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Dr Thomas Mattern


ThomasMatternEmail: t.mattern@eudyptes.net
Website: https://www.tawaki-project.org

Research Interests

I am a movement ecologist and for the past 20 years have been applying various bio-logging and wildlife telemetry technologies to study the at-sea behaviour of seabirds. My work also encompasses demography and population dynamics as well as physiological consequences of human disturbance on wildlife. I focus primarily on New Zealand penguins and have worked with all our endemic species but have also contributed to other seabird research in South America, Australia, Antarctica, and the Russian Arctic. Together with my wife Ursula Ellenberg I lead the Tawaki Project (www.tawaki-project.org), a long-term study of Fiordland penguins/tawaki and other crested penguins. I am also the chair of the charitable Tawaki Trust which aims at improving our understanding and conservation of New Zealand's crested penguin species. 

Current Projects

  • Foraging ecology and population dynamics of Fiordland penguins/tawaki across their distributional range
  • Utilization of the marine habitat by Yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho on the New Zealand mainland and examination of potential fisheries interactions
  • Climate-related effects on the at-sea behaviour and population developments of Erect-crested and Eastern Rockhopper penguins
  • Foraging ecology of Humboldt penguins in northern Chile: what are potential and actual effects of increased coastal developments?

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Publications

Elley, T., Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Young, M. J., Hickcox, R. P., van Heezik, Y., & Seddon, P. J. (2022). Consistent site-specific foraging behaviours of yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho breeding on Stewart Island, New Zealand. Biology, 11, 844. doi: 10.3390/biology11060844

Green, C.-P., Ratcliffe, N., Mattern, T., Thompson, D., Lea, M.-A., Wotherspoon, S., … Ellenberg, U., … Seddon, P. J., … Hindell, M. A. (2022). The role of allochrony in influencing interspecific differences in foraging distribution during the non-breeding season between two congeneric crested penguin species. PLoS ONE, 17(2), e0262901. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0262901

White, J., Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Garcia-Borboroglu, P., Houston, D. M., Seddon, P. J., & Mays, H. L. (2021). Field sexing techniques for Fiordland crested penguins (tawaki; Eudyptes pachyrhynchus). Notornis, 68(3), 188-193. Retrieved from http://notornis.osnz.org.nz/node/4558

Masello, J. F., Barbosa, A., Kato, A., Mattern, T., Medeiros, R., Stockdale, J. E., … Quillfeldt, P. (2021). How animals distribute themselves in space: Energy landscapes of Antarctic avian predators. Movement Ecology, 9, 24. doi: 10.1186/s40462-021-00255-9

Mattern, T., Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G., Amey, J., Green, C.-P., Tennyson, A. J. D., … Thompson, D. R. (2021). Erect-crested penguins on the Bounty Islands: Population size and trends determined from ground counts and drone surveys. Notornis, 68(1), 37-50.

Mattern, T. (2013). Fiordland penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus). In P. Garcia Borboroglu & P. D. Boersma (Eds.), Penguins: Natural history and conservation. (pp. 153-167). Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Mattern, T. (2013). Snares penguin (Eudyptes robustus). In P. Garcia Borboroglu & P. D. Boersma (Eds.), Penguins: Natural history and conservation. (pp. 169-183). Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Elley, T., Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Young, M. J., Hickcox, R. P., van Heezik, Y., & Seddon, P. J. (2022). Consistent site-specific foraging behaviours of yellow-eyed penguins/hoiho breeding on Stewart Island, New Zealand. Biology, 11, 844. doi: 10.3390/biology11060844

Journal - Research Article

Green, C.-P., Ratcliffe, N., Mattern, T., Thompson, D., Lea, M.-A., Wotherspoon, S., … Ellenberg, U., … Seddon, P. J., … Hindell, M. A. (2022). The role of allochrony in influencing interspecific differences in foraging distribution during the non-breeding season between two congeneric crested penguin species. PLoS ONE, 17(2), e0262901. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0262901

Journal - Research Article

Masello, J. F., Barbosa, A., Kato, A., Mattern, T., Medeiros, R., Stockdale, J. E., … Quillfeldt, P. (2021). How animals distribute themselves in space: Energy landscapes of Antarctic avian predators. Movement Ecology, 9, 24. doi: 10.1186/s40462-021-00255-9

Journal - Research Article

Mattern, T., Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G., Amey, J., Green, C.-P., Tennyson, A. J. D., … Thompson, D. R. (2021). Erect-crested penguins on the Bounty Islands: Population size and trends determined from ground counts and drone surveys. Notornis, 68(1), 37-50.

