Dr Andrew Barnes
I am a senior lecturer at the University of Waikato and head of the EcoDiv lab group. I am broadly interested in the impacts of global change drivers on natural systems and the resulting functional consequences. My research focuses on how environmental changes alter the seemingly complex relationships between biodiversity, the structure of communities, biotic interactions, and ecosystem functioning. See my publications here

Rebecca Le Grice (Postdoc)
I am investigating soil invertebrate food webs associated with Aotearoa’s iconic kauri, and the impact that kauri dieback (Phytophthora agathidicida) may be having on this ecosystem. This work is part of the programme Ngā Rākau Taketake – Saving our iconic trees, within the BioHeritage Challenge

Bibishan Rai (PhD candidate)
I am studying the re-assembly of belowground food-webs in urban forests across different stages of succession. Using a ‘food web energetics’ approach, I am investigating changes in energy flux, complexity and stability of soil food webs over the course of urban forest restoration across New Zealand.

Fevziye Hasan (PhD candidate)
My PhD investigates how traits of introduced dung beetles affect biotic and abiotic drivers of ecosystem multifunctionality, such as changes in the soil physicochemical environment and below-ground soil arthropod communities.

Nigel Binks (PhD candidate)
I’m investigating how invasive mammalian predators affect forest soil arthropod communities and the transboundary effects on belowground arthropod biodiversity in adjacent pasture soils. I apply DNA barcoding techniques to link emerging forest soil arthropods with their belowground larval stages.

Grace Mitchell (MSc candidate)
Grace is studying the reassembly of microbial and mesofaunal communities along an urban forest restoration chronosequence.

René Devenish (MSc candidate)
I am currently studying the energetic impacts of warming on pollinator behaviour and the provisioning of pollination services. I will also be investigating the allometric relationships between metabolism, temperature and pollinator behaviour.

Rebecca Booth (MSc candidate)
Rebecca is investigating the effects of riparian vegetation on temperature, dissolved oxygen, and macroinvertebrate community structure and ecosystem functioning in low-gradient streams throughout the Waikato region.

Maike Ziegler (MSc candidate – in the EIE group at iDiv)
Maike is working with a range of techniques such as phospholipid fatty acid and Microresp analyses to reveal restoration trajectories of fungal and bacterial communities in urban forest restoration sites. Maike is also interested in understanding the biotic and abiotic factors that influence microbial community reassembly.

Guest Members

Dr Kiri Wallace (Research Fellow)
I am passionate about forest ecology, community ecology, and discovering how to restore native ecosystems. Going hand-in-hand with that, I like to restore people’s connection to nature and help them enjoy and benefit from it! Ecological research sparks my interest and allows me to shine, whatever a specific project may entail.  

Clare Beet (PhD candidate)
My research explores the resilience of polar springtails (Collembola) to climate changes with a specific focus on ecophysiological and transcriptomic responses to heat stress.

Monique Hall (Research Assistant)
I am looking for the best conditions for planting environmentally sensitive late-successional plant species within restored forest environments. Also, I am interested in how Rongoā Māori is implemented in urban forests.

Past Members

Elizabeth Elliot Noe (PhD)
My research combines ecological and social science to evaluate the contribution that restored native forests in New Zealand cities can make to native bird conservation and reconnecting urban residents with nature

Shaun Morgan (MSc)
My MSc research explores how invasive mammal control interacts with fragment size and isolation to affect the abundance of invasive mammalian predators and the resulting impacts on native bird communities throughout the Waikato basin in the North Island, New Zealand.

Dr Gemma Collins (PhD)
I am broadly interested in the genetic diversity of invertebrates and how these populations change across various spatial and temporal scales.

Sarah Busbridge (MSc)
My research explores the link between research and implementation in urban forest restoration, as well as factors influencing native tree regeneration. I’m interested in urban ecology, restoration ecology, and socio-ecololgical systems.