My research programme engages with some of the most challenging conservation issues that confront humanity globally, by focusing on human relationships with nature, and how species ecology can inform conservation. My work innovates at the leading edge of biocultural diversity research, using novel approaches to focus on the intertwined connections of biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity. I collaborate with colleagues to create inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches that lead to new perspectives and spaces in ecology and conservation.
I use scientific tools such as stable isotope analysis to recover information about past ecological relationships – for example, in New Zealand’s native parrot, the kea – and open new conversations about knowledge, ethics, and perspectives of biodiversity loss in different communities.
I am working with Dr Rachael Shaw and PhD student Finley Johnson on kākā ecology and place names, and with Professor Tom Roa, Dr Kerry Borkin (Department of Conservation) and Pekapeka School in the Waikato in a project on mātauranga and bats / pekapeka. I have also helped Dr Javiera Cisternas explore what strong biocultural community partnerships look like in ecology and conservation, during her PhD.
I develop my work from a strong natural history and empirical base. I work with the sexually dimorphic New Zealand tree wētā genus Hemideina spp., but also other species, including museum specimens.