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Tel +64 3 479 7972
Mob  +64 21 279 7972

Associate Professor Gerry Closs


Research interests

  • Life history evolution and adaptation in freshwater fish
  • Impacts of introduced fish species
  • Ecology of native freshwater fish
  • Movement & activity in freshwater fish
  • Habitat selection in freshwater fish
  • Food webs in lakes and streams
  • Analysis of otolith microstructure & chemistry
  • Using trace element analysis to track migration

Current projects

  • Ecology of small estuaries
  • Population dynamics of migratory and resident brown trout (Salmo trutta)
  • Habitat use and behaviour of native fish species in South Island coastal streams
  • Early life history of Indo-Pacific freshwater fishes
  • Recruitment dynamics of diadromous freshwater fish
  • Life history evolution of freshwater fish

Current PhD students

  • Mahsa Toorchi - The influence of lakes on the landscape ecology of freshwater fish
  • Jane Goodman - Conservation of migratory galaxiids
  • Jesse Wansbrough - Parity and longevity in freshwater fish
  • Matt Jarvis - Bioenergetics of larval freshwater fish and crustacea

I encourage enthusiastic students who have a strong academic background and are interested in joining our research group to contact me directly to discuss potential postgraduate projects. Please note, the University of Otago offers excellent PhD scholarships to outstanding students of all nationalities, and some funding is available through the Department of Zoology to support postgraduate research. Applications are accepted at any time.

Past PhD students

Kokopu Fish Research (Galaxias argenteus)

  • Rasmus Gabrielsson - Recruitment and migration of upper Clutha brown trout.
  • Robin Holmes - Rehabilitating fishery values in intensified agricultural streams
  • Fasil Taddese - Ecology of fishes in small Otago estuaries
  • Pavel Mikheev - Drivers of migration in brown trout
  • Doug Jones - Environmental regulation of migration in brown trout
  • Jason Augspurger - Life history evolution in Galaxias brevipinnis
  • Lance Dorsey - Distribution & impacts of brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Otago streams
  • Manna Warburton - Ecological determinants of torrentfish (Cheimarrichthys fosteri) distribution & abundance
  • Aurelien Vivancos - Individual behavioural strategies in group-living fish
  • Peter Jones - Life history of non-migratory central Otago Galaxias
  • Beate Bierschenk - Ecology & life history of mysids in a large Otago estuary
  • Michael Greer - The effects of macrophyte control on freshwater fish communities and water in New Zealand streams
  • Sourav Paul - Ecophysiology of estuarine mysids (Tenagomysis spp)
  • Javad Ramezani - Intensive land use effects on fish communities and their invertebrate prey in Otago, New Zealand
  • Vanessa Hammond - Invasion ecology of Didymosphenia geminata in New Zealand
  • Jeff Vanderpham - Habitat-related variation of the lateral-line mechanosensory system of the habitat-specialist redfin bully and habitat-generalist common bully
  • Abbas Akbaripasand - Habitat use, growth and movement in relation to bioenergetics of drift-feeding stream fish
  • Nicholas Dunn - Influence of hydrologic regime on local adaptation within Galaxiidae
  • Andy Hicks - Facultative diadromy in New Zealand fishes
  • Adrian Lill - Ecology of small intermittently open Otago estuaries
  • Shannan Crow - Evolutionary ecology of galaxiid fish
  • Tobias Bickel - Littoral food webs and community dynamics in Lake Dunstan
  • Esben Kristensen - Factors influencing the population dynamics of brown trout
  • Eric Hansen - Factors influencing movement in Giant Kokopu (Galaxias argenteus)
  • Stephen Rate - Tussock / insect associations in a remnant upland tussock grassland
  • Dale McNeil - The role of hypoxia in determining fish distribution on the Ovens River floodplain
  • Ruth Goldsmith - Competitive and predatory interactions between common bullies (Gobiomorphus cotidianus) and European perch (Perca fluviatilis)
  • Heather Rhodes - Stream management on farms in Otago and Southland
  • Rick Stoffels - Littoral food webs and trophic dynamics of Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri
  • Bruno David - Habitat use and behaviour of giant kokopu (Galaxias argenteus)
  • Cathy Rufaut - Tussock / insect associations in a New Zealand tussock grassland
  • Patrick Driver - Distribution and impact of carp (Cyprinus carpio) in the Murray-Darling river system
  • Michael Shirley - Fish community dynamics in five Murray River billabongs
  • Stephen Balcombe - Habitat and patch selection by carp gudgeons (Hypseleotris sp.) in littoral macrophyte beds
  • Syarifuddin - The role of surface complexity and predation in determining invertebrate communities on submersed logs in billabong
  • Lor-wai Tan - Taxonomy and ecology of testate amoeba in billabong macrophyte beds.

Recent MSc and honours projects

Ed Waite with a large Brown trout (M.Sc research on trout  

  • Reproduction, growth and longevity in freshwater fish
  • Population dynamics, survival and migration of salmonids in inland Otago streams
  • Mechanosensory system ultrastructure and development in Gobiomorphus
  • Impacts of water abstraction on trout movement & population dynamics
  • Early life history, development & behavior of larval amphidromous fish
  • Downstream migration & survival of of larval amphidromous fish
  • Impacts of rotenone on fish & invertebrates
  • Fish friendly farming in Awarua/Waituna Wetlands
  • Impacts of water abstraction on central Otago stream fish & invertebrates
  • Behaviour of banded kokopu
  • Population dynamics & movement of migratory and resident brown trout
  • Distribution and life history of estuarine mysids
  • Habitat use of native freshwater fish

Now available: Conservation of Freshwater Fishes. Closs, GP, Krkosek, M & Olden JD. (eds.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Click here for my Google Scholar Profile and Publications

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