Interested in joining our group? - Info here
Jason is a professor in ecology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (UC webpage), and Visiting Professor at Imperial College London at Silwood Park. He is the current Director of the Food Transitions 2050 Joint Postgraduate School and also a principal investigator in the Bioprotection Research Centre. His research examines how communities of interacting species (sometimes including humans) respond to environmental changes. In particular, he is interested in how the architecture of interaction networks (such as food webs or pollination networks) comes to exist, and how it responds to environmental drivers. He is also interested in the conditions under which biodiversity loss has the greatest impact on ecosystem functioning and services, and in searching for win-win scenarios to balance agricultural production and conservation. In some cases, this requires knowledge of how species traits and the local environment jointly shape the structure of interaction networks, and how this structure affects processes at the entire community level. He addresses these questions using a variety of systems (plants, insect herbivores, parasitoid-host systems, plant-mycorrhizal associations) and approaches (field observations, field and lab experiments, meta-analysis). Jason holds several service roles, including on the Science Advisory Panel to the Ministry for the Environment, and on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science. Our group meets jointly with Daniel Stouffer's lab group at UC.
Lucas Pereira Martins
Lucas did his Masters on plant-insect interaction networks in the group of Mário Almeida Neto at the Federal University of Goiás, Brazil. See his previous work here. He is now doing his PhD research on the relationship among species traits and network roles, within the context of environmental change. Check out his recent commentary in Mongabay here. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophie did her Masters in our group, looking at the impacts of restoration on functional diversity. She then went to work as an analyst for Motu economic and public policy research, and now she's doing her PhD on landscape design to maximise Nature's Contributions to People, in collaboration with Sandra Lavorel.
Masters & honors students
We will have a few Masters students joining later this year...
Hao Ran Lai 赖浩然
Hao Ran is conducting theoretical work that addresses the link between ecological and (co-)evolutionary processes at local and regional scales in the context of pests, pathogens, or weeds. He will build spatiotemporal metacommunity models to understand evolutionary and ecological trade-offs between abiotic responses and biotic interactions with enemies and resource species. He has independent project funding from the Marsden fund, and his work with us is funded by Bioprotection Aotearoa, a centre of research excellence. Find out more about him on his webpage.
David is using existing databases to explore the role of spatial processes on ecological networks. His previous work has explored spatial processes in biotic interactions (see an example here), and he is extending on these ideas in our group. David is working remotely from Spain, and you can find out more about him on his webpage.
Etienne studied the direct and indirect impacts of different components of land-use intensification on biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality in grasslands. He is now an Associate Professor at Université de Montréal & Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia, and won the 2016 Tansley Medal. You can find him here.
Claudio de Sassi
Claudio's PhD examined how the interactive effects of climate change and nitrogen deposition alter parasitoid-host community composition and food-web interactions. He did his MSc in Zurich, and he is now based at the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).
Scott's PhD partitioned autotrophic and heterotrophic soil respiration to quantify soil carbon-atmosphere feedbacks under climate change. He also developed a model for net ecosystem exchange of carbon in tussock grasslands. He went on to a postdoc at the University of Florida, and now has a position at Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research (find him here).
Ceci did her PhD research on how climate change (drought and warming) affect predator-prey interactions in a biological control context. She had previously studied at Berkeley, and is now based at Scion (a government forestry research institute).
Shelley has a background in pollinator behaviour and ecology. Her postdoc in our group looked at the interactive effects of multiple environmental change drivers on plant-pollinator interactions. She is now at Lethbridge Research Centre, Alberta Agriculture. Find her here.
Maria Luisa Tunes Buschini
Maria Luisa has worked extensively with cavity-nesting bees and wasps, and she is now a Professor at the Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste, Brasil. Find her here.
Simon's masters research examined how declining numbers of honeybees affect communities of other pollinators and the pollination success of crop and weed species.
For her PhD, Liz measured the effects of land-use intensification on multitrophic communities in natural forest remnants. She worked jointly with Raphael Didham at UWA, and came from the UK to measure cross-system subsidies in NZ.
Carol studied apparent competition in parasitoid-host food webs for her PhD, and consumer spillover from managed to native habitats. She came from Canada, where her MSc at McGill tested how local dynamics and dispersal affected diversity of spiders in an old field community. She is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta. Find her here. email: email@example.com
Christie's masters thesis explored spatial associations among pollinator networks. She is now a Biosecurity Response Advisor for the Ministry of Primary Industries.
Stinus is a Marie Curie Fellow doing a postdoc in bioinformatics in collaboration with Anthony Poole and Paul Gardner (UC). He has worked previously on an ancient human genome and Aboriginal Australian genome, and on the Rfam database. His current project is using metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approaches to understand the effects of climate change on soil microbial communities.
Michelle's masters thesis tested how species interactions in human-modified environments affect the future persistence of two native New Zealand tree daisy species and their associated moth herbivore species.
Karen is a community ecologist interested in relationships between above and belowground communities and how these interactions impact ecosystems. Her background is in utilizing molecular techniques to characterize and quantify soil microbial diversity. She worked on plant-microbe linkages in the Cass experiment, and did a postdoc in Angela Douglas' lab at Cornell before moving to the University of Oregon.
