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Associate Professor Crid Fraser

Ceridwen Fraser imageContact

Office 310 Castle Street

Academic qualifications

Bachelor of Applied Science (Conservation of Cultural Materials), University of Canberra, 2000
Bachelor of Marine Science (Hons 1A), Macquarie University, 2005
PhD (Zoology), University of Otago, 2009

Research interests

  • Biogeography: how physical processes (such as earthquakes and volcanoes) influence spatial patterns of biodiversity
  • Long-distance dispersal, e.g. of coastal marine organisms and their pathogens / parasites
  • Antarctic and sub-Antarctic ecology and evolution
  • How density-dependent processes influence spatial biodiversity patterns

My group combines molecular ecology with aspects of earth sciences to understand the processes that shape global patterns of biodiversity. We use a wide range of techniques to address research questions, including genetics (e.g. metabarcoding and phylogenomic analyses), and ecology, and have a particular focus on the high-latitude ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere (New Zealand, the sub-Antarctic and Antarctica). Examples include studying how kelp communities and parasites can raft long distances across oceans, how plants and animals probably survived past ice ages by sheltering around volcanoes (and in volcanic caves), in Antarctica, and how large disturbances such as earthquakes create opportunities for genetic and community change in marine ecosystems in New Zealand.

I am also a member of the Coastal People: Southern Skies collaboration that connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to rebuild coastal ecosystems.
Coastal People: Southern Skies

More information on my group’s research can be found at

View my publications at
View my Google scholar profile

For potential research students

If you are a student interested in doing a research project within my group, I would be happy to hear from you. I occasionally have some funding to support scholarships for undergraduate (summer projects and Honours) and Masters research, and the University of Otago has many PhD scholarships available for high-achieving students, including those from overseas.

You can read about the group's projects, see what other students are doing (or have done), and contact me to discuss possibilities. Most projects include some genetic analyses as well as environmental data (this sort of work is known as molecular ecology), so students that have studied biology / ecology, ideally including some genetics, are most well placed for this work.

Visit here for details on group's projects and to see what other students are doing (or have done)




Postgraduate students

View current and former students who have worked in the Fraser Lab

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Mabey, A. L., Parvizi, E., & Fraser, C. I. (2021). Pathogen inferred to have dispersed thousands of kilometres at sea, infecting multiple keystone kelp species. Marine Biology, 168(4), 47. doi: 10.1007/s00227-021-03853-8

McGaughran, A., Laver, R., & Fraser, C. (2021). Evolutionary responses to warming. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2021.02.014

Liu, X., Pearman, W., & Fraser, C. (2021). Genetic/genomic resources for biogeographic research in Antarctica. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 128). Retrieved from

McGaughran, A., Terauds, A., Convey, P., & Fraser, C. (2021). Genomic data provide evidence for glacial refugia and dispersal of terrestrial invertebrates along the Antarctic Peninsula. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 133-134). Retrieved from

Olmedo-Rojas, P., Jeunen, G.-J., McGaughran, A., Terauds, A., Lamare, M., Gemmell, N., & Fraser, C. (2021). Environmental drivers of diversity in Antarctic terrestrial plants and animals: Using genomic approaches to discover broad-scale patterns. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 134-135). Retrieved from

Edited Book - Research

Hu, Z.-M., & Fraser, C. (Eds.). (2016). Seaweed phylogeography: Adaptation and evolution of seaweeds under environmental change. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 398p. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-7534-2_5

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Chapter in Book - Research

Fraser, C. I., Morrison, A., & Olmedo Rojas, P. (2020). Biogeographic processes influencing Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seaweeds. In I. Gómez & P. Huovinen (Eds.), Antarctic seaweeds: Diversity, adaptation, and ecosystem services. (pp. 43-57). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-39448-6_3

