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Phil Seddon 2020 imageEmail
Tel +64 3 479 7029


Research Interests

Assoc. Prof. Phil Seddon with a Fox on his head

  • Restoration of threatened species
  • Ecology of mammalian pest species
  • Seabird, specifically penguin, ecology
  • Assessment of the impacts of nature-based tourism
  • Reintroduction Biology, including Assisted Colonisation and other Conservation Introductions
  • De-extinction: implications for conservation


  • Strategic planning for wildlife reintroductions in collaboration with the IUCN Conservation Translocation Specialist Group. See here for a Policy Statement on Assisted Colonization
  • De-extinction: the pros and cons of creating versions (functional proxies) of extinct species for conservation benefit; download the IUCN Guiding Principles on De-extinction
  • Application of remote sensing, GIS and GPS technology to quantify spatial ecology at all scales
  • Spatial ecology of mammalian pests in NZ alpine regions, as part of the Te Manuhuna Aoaraki Project, in collaboration with Yolanda van Heezik
  • Conservation Management of native species (current/recent collaborative and student projects include work on takahe, with Glen Greaves and Andrew Digby (DOC), black stilt (kaki), with Richard Maloney and Simone Clelland (DOC), yellow-eyed penguins, Fiordland penguins (tawaki) with Thomas Mattern (NZ Penguin Initiative), and Adelie penguins, with Matt Scofield (Maths & Stats) and Dean Anderson (Manaaki Whenua)
  • Assessment, mitigation and management of human/tourism influences on seabirds.

Other Roles

Current and Recent Postgraduate Students

Black-fronted Tern, threatened by introduced predators

  • Jamie McAulay (MSc): Diet of stoats in the New Zealand alpine zone
  • Melanie Young (PhD): Foraging ecology of Yellow-eyed Penguins
  • James Hunter (PhD): Modeling post-release performance of reintroduced Takahe
  • Rachel Hickcox (PhD): Macro-ecology of yellow-eyed penguins
  • Saif Khan (PhD): Remote sensing applications in braided rivers
  • Nick Foster (PhD): Altitudinal distribution of mammalian pest species
  • Taylor Hamlin (PhD): Spatial ecology of Adelie penguins
  • Asher Soryl (PhD): Animal welfare biology
  • Charlotte Patterson (MSc): Predicting reinvasion pathways for urban possums
  • Scott Forrest (MSc): Spatial ecology of urban kaka
  • Myrene Otis (MSc): Foraging ecology of tawaki/Fiordland penguins
  • Thor Elley (MSc): Foraging ecology of yellow-eyed penguins on Rakiura
  • Peter Doyle (MSc): Spatial ecology of Norway rats
  • Hayley Lister (MSc): Resource selection by Norway rats in dryland ecosystems
  • Abby Clarke (MSc): Efficacy of probiotics for yellow-eyed penguins
  • Lena McNaughton (MSc): Invertebrate diversity across and urban gradient


Davis, R. A., Seddon, P. J., Craig, M. D., & Russell, J. C. (2023). A review of methods for detecting rats at low densities, with implications for surveillance. Biological Invasions. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10530-023-03133-0

Hickcox, R. P., Mattern, T., Young, M. J., Rodríguez-Recio, M., van Heezik, Y., & Seddon, P. J. (2023). Risks, resources, and refugia: Spatial overlap between yellow-eyed penguin foraging distribution and prey, commercial fisheries, and marine protected areas. Biological Conservation, 284, 110197. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2023.110197

Seddon, P. J. (2023). The role of conservation translocations in rewilding and de-extinction. In M. J. Gaywood, J. G. Ewen, P. M. Hollingsworth & A. Moehrenschlager (Eds.), Conservation translocations. (pp. 354-377). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/9781108638142.016

van Heezik, Y., Barratt, B. I. P., Burns, B. R., Clarkson, B. D., Cutting, B. T., Ewans, R., Freeman, C., … Seddon, P. J. (2023). A rapid assessment technique for evaluating biodiversity to support accreditation of residential properties. Landscape & Urban Planning, 232, 104682. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2023.104682

Bourke, S. D., Brown, L., Seddon, P. J., & van Heezik, Y. (2023). Determinants of hatching and recruitment success for captively reared kakī (Himantopus novaezelandiae). New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 47(1), 3508. doi: 10.20417/nzjecol.47.3508

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