J. M., Molinia, F. C., Bishop, P. J., Bell, B. D., & Cree, A. (2012). Urinary hormone metabolites identify sex and imply unexpected winter breeding in an endangered, subterranean-nesting frog. General & Comparative Endocrinology, 175(3), 464-472. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2011.12.003

Jones, M. E. H., & Cree, A. (2012). Tuatara. Current Biology, 22(23), R986-R987. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.10.049

Hare, K. M., Yeong, C., & Cree, A. (2011). Does gestational temperature or prenatal sex ratio influence development of sexual dimorphism in a viviparous skink? Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics & Physiology, 315A(4), 215-221. doi: 10.1002/jez.667

Besson, A. A., & Cree, A. (2011). Integrating physiology into conservation: An approach to help guide translocations of a rare reptile in a warming environment. Animal Conservation, 14(1), 28-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00386.x

Gaby, M. J., Besson, A. A., Bezzina, C. N., Caldwell, A. J., Cosgrove, S., Cree, A., … Hare, K. M. (2011). Thermal dependence of locomotor performance in two cool-temperate lizards. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 197(9), 869-875. doi: 10.1007/s00359-011-0648-3

Besson, A. A., & Cree, A. (2010). A cold-adapted reptile becomes a more effective thermoregulator in a thermally challenging environment. Oecologia, 163, 571-581. doi: 10.1007/s00442-010-1571-y

Lettink, M., Norbury, G., Cree, A., Seddon, P. J., Duncan, R. P., & Schwarz, C. J. (2010). Removal of introduced predators, but not artificial refuge supplementation, increases skink survival in coastal duneland. Biological Conservation, 143(1), 72-77. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.09.004

Hare, K. M., & Cree, A. (2010). Incidence, causes and consequences of pregnancy failure in viviparous lizards: Implications for research and conservation settings. Reproduction, Fertility & Development, 22(5), 761-770. doi: 10.1071/rd09195

Hare, K. M., & Cree, A. (2010). Exploring the consequences of climate-induced changes in cloud cover on offspring of a cool-temperate viviparous lizard. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 101(4), 844-851. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2010.01536.x

Cree, A., & Hare, K. M. (2010). Equal thermal opportunity does not result in equal gestation length in a cool-climate skink and gecko. Herpetological Conservation & Biology, 5(2), 271-282.

Hare, J. R., Holmes, K. M., Wilson, J. L., & Cree, A. (2009). Modelling exposure to selected temperature during pregnancy: The limitations of squamate viviparity in a cool-climate environment. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 96(3), 541-552. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2008.01151.x

Preest, M. R., & Cree, A. (2008). Corticosterone treatment has subtle effects on thermoregulatory behavior and raises metabolic rate in the New Zealand common gecko, Hoplodactylus maculatus. Physiological & Biochemical Zoology, 81(5), 641-650. doi: 10.1086/590371

Connolly, J. D., & Cree, A. (2008). Risks of a late start to captive management for conservation: Phenotypic differences between wild and captive individuals of a viviparous endangered skink (Oligosoma otagense). Biological Conservation, 141(5), 1283-1292. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2008.02.026

Towns, D. R., Parrish, G. R., Tyrrell, C. L., Ussher, G. T., Cree, A., Newman, D. G., … Westbrooke, I. (2007). Responses of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) to removal of introduced Pacific rats from islands. Conservation Biology, 21(4), 1021-1031.

Hare, J. R., Whitworth, E., & Cree, A. (2007). Correct orientation of a hand-held infrared thermometer is important for accurate measurement of body temperatures in small lizards and tuatara. Herpetological Review, 38(3), 311-315.

Ellenberg, U., Setiawan, A. N., Cree, A., Houston, D. M., & Seddon, P. J. (2007). Elevated hormonal stress response and reduced reproductive output in Yellow-eyed penguins exposed to unregulated tourism. General & Comparative Endocrinology, 152, 54-63.

Wilson, J., & Cree, A. (2003). Extended gestation with late-autumn births in a cool-climate viviparous gecko from southern New Zealand (Reptilia: Naultinus gemmeus). Austral Ecology, 28, 339-348.

Cree, A., Tyrrell, C. L., Preest, M. R., Thorburn, D., & Guillette, Jr, L. J. (2003). Protecting embryos from stress: Corticosterone effects and the corticosterone response to capture and confinement during pregnancy in a live-bearing lizard (Hoplodactylus maculatus). General & Comparative Endocrinology, 134, 316-329.

Towns, D. R., Daugherty, C. H., & Cree, A. (2001). Raising the prospects for a forgotten fauna: A review of ten years of conservation effort for New Zealand reptiles. Biological Conservation, 99, 3-16.

Rock, J., Andrews, R. M., & Cree, A. (2000). Effects of reproductive condition, season, and site on selected temperatures of a viviparous gecko. Physiological & Biochemical Zoology, 73(3), 344-355. doi: 10.1086/316741

Tyrrell, C. L., & Cree, A. (1998). Relationships between corticosterone concentration and season, time of day and confinement in a wild reptile (tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus). General & Comparative Endocrinology, 110, 97-108.

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