Convey, P., Bowman, V. C., Chown, S. L., Francis, J. E., Fraser, C., Smellie, J. L., … Terauds, A. (2018). Ice-bound Antarctica: Biotic consequences of the shift from a temperate to a polar climate. In C. Hoorn, A. Perrigo & A. Antonelli (Eds.), Mountains, climate and biodiversity. (pp. 355-374). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Fraser, C. I. (2016). Change in southern hemisphere intertidal communities through climate cycles: The role of dispersing algae. In Z.-M. Hu & C. Fraser (Eds.), Seaweed phylogeography: Adaptation and evolution of seaweeds under environmental change. (pp. 131-143). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-7534-2_5

Waters, J. M., & Fraser, C. I. (2016). Dispersal biogeography. In R. M. Kliman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of evolutionary biology (Vol. 2). (pp. 453-457). Oxford, UK: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800049-6.00108-6

Thiel, M., & Fraser, C. (2016). The role of floating plants in dispersal of biota across habitats and ecosystems. In E. Ólafsson (Ed.), Marine macrophytes as foundation species. (pp. 76-99). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Wilson, L. J., Weber, X. A., King, T. M., & Fraser, C. I. (2016). DNA extraction techniques for genomic analyses of macroalgae. In Z.-M. Hu & C. Fraser (Eds.), Seaweed phylogeography: Adaptation and evolution of seaweeds under environmental change. (pp. 363-386). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

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Journal - Research Article

Mabey, A. L., Parvizi, E., & Fraser, C. I. (2021). Pathogen inferred to have dispersed thousands of kilometres at sea, infecting multiple keystone kelp species. Marine Biology, 168(4), 47. doi: 10.1007/s00227-021-03853-8

Parvizi, E., Fraser, C. I., Dutoit, L., Craw, D., & Waters, J. M. (2020). The genomic footprint of coastal earthquake uplift. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Series B, 287, 20200712. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.0712

Peters, J. C., Waters, J. M., Dutoit, L., & Fraser, C. I. (2020). SNP analyses reveal a diverse pool of potential colonists to earthquake-uplifted coastlines. Molecular Ecology, 29, 149-159. doi: 10.1111/mec.15303

Clark, N. J., Kerry, J. T., & Fraser, C. I. (2020). Rapid winter warming could disrupt coastal marine fish community structure. Nature Climate Change, 10, 862-867. doi: 10.1038/s41558-020-0838-5

Fraser, C. I., Velásquez, M., Nelson, W. A., Macaya, E. C., & Hay, C. H. (2020). The biogeographic importance of buoyancy in macroalgae: A case study of the southern bull-kelp genus Durvillaea (Phaeophyceae), including descriptions of two new species. Journal of Phycology, 56, 23-36. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12939

Padovan, A., Chick, R. C., Cole, V. J., Dutoit, L., Hutchings, P. A., Jack, C., & Fraser, C. I. (2020). Genomic analyses suggest strong population connectivity over large spatial scales of the commercially important baitworm, Australonuphis teres (Onuphidae). Marine & Freshwater Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1071/MF20044

Craw, D., Parvizi, E., Read, S., Fraser, C. I., & Waters, J. M. (2020). Late Holocene uplift of a coastal terrace near the Akatore Fault, southern New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00288306.2020.1828940

McGaughran, A., Terauds, A., Convey, P., & Fraser, C. I. (2019). Genome-wide SNP data reveal improved evidence for Antarctic glacial refugia and dispersal of terrestrial invertebrates. Molecular Ecology, 28, 4941-4957. doi: 10.1111/mec.15269

Moon, K. L., Aitkenhead, I. J., Fraser, C. I., & Chown, S. L. (2019). Can a terrestrial ectoparasite disperse with its marine host? Physiological & Biochemical Zoology, 92(2), 163-176. doi: 10.1086/701726

Moon, K. L., Chown, S. L., & Fraser, C. I. (2019). Tandem host-parasite dispersal inferred from similarities in phylogeographical patterns among Little Penguins and their 'terrestrial' ectoparasites. Journal of Biogeography, 46, 2520-2531. doi: 10.1111/jbi.13714

Fraser, C. I., Morrison, A. K., Hogg, A. M., Macaya, E. C., van Sebille, E., Ryan, P. G., … Waters, J. M. (2018). Antarctica's ecological isolation will be broken by storm-driven dispersal and warming. Nature Climate Change, 8, 704-708. doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0209-7

