Fighting bacteria with bacteria: a novel way of protecting kiwifruit

When people mention brown, round and hairy, kiwifruit aren’t the first thing to appear in the mind’s eye. They are more commonly associated with a vibrant green colour, deliciousness and the final touches on top of a traditional kiwi pavlova. Unfortunately, the recent establishment of a disease novel to New…

Humans help aliens invade!

Alien species are also known as invasive species. They can be any kind of organism that is not native to an ecosystem, which causes harm to the environment, the economy, human health or conservation and biodiversity. When an alien species is introduced to an ecosystem it may not have any natural predators…

On the value of ecology

I often find that I have to comment on the value of ecology. One gets the sense when talking to some people that they wonder why we need to bother with ecology. Surely there are more pressing issues and more immediate uses of limited funds? This has been particularly true…

A risky business: predicting invasive species

In which we talk about identifying risk of pest species in light of climate change. Consider these events: a violent home invasion, a major earthquake, and being hit by a ball on a cricket boundary. Which of these are you most at risk from? Obviously this may depend a little…

Finding Name-os! Barcoding aquarium fish

 These two species look extremely similar but DNA barcodes can tell us that A is a species of barb called Puntius filamentosuswhile B is Putius assimilis  When you have a young family, a good and entertaining way to spend some time is to visit a local pet shop….

It’s thieves, not killers, that you should worry about!

You know, just once I would love to see some ecological research that found a really simple answer that explained the phenomenon under study. Alas, we live in a complicated world where it is difficult to make robust predictions. I guess it keeps us ecologists in jobs. For example, possums…

Voice Hears His Calling – An Interview with David Voice, Graduate of Lincoln University

David Voice is an entomological scientist at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in Christchurch, New Zealand; he completed a Master of Applied Science under the supervision of Bruce Chapman at Lincoln University in 2000. His thesis was done through the entomology department on insecticide resistance in offspring of crossed…

The long invasion

New Zealand has worried about invasion for the last 200 years. Dotted around our major harbours are gun emplacements built to repel Russian and Japanese imperial designs in the late nineteenth and mid twentieth century’s, respectively. Of course neither of these invasions eventuated but there have actually been enormous numbers…

How to have a lousy time in Durham

Durham, England, famous for its grand old city and cathedral, where bus loads of senior citizens spend their day dragging their Zimmer frames over the cobbled streets to admire ye olde England. More recently and probably more famous in New Zealand, Durham’s castle and cathedral might be better known as…

Parasites lost

One aspect that is often overlooked when thinking about biological invasions is that in addition to the invading species, be it a bird, beetle or banana, there are usually associated parasite species that come along for the ride. More intriguingly, sometimes one of the reasons why invasive species are so…