I studied zoology at University of Auckland, completed a PhD at University of Michigan, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University, before returning to New Zealand as a Lecturer at the University of Auckland. In 2004, I moved to Massey University to establish and head the Ecology and Conservation Group at Albany.

My research focuses on conservation issues, evolutionary biology and behavioural ecology. Current work centres on natural or restoration populations, and uses field and lab based experimental studies to understand the interactions between natural selection, sexual selection and life history characteristics. Specifically, I am exploring the evolution of song and sexual selection in NZ bellbirds (a current Marsden funded project). I am also interested in dispersal, parental care, and social networks and have investigated Saddleback dialects, foraging ecology of Little Penguins using stable isotopes, and the role of malarial diseases in the evolution and ecology of NZ’s fauna. My focus is mainly birds and reptiles, but is increasingly widening to other components of biodiversity, both in New Zealand and overseas.

I currently oversee a thriving Postgraduate research group at the Albany Campus where I typically supervise a group of 8 to 12 Doctoral and MSc students working on a board range of topics in behavioural ecology and conservation biology. I welcome inquiries from prospective postgraduate students or postdoctoral fellows interested in applying for, or bringing, their own funding to work in my research group.