Waters, J. M., King, T. M., Fraser, C. I., & Craw, D. (2018). Crossing the front: Contrasting storm-forced dispersal dynamics revealed by biological, geological and genetic analysis of beach-cast kelp. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 15(140), 20180046. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2018.0046

Waters, J. M., King, T. M., Fraser, C. I., & Garden, C. (2018). Rafting dispersal in a brooding southern sea star (Asteroidea: Anasterias). Invertebrate Systematics, 32(2), 253-258. doi: 10.1071/IS17037

Fraser, C. I., Davies, I. D., Bryant, D., & Waters, J. M. (2018). How disturbance and dispersal influence intraspecific structure. Journal of Ecology, 106(3), 1298-1306. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12900

Waters, J. M., King, T. M., Fraser, C. I., & Craw, D. (2018). An integrated ecological, genetic and geological assessment of long-distance dispersal by invertebrates on kelp rafts. Frontiers of Biogeography, 10(3-4), e40888. doi: 10.21425/F5FBG40888

Moon, K. L., Dann, P., Chown, S. L., McGaughran, A., & Fraser, C. I. (2018). Penguin ectoparasite panmixia suggests extensive host movement within a colony. Auk, 135(3), 657-668. doi: 10.1642/AUK-17-226.1

Weber, X. A., Edgar, G. J., Banks, S. C., Waters, J. M., & Fraser, C. I. (2017). A morphological and phylogenetic investigation into divergence among sympatric Australian southern bull kelps (Durvillaea potatorum and D. amatheiae sp. nov.). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution, 107, 630-643. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.12.027

Waters, J. M., Fraser, C. I., Maxwell, J. J., & Rawlence, N. J. (2017). Did interaction between human pressure and Little Ice Age drive biological turnover in New Zealand. Journal of Biogeography, 44(7), 1481-1490. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12991

Moon, K. L., Chown, S. L., & Fraser, C. I. (2017). Reconsidering connectivity in the sub‐Antarctic. Biological Reviews, 92(4), 2164-2181. doi: 10.1111/brv.12327

Blake, C., Thiel, M., López, B. A., & Fraser, C. I. (2017). Gall-forming protistan parasites infect southern bull kelp across the Southern Ocean, with prevalence increasing to the south. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 583, 95-106. doi: 10.3354/meps12346

Wilson, L. J., Fulton, C. J., Hogg, A. M., Joyce, K. E., Radford, B. T. M., & Fraser, C. I. (2016). Climate-driven changes to ocean circulation and their inferred impacts on marine dispersal patterns. Global Ecology & Biogeography, 25(8), 923-939. doi: 10.1111/geb.12456

Fraser, C. I., McGaughran, A., Chuah, A., & Waters, J. M. (2016). The importance of replicating genomic analyses to verify phylogenetic signal for recently evolved lineages. Molecular Ecology, 25, 3683-3695. doi: 10.1111/mec.13708

Muangmai, N., Fraser, C. I., & Zuccarello, G. C. (2015). Contrasting patterns of population structure and demographic history in cryptic species of Bostrychia intricata (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) from New Zealand. Journal of Phycology, 51(3), 574-585. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12305

Chown, S. L., Clarke, A., Fraser, C. I., Cary, S. C., Moon, K. L., & McGeoch, M. A. (2015). The changing form of Antarctic biodiversity. Nature, 522(7557), 431-438. doi: 10.1038/nature14505

Moon, K. L., Banks, S. C., & Fraser, C. I. (2015). Phylogeographic structure in penguin ticks across an ocean basin indicates allopatric divergence and rare trans-oceanic dispersal. PLoS ONE, 10(6), e0128514. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128514

Smith, L. M., Hutchings, P., & Fraser, C. I. (2015). Molecular evidence supports coastal dispersal among estuaries for two benthic marine worm (Nephtyidae) species in southeastern Australia. Marine Biology, 162(6), 1319-1327. doi: 10.1007/s00227-015-2671-3