Journal - Research Article

White, J., Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Garcia-Borboroglu, P., Houston, D. M., Seddon, P. J., & Mays, H. L. (2021). Field sexing techniques for Fiordland crested penguins (tawaki; Eudyptes pachyrhynchus). Notornis, 68(3), 188-193. Retrieved from http://notornis.osnz.org.nz/node/4558

Journal - Research Article

Harris, S., Scioscia, G., Klemens, P., Mattern, T., & Rey, A. R. (2020). Niche partitioning between coexisting gentoo Pygoscelis papua and Magellanic penguins Spheniscus magellanicus at Martillo Island, Argentina. Marine Biology, 167(8), 105. doi: 10.1007/s00227-020-03722-w

Journal - Research Article

Cole, T. L., Dutoit, L., Dussex, N., Hart, T., Alexander, A., Younger, J. L., … Ellenberg, U., … Mattern, T., … Waters, J. M. (2019). Receding ice drove parallel expansions in Southern Ocean penguins. PNAS, 116(52), 26690-26696. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1904048116

Journal - Research Article

Cole, T. L., Rawlence, N. J., Dussex, N., Ellenberg, U., Houston, D. M., Mattern, T., … Waters, J. M. (2019). Ancient DNA of crested penguins: Testing for temporal genetic shifts in the world's most diverse penguin clade. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution, 131, 72-79. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.025

Journal - Research Article

Mattern, T., McPherson, M. D., Ellenberg, U., van Heezik, Y., & Seddon, P. J. (2018). High definition video loggers provide new insights into behaviour, physiology, and the oceanic habitat of a marine predator, the yellow-eyed penguin. PeerJ, 6, e5459. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5459

Journal - Research Article

Mattern, T., Pütz, K., Garcia-Borboroglu, P., Ellenberg, U., Houston, D. M., Long, R., … Seddon, P. J. (2018). Marathon penguins: Reasons and consequences of long-rage dispersal in Fiordland penguins/Tawaki during the pre-moult period. PLoS ONE, 13(8), e0198688. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198688

Journal - Research Article

Mattern, T., Meyer, S., Ellenberg, U., Houston, D. M., Darby, J. T., Young, M., van Heezik, Y., & Seddon, P. J. (2017). Quantifying climate change impacts emphasises the importance of managing regional threats in the endangered Yellow-eyed penguin. PeerJ, 5, e3727. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3272

Journal - Research Article

Meyer, X., MacIntosh, A. J. J., Chiaradia, A., Kato, A., Mattern, T., Sueur, C., & Ropert-Coudert, Y. (2017). Shallow divers, deep waters and the rise of behavioural stochasticity. Marine Biology, 164(6), 149. doi: 10.1007/s00227-017-3177-y

Journal - Research Article

Thiebot, J.-B., Arnould, J. P. Y., Gómez-Laich, A., Ito, K., Kato, A., Mattern, T., … Seddon, P. J., … Takahashi, A. (2017). Jellyfish and other gelata as food for four penguin species: Insights from predator-borne videos. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment, 15(8), 437-441. doi: 10.1002/fee.1529

Journal - Research Article

Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Houston, D. M., Lamare, M., Davis, L. S., van Heezik, Y., & Seddon, P. J. (2013). Straight line foraging in yellow-eyed penguins: New insights into cascading fisheries effects and orientation capabilities of marine predators. PLoS ONE, 8(12), e84381. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084381

Journal - Research Article

Ellenberg, U., Mattern, T., Houston, D. M., Davis, L. S., & Seddon, P. J. (2012). Previous experiences with humans affect responses of Snares Penguins to experimental disturbance. Journal of Ornithology, 153(3), 621-631. doi: 10.1007/s10336-011-0780-4

Journal - Research Article

Browne, T., Lalas, C., Mattern, T., & van Heezik, Y. (2011). Chick starvation in yellow-eyed penguins: Evidence for poor diet quality and selective provisioning of chicks from conventional diet analysis and stable isotopes. Austral Ecology, 36(1), 99-108. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2010.02125.x

