I am a marine ecologist with a research emphasis on understanding food web structure and metapopulation dynamics within coastal marine communities. Together these processes underpin persistence and stability of biological communities making their study directly relevant to conservation and management of marine ecosystems.
My research group at Otago focuses on biogeochemical cycling in food webs to resolve how diversity of basal organic matter sources and changes to food web structure through species loss influence productivity and resource use by higher trophic level groups such as rock lobsters, reef fish, marine mammals, sea birds and people. The work is supported by direct observations, in situ experiments and state-of-the-art environmental chemistry, including stable isotope and trace metal analysis. We also carry out studies on population structure and metapopulation dynamics of fish and invertebrates in coastal marine environments.
I have active research projects in Fiordland, Antarctica, the sub-Antarctic islands as well as mainland New Zealand focused on understanding ecosystem function and dynamics.
- ECOL 111 Ecology and Conservation of Diversity (co-ordinator)
- ECOL 411 Reading Ecology (co-ordinator)
- MARI 451 Advanced Topics in Marine Science (co-ordinator)
- AQFI 352 Fisheries Ecology
- MARI 302 Biology and Behaviour of Marine Vertebrates
- Food web connectivity in the Fiordland ecosystem: an investigation of trophic links across ecotone boundaries - Marsden Fund.
- Analysis of biodiversity patterns and management decision making processes to support stewardship of marine resources and biodiversity in Fiordland- a case study - Ministry for the Environment / Ministry of Fisheries.
- Ecophysiology of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) in Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island- Otago Research Grant
- Biomass survey and yield estimates for the New Zealand littleneck clam (Austrovenus stutchburyi) in Papanui and Waitati Inlets, Otago - Ministry of Fisheries
- A Metapopulation Model for the New Zealand Sea Urchin Evechinus chloroticus in Fiordland: Influence of Larval Transport Patterns on Population Structure- Otago Research Grant.
- GIS tools for design of marine protected areas -Otago Research Grant/ Department of Conservation
- Using Molecular Genetics to Test a Hydrographic Model of New Zealand's Fjords that Predicts their Ability to Act as Barriers to the Dispersal of Marine Organisms. - Marsden Fund.
- 2011–2014, Does the sea ice microbial community contribute to secondary production in the Antarctic? Antarctica New Zealand
- 2011–2014, Does bioaccumulation of iron by seabirds enhance productivity around sub-Antarctic Islands? Royal Society of New Zealand – Marsden Fund
- 2009-2010, Fiordland (Te Moana o Atawhenua) Marine Area Biodiversity Monitoring 2010, Department of Conservation.
- 2008, Implications of climate change for flux of organic matter in Antarctic coastal ecosystems, Antarctica New Zealand
- 2006-2008, Biodiversity research in Fiordland associated with the Fiordland marine reserve network and Fiordland Marine Management Act 2005 (3 projects), Department of Conservation.
- Ecosystem Connectivity: Resolving Biochemical Fluxes to inform Ecosystem Based Management. Sustainable Seas, National Science Challenge
- Zachary Clark (MSc): The economic value of red rock lobsters (Jasus edwardsii) under the Fiordland Marine Management System (Wing – Kahui)
- Joseph Curtis (PhD): Kelp Forest Ecology (Wing – Lamare)
- Katie Fenton (MSc): Response of adult and juvenile tuaki (A.stutchburyi) to cumulative estuarine stressors
- Matthew Jarvis (PhD): Potential impacts of global change on amphidromous fishes (Closs – Wing)
- Erik Johnson (PhD): Dynamics of the subtropical convergence 2019 (Smith – Suanda – Wing)
- Elli Leinikki (PhD): Influence of shellfish on recovery dynamics in intertidal estuaries in New Zealand
- Gretchen McCarthy (PhD): Biogeochemical Interactions in Integrated Kelp and Mussel Aquaculture System (Wing – Sabadel – Lamare)
- Mireya Montaño Orozco (PhD): Dispersion and connectivity within the Bay of Plenty using a continental shelf-resolving regional ocean model (Wing – Souza – Suanda)
- Katie Nelson (MSc): Heat budget analysis of Blueskin Bay
- Veronica Rodriguez-Jurado (MSc): How do cumulative stressors impact rocky reef and kelp forest ecosystem?
- Arnaud Valcarcel (PhD): Microstructure of oceanographic frontal systems 2018 (Stevens – Suanda – Wing)
- Tim Currie (MSc): Uncovering the importance of nursery habitats and their connectivity for flounder species in east Otago, New Zealand
- Blake Hornblow (MSc): Changing oceanographic conditions and the effect on foraging behavior of Tawaki / Fiordland crested penguins (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) using satellite
- Andrew Hurley (MSc): Mechanisms of shelf-slope exchange and how they impact larval fish communities around Saunders canyon, Otago (Smith – Wing)
- Gabrielle Ueland (MSc): Carbon sequestration and mussel productivity in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture