Head of Applied Ecology
Phone: 921 9999 ext. 6944
Institute for Applied Ecology New Zealand
School of Science
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences
WU Block, WU114
46 Wakefield Street
Private Bag 92006
(Mail No C-44)
- PhD in Plant Ecology, University of Basel, 2006
- MSc in Statistics, University of Neuchâtel, 2005
- BSc(HONS) Coral reef ecology, James Cook University, Townsville, 2001
Memberships and Affiliations:
- Associate editor, Frontiers in Functional Plant Ecology
- Steering committee member iLEAPS, integrated Land Ecosystem Atmosphere-Processes Study
- Board of reviewers, Tree Physiology
- Member of the Ecological Society of America
- Member of Intecol, International Association for Ecology
I have studied biology and statistics at the universities of Basel and Neuchâtel, Switzerland. I also undertook an Honours thesis in coral reef ecology at James Cook University, Townsville, where I also gained my qualifications as a dive instructor. After working for one year as a Science teacher on a superyacht, I have returned to academia, working under the supervision of Christian Körner at the university of Basel, where I completed my PhD in 2006 on the physiological responses of mature forest trees to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. Six years of post-doctoral studies at the University of Basel (2 years) and ETH Zurich (4 years) followed. I have been at AUT as a Senior Lecturer since June 2012, and as an Associate professor since 2016.
- Biological Sampling and Interpretation
- Plant Ecology
- Scientific Research
- Research Techniques
- Global Change Biology (postgraduate)
- Pacific Island Ecology
- Plant Ecology
- Plant Ecophysiology
- Meta analysis of global change experiments
- Free Air CO2 Enrichment experiments
- Warming experiments
- Drought experiments
- The global carbon and water cycles and their interactions
- Aquatic Botany
I have worked on a large range of ecological topics both in marine and terrestrial environments, using a variety of experimental and computational methods. My original background is in marine ecology, but I have mainly worked in terrestrial environments in the past fifteen years. I am interested in fundamental ecological questions such as:
- What limits plant growth in various ecosystems?
- How do global changes impact on ecosystems, particularly plants?
- How do the global carbon and water cycles interact via vegetation cover?
- How can meta-analysis and ‘pattern analysis’ help to understand global change impacts on our ecosystems?
- How can we model plant growth to predict changes in the future carbon cycle?
- How do trees transport water? How can we measure it?
- How do trees die under drought?
- Why do organisms pursue a given resource allocation strategy?
Current Research Projects:
- The life of a leafless kauri stump: the role of root grafts in tree water relations
- The ecophysiology of the grey mangrove Avicennia marina
- Plant growth: what is it? How do we measure it? Why?
- Sink vs. source limitation in global vegetation models
- The timing of rainfall events and its role under elevated CO2
- Grow fast, die young: the consequences for global carbon stocks
- New ways of measuring sap flow in trees, how can we use electropotential signals?
Together with a team of researchers, I will be organising the 2021 iLEAPS Science conference in Auckland, I am looking forward to this exciting opportunity to bring researchers in my field to a large conference in Auckland!