Journal - Research Article

Ellenberg, U., Mattern, T., & Seddon, P. J. (2009). Habituation potential of yellow-eyed penguins depends on sex, character and previous experience with humans. Animal Behaviour, 77(2), 289-296. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.09.021

Journal - Research Article

Mattern, T., Houston, D. M., Lalas, C., Setiawan, A. N., & Davis, L. S. (2009). Diet composition, continuity in prey availability and marine habitat: Keystones to population stability in the Snares Penguin (Eudyptes robustus). Emu, 109, 204-213. doi: 10.1071/mu08001

Journal - Research Article

McGraw, K. J., Massaro, M., Rivers, T. J., & Mattern, T. (2009). Annual, sexual, size- and condition-related variation in the colour and fluorescent pigment content of yellow crest-feathers in Snares Penguins (Eudyptes robustus). Emu, 109(2), 93-99. doi: 10.1071/mu08034

Journal - Research Article

Chiaradia, A., Ropert-coudert, Y., Kato, A., Mattern, T., & Yorke, J. (2007). Diving behaviour of Little Penguins from four colonies across their whole distribution range: Bathymetry affecting diving effort and fledging success. Marine Biology, 151, 1535-1542. doi: 10.1007/s00227-006-0593-9

Journal - Research Article

Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Houston, D. M., & Davis, L. S. (2007). Consistent foraging routes and benthic foraging behaviour in yellow-eyed penguins. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 343, 295-306. doi: 10.3354/meps06954

Journal - Research Article

Ellenberg, U., Mattern, T., Seddon, P. J., & Jorquera, G. L. (2006). Physiological and reproductive consequences of human disturbance in Humboldt penguins: The need for species-specific visitor management. Biological Conservation, 133, 95-106.

Journal - Research Article

Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Luna-Jorquera, G., & Davis, L. S. (2004). Humboldt penguin census on Isla Chañaral, Chile: Recent increase or past underestimate of penguin numbers? Waterbirds, 27(3), 368-376.

Journal - Research Article

Pan, H., Cole, T. L., Bi, X., Fang, M., Zhou, C., Yang, Z., … Mattern, T., … Young, M. J., … Grosser, S., … Zhang, G. (2019). High-coverage genomes to elucidate the evolution of penguins [Data note]. GigaScience, 8(9), giz117. doi: 10.1093/gigascience/giz117

Journal - Research Other

Mattern, T., & Long, R. (2017). Survey and population size estimate of Fiordland penguin (tawaki; Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) in Milford Sound / Piopiotahi, New Zealand [Short note]. Notornis, 64, 97-101.

Journal - Research Other

Cole, T. L., Dutoit, L., Dussex, N., Hart, T., Alexander, A., Frugone, M. J., … Ellenberg, U., … Mattern, T., … Waters, J. M. (2019). Contrasting demographic histories between widespread and endemic penguin taxa. Proceedings of the 10th International Penguin Conference (IPC10). (pp. 39-40). Retrieved from https://www.penguin-conference.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Cole, T., Dutoit, L., Dussex, N., Hart, T., Alexander, A., Frugone, M. J., … Ellenberg, U., … Mattern, T., … Waters, J. (2019). Receding ice drove rapid expansions in eight Southern Ocean penguins. Proceedings of the Genetics Society of Australasia (GSA) Conference. Retrieved from https://event.crowdcompass.com/gsa2019

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Ellenberg, U., Mattern, T., Houston, D., Long, R., Pütz, K., Garcia Borboroglu, P., & Seddon, P. (2019). Penguin plasticity: Surprisingly versatile marine life-style in Fiordland penguins/tawaki. Proceedings of the 10th International Penguin Conference (IPC10). (pp. 22). Retrieved from https://www.penguin-conference.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Hickcox, R. P., van Heezik, Y., Mattern, T., Young, M. J., & Seddon, P. J. (2019). Environmental, climatic, and biological interactions influencing the marine distribution of yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes). Proceedings of the 10th International Penguin Conference (IPC10). (pp. 36). Retrieved from https://www.penguin-conference.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Mattern, T., Clarkson, G., Pütz, K., Garcia Borboroglu, P., Ellenberg, U., Houston, D., … Seddon, P. (2019). Marathon penguins: Reasons and consequences of long-range dispersal in Fiordland penguins/tawaki during the pre-moult period. Proceedings of the 10th International Penguin Conference (IPC10). (pp. 61). Retrieved from https://www.penguin-conference.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Seed, R., van Heezik, Y., & Seddon, P. (2019). A birds-eye view on food: Using animal-borne cameras to study Yellow-eyed penguin foraging ecology. Proceedings of the 10th International Penguin Conference (IPC10). (pp. 18). Retrieved from https://www.penguin-conference.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

