Professor Len Gillman

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Associate Dean, International; Head of School - Science

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext 8213



BSc, PhD. (Auckland)


Len N. Gillman is Associate Dean, International; Head of School, School of Science at AUT, New Zealand.

He is a professor of biogeography, an associate editor of Journal of Biogeography and head of Science at Auckland University of Technology. He has published in the research areas of forest ecology, polar ecology, global patterns in primary productivity and environmental influences on the rates of genetic evolution and speciation.

As Head of Science at AUT he has introduced several new and exciting majors in the Bachelor of Science not available at other New Zealand universities. These include Geospatial Science, Food Safety and Applied Conservation.

Len Gillman has experienced many adventures: climbing around the world including granite walls in America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. He has pushed through powerful icy rivers, negotiated steep unstable rock moraine and sweated under the load of massively heavy packs. He has camped on beaches, mountain tops, Arctic glaciers of Baffin Island and the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, cycled up onto the Tibetan Plateau, stayed in Fijian villages inaccessible by road and flown drones in the cold deserts of Antarctic and in the hot deserts of Namibia. He has worked a conservation advocate and has written two children’s books.

Teaching Areas:

Biogeography, ecology and evolution, diversity patterns and theory, terrestrial ecology.

Research Areas:

I am interested in questions of causation for global patterns in species richness and in particular the link between productivity, rate of microevolution and biodiversity patterns. I have been involved in testing for the influence of productivity on rates of microevolution in plants.

Research Summary:

Len Gillman is an evolutionary ecologist. His major research interest is in differential rates of molecular evolution and the implications of this for global patterns in species richness. Len has been active in conservation in New Zealand since 1984, having held executive positions on Native Forests Action Council and Maruia Society and having acted as a board director of the Environmental Defence Society. He completed his PhD in Auckland, at the age of 47, on forest seedling damage and mortality.


Google Scholar profile

Gillman, L.N., 2016. Seedling mortality from litterfall increases with decreasing latitude Ecology 97 (2), 530-535.

WFV Pointing, S. B., B. Buedel, P. Convey, L. Gillman, C. Koerner, S. Leuzinger. 2015. Biogeography of photoautotrophs in the high polar biome. Frontiers in Plant Science 6, 692.

Gillman, L.N., Wright, S. D., Cusens, J., McBride, P.D., Mahli, Y. and Whittaker, R. J. 2015. Latitude, productivity and species richness. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24:107-117.

RGG Acuña, J Tao, D Breen, B Breen, S Pointing, L Gillman, R Klette. 2015. Robust Segmentation of Aerial Image Data Recorded for Landscape Ecology Studies Image and Video Technology–PSIVT Workshops, 61-72