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Phone 64-3-479-7980

Google Scholar Profile

Alison Cree 2023

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
  • Conservation of New Zealand reptiles

Current Projects

  • Reintroduction of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) to the cool climate of Orokonui Ecosanctuary in Otago
  • Thermal ecology of a viviparous, nocturnal gecko (Mokopirirakau) in the alpine zone of southern Aotearoa NZ
  • Relationships between reproductive frequency and changing climate in a viviparous gecko (Woodworthia) from Otago's subalpine zone

Recent Research students

  • Christian Chukwuka: Microhabitat use by the nocturnal, cool-climate gecko Woodworthia "Otago/Southland" in the context of global climate change (PhD 2020, co-supervised Dr Jo Monks, Department of Conservation)
  • Aaron Bertoia: Thermal ecology of an alpine gecko: implications for management (MSc 2019, co-supervised by Dr Jo Monks, Department of Conservation)
  • Jemima Gardiner-Rodden: Nesting ecology and behaviour of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) at Ōrokonui Ecosanctuary (MSc 2019, co-supervised by Prof Nicola Nelson, Victoria University of Wellington and Dr Stephanie Godfrey, University of Otago)


Alison Cree (left) and Jade Christiansen after witnessing tuatara hatching at Orokonui Ecosanctuary in 2021.
Jade (Ngāpuhi, Samoa) was a previous holder of a Te Ngaru Paewhenua: Māori and Pacific Science Summer Studentship with Alison's group. For more information, see


climate change, conservation, ecophysiology, herpetology, lizard, reproduction, thermal biology, tuatara

Full Publication List - download here


Virens, E., & Cree, A. (2022). Wind of change: A diurnal skink thermoregulates between cooler set-points and for an increased amount of time in the presence of wind. Journal of Experimental Biology, 225, jeb244038. doi: 10.1242/jeb.244038 Journal - Research Article

Chukwuka, C. O., Mello, R. S. R., Cree, A., & Monks, J. M. (2021). Thermal heterogeneity of selected retreats in cool-temperate viviparous lizards suggests a potential benefit of future climate warming. Journal of Thermal Biology, 97, 102869. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2021.102869 Journal - Research Article

Jarvie, S., Worthy, T. H., Saltré, F., Scofield, R. P., Seddon, P. J., & Cree, A. (2021). Using Holocene fossils to model the future: Distribution of climate suitability for tuatara, the last rhynchocephalian. Journal of Biogeography, 48, 1489-1502. doi: 10.1111/jbi.14092 Journal - Research Article

Bertoia, A., Monks, J., Knox, C., & Cree, A. (2021). A nocturnally foraging gecko of the high-latitude alpine zone: Extreme tolerance of cold nights, with cryptic basking by day. Journal of Thermal Biology, 99, 102957. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2021.102957 Journal - Research Article

Chukwuka, C. O., Monks, J. M., & Cree, A. (2020). Heat and water loss vs shelter: A dilemma in thermoregulatory decision making for a retreat-dwelling nocturnal gecko. Journal of Experimental Biology, 223, jeb231241. doi: 10.1242/jeb.231241 Journal - Research Article

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