White, J., Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Garcia-Borboroglu, P., Houston, D. M., Seddon, P., … Mays, H. (2019). Investigating Fiordland penguin (tawaki) dietary plasticity using stable isotope analysis. Proceedings of the 10th International Penguin Conference (IPC10). (pp. 75). Retrieved from https://www.penguin-conference.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Young, M. J., Robertson, F., Dutoit, L., Mattern, T., Seddon, P. J., Robertson, B. C., & van Heezik, Y. (2019). Evidence for declining diet quality of mainland yellow-eyed penguins (Megadyptes antipodes): Is this their final dive? Proceedings of the 10th International Penguin Conference (IPC10). (pp. 73). Retrieved from https://www.penguin-conference.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Young, M. J., Seddon, P. J., Pütz, K., Mattern, T., Robertson, B. C., & van Heezik, Y. (2019). Go forth and prosper? Post-fledging dispersal and the decline in juvenile survival of mainland yellow-eyed penguins. Proceedings of the 10th International Penguin Conference (IPC10). (pp. 96). Retrieved from https://www.penguin-conference.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Mattern, T., & Wilson, K.-J. (2018). Identifying conservation actions required to protect Tawaki in New Zealand. Proceedings of the Birds New Zealand Conference. (pp. 24). Retrieved from https://www.osnz.org.nz/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Mattern, T., Seed, R., Ellenberg, U., van Heezik, Y., & Seddon, P. (2018). Penguin-cams: Gaining a whole new perspective on the foraging ecology and marine habitat of Yellow-eyed penguins. Proceedings of the Birds New Zealand Conference. (pp. 16). Retrieved from https://www.osnz.org.nz/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Wilson, K.-J., & Mattern, T. (2018). Identifying conservation actions required to protect Little Penguins in New Zealand. Proceedings of the Birds New Zealand Conference. (pp. 23-24). Retrieved from https://www.osnz.org.nz/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Garcia-Borboroglu, P., Pütz, K., Houston, D., & Seddon, P. (2017). The advantages of breeding in diverse habitats: Site-dependent effects of El Niño on foraging behaviour in Fiordland penguins/tawaki. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 44(2), (pp. 170-171). doi: 10.1080/03014223.2016.1264079

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Houston, D. M., Seddon, P. J., & Davis, L. S. (2013). The Pros and Cons of being a benthic forager: How anthropogenic alterations of the seafloor affect Yellow-eyed penguins [Keynote]. Proceedings of the 8th International Penguin Conference (IPC8). (pp. 16). Retrieved from https://www.penguin-conference.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Garcia-Borboroglu, P., Boersma, D., Trathan, P., Pütz, K., Wienecke, B., Le Maho, Y., … Mattern, T., … Ellenberg, U., Seddon, P., van Heezik, Y., … Davis, L., … Hindel, M. (2010). Penguin status in troubled oceans. In H. Urquhart, D. Laughlin & P. DiBona (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Penguin Conference. (pp. 44). Boston, MA: New England Aquarium. [Abstract]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Mattern, T., Ellenberg, U., Houston, D. M., & Davis, L. S. (2018). Like clockwork: Nest attendance patterns and foraging behaviour of Snares penguins Eudyptes robustus as a function of daylength and oceanography. PeerJ Preprints. doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.26653v1

Working Paper; Discussion Paper; Technical Report

Mattern, T., Pütz, K., Garcia-Borboroglu, P., Ellenberg, U., Houston, D., Long, R., … Seddon, P. J. (2018). Marathon penguins: Reasons and consequences of long-range dispersal in Fiordland penguins/Tawaki during the pre-moult period. PeerJ Preprints. doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.26527v1

Working Paper; Discussion Paper; Technical Report

Mattern, T., McPherson, M., Ellenberg, U., van Heezik, Y., & Seddon, P. J. (2017). High definition video loggers provide new insights into behaviour, physiology, and the oceanic habitat of marine top predators. PeerJ Preprints. doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2765v1

Working Paper; Discussion Paper; Technical Report

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