Stephen Hartley

AProf Stephen Hartley profile picture

Director of the Centre of Biodiversity & Restoration Ecology School of Biological Sciences


Teaching in 2020

Personal Bio

PhD University of Leeds | MSc University of Aberdeen | BSc University of York

I was born and studied in the United Kingdom, including two years in Scotland where I completed a Masters in Environmental Science and subsequently conducted river habitat surveys for the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology. I have been involved in community-driven conservation in a variety of countries and settings. I moved to Wellington in 2002. I love the compact nature of the city, its network of bush reserves, hills and sweeping harbour, and the fact that tūī, kererū and kākā (native honey-eater, woodpigeon and parrot, respectively) enliven my walk to work. My current research is taxonomically diverse; it includes monitoring forest biodiversity in the Aorangi and Remutaka Ranges in response to control of introduced mammals, wetland restoration near Lake Wairarapa and the study of urban nature.

Director | Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology

Chair | Enhancing resilience and sustainability of our natural heritage and capital

Theme lead | People, Cities & Nature urban ecology project

Associate Editor | NZ Journal of Botany (2011-2017)

Research interests

My research encompasses topics in conservation biology, ecological restoration and invasive species ecology; combining the approaches of field observation, experimentation and spatial modelling.

Current research includes:

  • Wetland restoration - vegetation succession, tree growth and survival under different management regimes
  • Forest restoration - ecosystem responses to widespread possum and rodent control.
  • Urban ecology and citizen science
  • Predicting the future distribution of invasive species using bioclimatic and physiological models.
  • Developing efficient monitoring techniques for birds, mammals and invertebrates (to assist all of the above)

View the Spatial Ecology research group


Cook A & Hartley S. (2018) Efficient sampling of avian acoustic recordings: intermittent subsamples improve estimates of single species prevalence and total species richness. Avian Conservation and Ecology 13(1):21 article

Romijn RL & Hartley S (2016) Trends in lizard translocations in New Zealand between 1988 and 2013. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 43: 191-210. abstract

Hasenbank M & Hartley S (2015) Weaker resource diffusion effect at coarser spatial scales observed for egg distribution of cabbage white butterflies. Oecologia 177: 423-430. abstract

Cooling M, Hartley S, Sim DA, Lester PJ (2012) The widespread collapse of an invasive species: Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in New Zealand. Biology Letters 8: 430-433. abstract | review in The Economist

Buswell JM, Moles AT & Hartley S (2011) Is rapid evolution common in introduced plant species? Journal of Ecology 99: 214-224. abstract + | Faculty1000 review

Hartley S, Krushelnycky PD & Lester PJ (2010) Integrating physiology, population dynamics and climate to make multi-scale predictions for the spread of an invasive insect: the Argentine ant at Haleakala National Park, Hawaii. Ecography 33: 83-94. abstract

Hartley S, Harris R, & Lester PJ (2006) Quantifying uncertainty in the potential distribution of an invasive species: climate and the Argentine ant. Ecology Letters. 9: 1068-1079. abstract

View more publications


Teaching in 2020