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Professor Kath Dickinson

Terrestrial Ecology
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Email: kath.dickinson@otago.ac.nz
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Phone: +64 3 479 9059

Teaching

I have been fortunate enough to receive University and National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards. I am very committed to teaching through research, and learning through authentic experiences. I teach into a range of courses which in 2017 will be:

ECOL211 Ecology of Communities and Ecosystems (Course coordinator)
ECOL212 Ecological Applications
BTNY301 Plant Ecology (Course coordinator)
BTNY303 Topics in Field Botany (Course coordinator)
ECOL313 Ecology Field Course (Course coordinator)
ECOL450 Special Topic (Restoration Ecology) (Course coordinator)

Research interests

Ecology; plant ecology: plant-animal interactions; conservation and biodiversity; in a habitat and systems context.

I have developed an understanding of a range of subject areas and through my research collaborations and graduate student supervision, I have gained a broad knowledge of plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, how they interact with one another, and their associated habitats. I have a particular interest in mountain environments, but I am fascinated by other systems too, including those in urban areas. I am also involved in the Alpine Ecosystems Research Group (AERG) which is a collaboration of scientists and postgraduate students who have research interests that focus on New Zealand’s alpine environments. The AERG is supported through the Department of Botany and we welcome contact from researchers and students who may be interested in working with us.

Current postgraduate students

PhD

  • Luke Easton Determining management units, priorities, and the suitability of reintroduction sites for Leiopelma
  • Jay Iwasaki New Zealand pollinator communities: Competition & conservation

MSc

  • Sam West Alpine plant species distribution in relation to micro- and macro- spatial changes in snow cover over time

Recent postgraduate students (completed 2013-2016)

PhD

  • Amy Adams Spatial ecology of possums across an urban/rural gradient
  • Timm Dobert (University of Western Australia) The influence of logging on understorey plant communities in tropical lowland rainforest in Borneo
  • Kimberley Harris Understanding the matrix: impacts of modification in indigenous grassland landscapes
  • Christa Miller Pollination and dispersal mechanisms in alpine plant species
  • Lorna Little The Polar Palette: the role of flower colour in polar regions

MSc

  • Luke Easton Ecology and physiology of Hochstetter’s frogs: Implications for a species threatened by habitat modification and a potential translocation to the cooler south.
  • Joseph Jackson A study plant fossils from Landslip Hill silcrete.
  • Janine Wing Amphipod responses to differing fire regimes in tussock grassland communities.

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Publications

Iwasaki, J. M., Dickinson, K. J. M., Barratt, B. I. P., Mercer, A. R., Jowett, T. W. D., & Lord, J. M. (2018). Floral usage partitioning and competition between social (Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris) and solitary bees in New Zealand: Niche partitioning via floral preferences? Austral Ecology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/aec.12643

Easton, L. J., Rawlence, N. J., Worthy, T. H., Tennyson, A. J. D., Scofield, R. P., Easton, C. J., … Whigham, P. A., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Bishop, P. J. (2018). Testing species limits of New Zealand’s leiopelmatid frogs through morphometric analyses. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 183(2), 431-444. doi: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx080

Miller, C. M., Barratt, B. I. P., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Lord, J. M. (2018). Are introduced plants a threat to native pollinator services in montane–alpine environments? Alpine Botany. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00035-018-0206-5

Döbert, T. F., Webber, B. L., Sugau, J. B., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Didham, R. K. (2018). Logging, exotic plant invasions, and native plant reassembly in a lowland tropical rain forest. Biotropica, 50(2), 254-265. doi: 10.1111/btp.12521

Eidesen, P. B., Little, L., Müller, E., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Lord, J. M. (2017). Plant–pollinator interactions affect colonization efficiency: Abundance of blue-purple flowers is correlated with species richness of bumblebees in the Arctic. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 121(1), 150-162. doi: 10.1093/biolinnean/blw006

Chapter in Book - Research

Döbert, T. F., Webber, B. L., Barnes, A. D., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Didham, R. K. (2014). Forest fragmentation and biodiversity conservation in human-dominated landscapes. In C. J. Kettle & L. P. Koh (Eds.), Global forest fragmentation. (pp. 28-49). Oxford, UK: CABI.

Mark, A. F., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2004). South Island high country in transition: Issues, options and initial outcomes with the tenure review process. In G. Kearsley & B. Fitzharris (Eds.), Glimpses of a Gaian world. (pp. 285-308). Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago School of Social Science.

