Island Biology

New Zealand is arguably the best place in the world to study island biology. It is the largest isolated landmass on the planet and as a result, New Zealand’s natural history is incredibly unusual. Due to its long history of isolation, many of New Zealand’s plants and animals have evolved entirely unique solutions to common ecological problems. Our research group uses New Zealand’s unique natural history to test current paradigms in ecology and evolution, providing a unique perspective on evolutionary ecology.

Prospective Students

My teaching philosophy focuses on helping young scientists become independent researchers that are focused on generating world-renowned scientific insights. Instead of assigning students pre-planned projects based on my previous work, students follow their own interests and derive their own research directions. My only restraint is that student projects be at least coarsely associated with my experience, so I can help when needed. We don’t have weekly lab meetings or journal club. Instead, my door is always open and students come and go as need be. As a result, my students work on a wide range of topics, including island ecology and evolution, plant-animal interactions, plant form and function, macroecology, animal behaviour and comparative psychology. 

If you are interested in postgraduate study with us, please contact me through the details below.


Professor of Biology
School of Biological Sciences