Fraser, C. I., Brahy, O., Mardulyn, P., Dohet, L., Mayer, F., & Grégoire, J.-C. (2014). Flying the nest: Male dispersal and multiple paternity enables extrafamilial matings for the invasive bark beetle Dendroctonus micans. Heredity, 113(4), 327-333. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2014.34

Garden, C. J., Currie, K., Fraser, C. I., & Waters, J. M. (2014). Rafting dispersal constrained by an oceanographic boundary. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 501, 297-302. doi: 10.3354/meps10675

Fraser, C. I., Banks, S. C., & Waters, J. M. (2014). Priority effects can lead to underestimation of dispersal and invasion potential. Biological Invasions, 17(1), 1-8. doi: 10.1007/s10530-014-0714-1

Fraser, C. I., Terauds, A., Smellie, J., Convey, P., & Chown, S. L. (2014). Geothermal activity helps life survive glacial cycles. PNAS, 111(15), 5634-5639. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1321437111

Fraser, C. I., & Waters, J. M. (2013). Algal parasite Herpodiscus durvillaeae (Phaeophyceae: Sphacelariales) inferred to have traversed the Pacific Ocean with its buoyant host. Journal of Phycology, 49(1), 202-206. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12017

Waters, J. M., Fraser, C. I., & Hewitt, G. M. (2013). Founder takes all: Density-dependent processes structure biodiversity. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 28(2), 78-85. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.08.024

Fraser, C. I., Zuccarello, G. C., Spencer, H. G., Salvatore, L. C., Garcia, G. R., & Waters, J. M. (2013). Genetic affinities between trans-oceanic populations of non-buoyant macroalgae in the high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. PLoS ONE, 8(7), e69138. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069138

Fraser, C. I., Spencer, H. G., & Waters, J. M. (2012). Durvillaea poha sp. nov. (Fucales, Phaeophyceae): A buoyant southern bull-kelp species endemic to New Zealand. Phycologia, 51(2), 151-156. doi: 10.2216/11-47.1

Fraser, C. I., Nikula, R., Ruzzante, D. E., & Waters, J. M. (2012). Poleward bound: Biological impacts of Southern Hemisphere glaciation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 27(8), 462-471. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.04.011

Fraser, C. I. (2012). Is bull-kelp kelp? The role of common names in science. New Zealand Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research, 46(2), 279-284. doi: 10.1080/00288330.2011.621130

Gillespie, R. G., Baldwin, B., Waters, J. M., Fraser, C. I., Nikula, R., & Roderick, G. K. (2012). Long-distance dispersal: A framework for hypothesis testing. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 27(1), 47-56. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2011.08.009

Smith, A. M., Kregting, L., Fern, S., & Fraser, C. I. (2011). Sedimentology of a wreck: The Rainbow Warrior revisited. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 62(11), 2412-2419. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.08.028

Fraser, C. I., Nikula, R., & Waters, J. M. (2011). Oceanic rafting by a coastal community. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 278(1706), 649-655. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1117

Smith, A. M., Wood, A. C. L., Liddy, M. F. A., Shears, A. E., & Fraser, C. I. (2010). Human impacts in an urban port: The carbonate budget, Otago Harbour, New Zealand. Estuarine, Coastal & Shelf Science, 90(2), 73-79. doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2010.07.004

Nikula, R., Fraser, C. I., Spencer, H. G., & Waters, J. M. (2010). Circumpolar dispersal by rafting in two subantarctic kelp-dwelling crustaceans. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 405, 221-230. doi: 10.3354/meps08523

Fraser, C. I., Thiel, M., Spencer, H. G., & Waters, J. M. (2010). Contemporary habitat discontinuity and historic glacial ice drive genetic divergence in Chilean kelp. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10, 203. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-203

Fraser, C. I., Winter, D. J., Spencer, H. G., & Waters, J. M. (2010). Multigene phylogeny of the southern bull-kelp genus Durvillaea (Phaeophyceae: Fucales). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution, 57(3), 1301-1311. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.10.011

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