Dickinson, K. J. M. (1998). Communicating globally significant conservation problems: Bolivia as a case study. In R. T. Wills & R. J. Hobbs (Eds.), Ecology for Everyone: Communicating Ecology to scientists, the public and the politicians. (pp. 65-72). Surrey Beatty & Sons.

Mark, A. F., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (1997). New Zealand Alpine Ecosystems. In F. E. Wielgolaski (Ed.), Polar and Alpine Tundra. (Ecosystems of the World, vol. 3). (pp. 311-345). Amsterdam; New York: Elsevier.

Mark, A. F., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (1996). Research as a basis for protected natural area management in New Zealand. In M. M. Ralston, K. F. D. Hughey & K. F. O'Connor (Eds.), Mountains of East Asia and the Pacific. (pp. 35-40). Lincoln: Centre for Mountain Studies, Lincoln University.

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Journal - Research Article

Iwasaki, J. M., Dickinson, K. J. M., Barratt, B. I. P., Mercer, A. R., Jowett, T. W. D., & Lord, J. M. (2018). Floral usage partitioning and competition between social (Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris) and solitary bees in New Zealand: Niche partitioning via floral preferences? Austral Ecology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/aec.12643

Döbert, T. F., Webber, B. L., Sugau, J. B., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Didham, R. K. (2018). Logging, exotic plant invasions, and native plant reassembly in a lowland tropical rain forest. Biotropica, 50(2), 254-265. doi: 10.1111/btp.12521

Miller, C. M., Barratt, B. I. P., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Lord, J. M. (2018). Are introduced plants a threat to native pollinator services in montane–alpine environments? Alpine Botany. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00035-018-0206-5

Easton, L. J., Rawlence, N. J., Worthy, T. H., Tennyson, A. J. D., Scofield, R. P., Easton, C. J., … Whigham, P. A., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Bishop, P. J. (2018). Testing species limits of New Zealand’s leiopelmatid frogs through morphometric analyses. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 183(2), 431-444. doi: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx080

Eidesen, P. B., Little, L., Müller, E., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Lord, J. M. (2017). Plant–pollinator interactions affect colonization efficiency: Abundance of blue-purple flowers is correlated with species richness of bumblebees in the Arctic. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 121(1), 150-162. doi: 10.1093/biolinnean/blw006

Nielsen, J. A., Grøndahl, E., Callaway, R. M., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Ehlers, B. K. (2017). Home and away: Biogeographical comparison of species diversity in Thymus vulgaris communities. Biological Invasions, 19(9), 2533-2542. doi: 10.1007/s10530-017-1461-x

Lord, J. M., Mark, A. F., Humar-Maegli, T., Halloy, S. R. P., Bannister, P., Knight, A., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2017). Slow community responses but rapid species responses 14 years after alpine turf transplantation among snow cover zones, south–central New Zealand. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution & Systematics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.ppees.2017.07.004

Döbert, T. F., Webber, B. L., Sugau, J. B., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Didham, R. K. (2017). Logging increases the functional and phylogenetic dispersion of understorey plant communities in tropical lowland rain forest. Journal of Ecology, 105(5), 1235-1245. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12794

van Heezik, Y., Dickinson, K. J. M., Freeman, C., Porter, S., Wing, J., & Barratt, B. I. P. (2016). To what extent does vegetation composition and structure influence beetle communities and species richness in private gardens in New Zealand? Landscape & Urban Planning, 151, 79-88. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.02.013

Little, L., Bronken Eidesen, P., Müller, E., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Lord, J. M. (2016). Leaf and floral heating in cold climates: Do sub-Antarctic megaherbs resemble tropical alpine giants? Polar Research, 35, 26030. doi: 10.3402/polar.v35.26030

Barratt, B. I. P., Crook, K. E., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Burritt, D. J. (2016). Cyanogenic white clover as a proxy for GM biosafety testing using two New Zealand native insects. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 59(4), 377-388. doi: 10.1080/00288233.2016.1221835

Nielsen, J. A., Frew, R. D., Whigham, P. A., Callaway, R. M., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2016). Thyme travels: 15N isoscapes of Thymus vulgaris L. invasion in lightly grazed pastoral communities. Austral Ecology, 41(1), 28-39. doi: 10.1111/aec.12284

Easton, L. J., Dickinson, K. J. M., Whigham, P. A., & Bishop, P. J. (2016). Habitat suitability and requirements for a threatened New Zealand amphibian. Journal of Wildlife Management. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.1071

