Field work in the Southern Alps: undergraduate research on introduced pests

Veronica Price-Jones was an international exchange student that came to Lincoln University in 2017. She did the ECOL 393 Field Ecology Research course and recounts her experiences here. Admittedly, my ECOL393 experience did not get off to the most auspicious start. Thanks to a combination of cancelled, delayed and missed…

Weedy pests, wild kiwifruit, myrtle death rust and watching nature: the second EcoLincNZ podcast

Dr Jon Sullivan has been interested in interactions all of his life. Increasingly he has become more passionate about monitoring and surveillance of biodiversity of both introduced and native varieties. Adrian talks with him about how he got into ecology, discovering insect species in Costa Rica, wild kiwifruit, understanding weedy…

Moonshots, PredatorfreeNZ, camera traps and pest shyness: the very first Ecolincnz podcast!

Welcome to the very first Ecolincnz podcast. In this series I (Adrian Paterson) talk with New Zealand ecologists about issues of the day and the research that they are doing. Today we start with Dr James Ross who works in managing the mammalian pests running rampant in New Zealand. We…

Is moonlight the ultimate weapon?

Being terrorised by house mice was a challenge I faced growing up through my primary school years. Forgetting to empty half eaten lunch from my school bag in the evening could result in large rat holes by the morning. This was a lesson that I had to learn the hard…

The Great Glacial Meltdown

If you have ever had the opportunity to travel in New Zealand, chances are high that your itinerary included a visit to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, situated in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the South Island. Often described as one of the most iconic tourism destinations of…

Wondering about wandering possums: Understanding possum movement will save our livestock

New Zealand is home to many introduced species, some of which pose threats to the native flora and fauna. One such “invader” is the brushtail possum, a cat-sized and nocturnal marsupial introduced into New Zealand during the Nineteenth Century, for the fur industry. Possums have big impacts not only on the…

Codename COBRA: measuring and comparing diversity

One of the great discoveries of the last century was in the value of diversity, and biodiversity in particular. It is a lot easier to remove diversity than it is to maintain or improve it. Build a wall, chop down a forest patch, relax legislation and diversity will tend to…

Thinking caps, gumboots & restoration: more questions than answers

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be on an Ecology ELLS (European Life Sciences) course run by Lincoln University. The course looks at “how restoration of plant communities can be used to resolve land degradation and contamination issues, through re-integrating biodiversity into human-modified ecosystems.” (ECOL697). This intensive two and a half…

Nothing to see here: the case of the disappearing katipo

 Mislaid. We’ve all done it. We all have things that we know that we had once but can no longer find. From a stray sock to our hopes and dreams, life is full of lost things. Sometimes things are just gone. The broken vase, the wrecked lamp, the old decrepit chair…

Ecology by the numbers

It is probably safe to say that the job description of an ecologist in 2016 is quite different from that of an ecologist back in the 1970’s or 1980’s. Our work today involves computer programs and fancy technology, some of which make our work much easier. But some appear to make…