Marilia palumbo Gaiarsa
Marilia was a visiting Phd student from Brazil (in the group of Paulo Guimaraes Jr) and she's interested in understanding the ecological and evolutionary consequences of cascading effects in mutualistic networks. While here, she worked on extinction cascades in mutualistic networks. She is currently doing a Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of Zurich, before she heads to her faculty position at UC Merced. Her webpage is here.
Camille used empirical and analytical approaches to examine the assembly and disassembly of ecological networks. She is also examining the importance of traits in networks. She is now doing a postdoc at INRA in Chizé, France. Researchgate: here
Johanna's background is in conservation biology and spatial ecology. She did a Master of International Nature Conservation at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany) and Lincoln University (New Zealand). Prior to that, she did a B.Sc. in Nature Conservation and Landscape Planning at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences (Germany). While in our group she looked at spatial aspects of networks, and she has also worked on species distribution modelling (journal).
Matt is a PhD candidate at Washington State University in Pullman, WA, USA. For his dissertation, he is examining how coprophage biodiversity (dung beetles, flies, and soil microbes) contributes to natural human pathogen suppression in vegetable agriculture. He visited the Tylianakis lab on a Fulbright Fellowship for a year in 2016 to study the ecological implications of exotic dung beetle introductions in NZ.
Zane took a trait-based approach to studying plant communities in novel ecosystems, focusing on grasslands as a model system.
Melissa has a background in entomology and pollination ecology, having studied previously at Oregon State. Her PhD research was on managing key pollinators and pollination services, and she is now based at Plant and Food Research in Hamilton.
For her Masters, Sophie studied functional aspects of restoration, using analyses of species traits from existing data. She went on to an analyst role at Motu economic and public policy research, and has returned in 2021 to do a PhD in our group.
Johanna has worked previously at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and has joined our group to work on tipping points in social-ecological systems. Her work was part of the New Zealand's Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. Before joining our group she worked on social-ecological systems relating to fisheries (for example this). Check out her recent paper in Nature Climate Change here. Johanna is now based at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, see her page here.
Paula is interested in answering ecological, conservation and resource management questions applying quantitative techniques. She did her Ph.D working at the Fagan Lab where theoretical models and quantitative methods are used in very different projects in ecology and conservation. Her project addressed different techniques to study biodiversity in remote environments. Previously to come to New Zealand, Paula worked briefly at the British Antarctic Survey trying to map the floral diversity of the Antarctic Peninsula. Here she was working on understanding rapid evolutionary processes in biological control systems in New Zealand pastures. Paula is now based at the Cawthron Institute (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Shorok was a microbial ecologist based at Silwood Park, working jointly with Tom Bell. She used field and lab experiments to examine how abiotic drivers associated with human land use influence microbial communities. Her work, funded by NERC, focused in part on the spillover of agriculturally-subsidised microbial communities.
Jono returned to NZ after 6 years overseas (China, Germany, USA) to do a postdoc with Jason and Ian Dickie on above- and below-ground ecological networks. Jono has a background in community and metacommunity ecology, and has recently been developing mechanistic models to predict whole community responses to uncertain environmental futures (e.g. here). He's now begun a prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship and has his own group here at UC. Find more about Jono here.
Carla has a background in both Geography and Ecology. She has studied in Colombia and The Netherlands, and did her PhD work on landscape planning of ecosystem services. After leaving, she was a conservation scientist at the IUCN in Costa Rica, before returning to NZ to work for the Ministry for the Environment.
Hsi-cheng ho 何熙誠
Hsi-Cheng has a background in behavioural ecology, having completed his Masters at National Taiwan University. His PhD research examined how foraging behaviour influences the architecture of food webs and biodiversity maintenance. He was jointly supervised with Samraat Pawar and based at Silwood Park, and now has a postdoc at ETH Zurich.
Hannah worked on using machine learning methods to predict species interactions in the context of biological control introductions. She used traits and phylogenies to help improve risk assessment tools for new biocontrol agents, and is now an analyst at Motu economic and public policy research.
Lupe worked for her PhD on spatial and temporal dynamics of parasitoid-host food webs in native and plantation forests. She related the structure of parasitoid-host food webs (i.e. trophic complementarity) to functional outcomes in the form of herbivore suppression. After completing a postdoc with Diego Vazquez, we were lucky to have her back in our group doing a postdoc on predicting interaction networks. You can find her own webpage here.
Laís has worked previously on parasitoid-host interactions. She did her masters on multitrophic interactions at the Federal University of Lavras, Brazil (you can see one of the papers from that work here), and is worked here within the Bioprotection Centre. Her PhD research focused on parasitoid-host coevolution within the context of biological control. Contact email: laisfmaia [at] gmail.com
Mark has a background in avian ecology and conservation. He recently finished his MSc at Kansas State, where he studied landscape ecology of declining grassland birds (see one of his papers from that work here). His PhD research focused on population dynamics and management of waterfowl.
Warwick completed his PhD at Louisiana State University where he examined the role of plant genetics and plasticity, biogeography, and species interactions in driving plant invasions at large spatial scales. His postdoctoral research investigated how the structure of multitrophic species interaction networks can influence the success of invasive plants and arthropods, and how native communities respond to these invasions. Warwick also had a 'big year' of birding in 2019 - check out his instagram of native New Zealand birds here.