Mark, A. F., Korsten, A. C., Urrutia Guevara, D., Dickinson, K. J. M., Humar-Maegli, T., Michel, P., … Lord, J. M., … Nielsen, J. A. (2015). Ecological responses to 52 years of experimental snow manipulation in high-alpine cushionfield, Old Man Range, south-central New Zealand. Arctic, Antarctic, & Alpine Research, 47(4), 751-772. doi: 10.1657/AAAR0014-098

Cranston, B. H., Monks, A., Whigham, P. A., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2015). Variation and response to experimental warming in a New Zealand cushion plant species. Austral Ecology, 40, 642-650. doi: 10.1111/aec.12231

O'Connell, D. M., Monks, A., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Lee, W. G. (2015). Is domatia production in Coprosma rotundifolia (Rubiaceae) induced by mites or foliar pathogens? New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 39(2), 214-220. Retrieved from http://newzealandecology.org/nzje/3223

Barratt, B. I. P., Dickinson, K. J. M., Freeman, C., Porter, S., Johnstone, P. D., Wing, J., & van Heezik, Y. (2015). Biodiversity of Coleoptera and other invertebrates in urban gardens: A case study in a New Zealand city. Insect Conservation & Diversity, 8, 428-437. doi: 10.1111/icad.12120

Nielsen, J. A., Whigham, P. A., Frew, R. D., Callaway, R. M., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2015). Thyme and space invasion: Thymus vulgaris decreases exotic plant species diversity in Central Otago, New Zealand. Biological Invasions, 17(8), 2261-2274. doi: 10.1007/s10530-015-0872-9

Iwasaki, J. M., Barratt, B. I. P., Lord, J. M., Mercer, A. R., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2015). The New Zealand experience of varroa invasion highlights research opportunities for Australia. AMBIO, 44(7), 694-704. doi: 10.1007/s13280-015-0679-z

Nielsen, J. A., Frew, R. D., Whigham, P. A., Callaway, R. M., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2015). Germination and growth responses of co-occurring grass species to soil from under invasive Thymus vulgaris. Allelopathy, 35(1), 139-152.

Döbert, T. F., Webber, B. L., Sugau, J. B., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Didham, R. K. (2015). Can leaf area index and biomass be estimated from Braun-Blanquet cover scores in tropical forests? Journal of Vegetation Science, 26(6), 1043-1053. doi: 10.1111/jvs.12310

Nielsen, J. A., Frew, R. D., Whigham, P. A., Callaway, R. M., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2014). Thyme invasion and soil properties in the Central Otago region of New Zealand. Geoderma Regional, 1, 48-58. doi: 10.1016/j.geodrs.2014.08.002

Adams, A. L., Recio, M. R., Robertson, B. C., Dickinson, K. J. M., & van Heezik, Y. (2014). Understanding home range behaviour and resource selection of invasive common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in urban environments. Biological Invasions, 16(9), 1791-1804. doi: 10.1007/s10530-013-0627-4

Cavieres, L. A., Brooker, R. W., Butterfield, B. J., Cook, B. J., Kikvidze, Z., Lortie, C. J., … Dickinson, K. J. M., Cranston, B. H., … Mark, A. F., … Callaway, R. M. (2014). Facilitative plant interactions and climate simultaneously drive alpine plant diversity. Ecology Letters, 17(2), 193-202. doi: 10.1111/ele.12217

Adams, A. L., van Heezik, Y., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Robertson, B. C. (2014). Identifying eradication units in an invasive mammalian pest species. Biological Invasions, 16(7), 1481-1496. doi: 10.1007/s10530-013-0586-9

Harris, K. M., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Whigham, P. A. (2014). Functional connectivity and matrix quality: Network analysis for a critically endangered New Zealand lizard. Landscape Ecology, 29(1), 41-53. doi: 10.1007/s10980-013-9967-9

Nielsen, J. A., Whigham, P. A., Frew, R. D., Callaway, R. M., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2014). Invasion essentials: Does secondary chemistry plasticity contribute to the invasiveness of Thymus vulgaris L.? Chemoecology, 24(1), 15-27. doi: 10.1007/s00049-013-0142-1

Hofstede, R. G. M., Dickinson, K. J. M., Mark, A. F., & Narváez, E. (2014). A broad transition from cloud forest to páramo characterizes an undisturbed treeline in Parque Nacional Llanganates, Ecuador. Arctic, Antarctic, & Alpine Research, 46(4), 975-986. doi: 10.1657/1938-4246-46.4.975

van Heezik, Y. M., Freeman, C., Porter, S., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2014). Native and exotic woody vegetation communities in domestic gardens in relation to social and environmental factors. Ecology & Society, 19(4), 17. doi: 10.5751/ES-06978-190417

Adams, A. L., Dickinson, K. J. M., Robertson, B. C., & van Heezik, Y. (2013). Predicting summer site occupancy for an invasive species, the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), in an urban environment. PLoS ONE, 8(3), e58422. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058422

van Heezik, Y., Freeman, C., Porter, S., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2013). Garden size, householder knowledge, and socio-economic status influence plant and bird diversity at the scale of individual gardens. Ecosystems, 16(8), 1442-1454. doi: 10.1007/s10021-013-9694-8

Waite, E., Closs, G. P., van Heezik, Y., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2013). Resource availability and foraging of Silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis) in urban trees. Emu, 113(1), 26-32. doi: 10.1071/MU11093

Gebauer, K., Dickinson, K. J. M., Whigham, P. A., & Seddon, P. J. (2013). Matrix matters: Differences of grand skink metapopulation parameters in native tussock grasslands and exotic pasture grasslands. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e76076. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076076

Adams, A. L., Dickinson, K. J. M., Robertson, B. C., & van Heezik, Y. (2013). An evaluation of the accuracy and performance of lightweight GPS collars in a suburban environment. PLoS ONE, 8, e68496. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068496

Butterfield, B. J., Cavieres, L. A., Callaway, R. M., Cook, B. J., Kikvidze, Z., Lortie, C. J., … Dickinson, K., … Brooker, R. W. (2013). Alpine cushion plants inhibit the loss of phylogenetic diversity in severe environments. Ecology Letters, 16(4), 478-486. doi: 10.1111/ele.12070

Hart, A. T., Hilton, M. J., Wakes, S. J., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2012). The impact of Ammophila arenaria foredune development on downwind aerodynamics and parabolic dune development. Journal of Coastal Research, 28(1), 112-122. doi: 10.2112/jcoastres-d-10-00058.1

Freeman, C., Dickinson, K. J. M., Porter, S., & van Heezik, Y. (2012). “My garden is an expression of me”: Exploring householders' relationships with their gardens. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 32(2), 135-143. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2012.01.005

Chapin, III, F. S., Mark, A. F., Mitchell, R. A., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2012). Design principles for social-ecological transformation toward sustainability: Lessons from New Zealand sense of place. Ecosphere, 3(5), 40. doi: 10.1890/ES12-00009.1

van Heezik, Y. M., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Freeman, C. (2012). Closing the gap: Communicating to change gardening practices in support of native biodiversity in urban private gardens. Ecology & Society, 17(1), 34. doi: 10.5751/ES-04712-170134

Cranston, B. H., Callaway, R. M., Monks, A., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2012). Gender and abiotic stress affect community-scale intensity of facilitation and its costs. Journal of Ecology, 100(4), 915-922. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2012.01981.x

Waite, E. M., Closs, G., Van Heezik, Y., Berry, C., & Dickinson, K. (2012). Arboreal arthropod sampling methods for urban trees. Journal of Insect Conservation, 16(6), 931-939. doi: 10.1007/s10841-012-9480-5

Kepner, W. G., Ramsey, M. M., Brown, E. S., Jarchow, M. E., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Mark, A. F. (2012). Hydrologic futures: Using scenario analysis to evaluate impacts of forecasted land use change on hydrologic services. Ecosphere, 3(7), 69. doi: 10.1890/ES11-00367.1

Spronken-Smith, R. A., Walker, R., Dickinson, K. J. M., Closs, G. P., Lord, J. M., & Harland, T. (2011). Redesigning a curriculum for inquiry: An ecology case study. Instructional Science, 39(5), 721-735. doi: 10.1007/s11251-010-9150-5

Thorsen, M. J., Seddon, P. J., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2011). Faunal influences on New Zealand seed dispersal characteristics. Evolutionary Ecology, 25(6), 1397-1426. doi: 10.1007/s10682-011-9470-1

Radford, I. J., Dickinson, K. J. M., & Lord, J. M. (2010). Does disturbance, competition or resource limitation underlie Hieracium lepidulum invasion in New Zealand? Mechanisms of establishment and persistence, and functional differentiation among invasive and native species. Austral Ecology, 35(3), 282-293. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2009.02034.x

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