Dr Libby Liggins

Lecturer in Marine Ecology

Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

Contact details
Telephone: +64 (09) 414 0800  ext. 49062

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Project Leader20

Current Projects

Project Title: RSNZ - Rutherford Post Doc Fellowship: Determining the potential for a range shift in a non-native marine ecosystem engineer - Libby Liggins

The Australian long-spined sea urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii) that has shifted its range into northeast New Zealand over the last 60 years is a voracious herbivore capable of destroying our kelp-dominated ecosystems. To help us understand the constraints and potential triggers of further range shifts in this species, this project will use seascape genomic analyses and forward population demographic-genetic simulations. These approaches will help elucidate the environmental features that correlate with the population demography and certain genetic characteristics of C. rodgersii. Overall, the project aims to forecast the threat posed by C. rodgersii in New Zealand, and provide a road-map of which populations have the potential to trigger a range shift.
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Date Range: 2016 - 2018

Funding Body: Royal Society of New Zealand

Project Team:

Research Outputs


Kingsford, MJ., O'Callaghan, MD., Liggins, L., & Gerlach, G. (2017). The short-lived neon damsel Pomacentrus coelestis: Implications for population dynamics. Journal of Fish Biology.
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Parobek, CM., Archer, FI., DePrenger-Levin, ME., Hoban, SM., Liggins, L., & Strand, AE. (2017). skelesim: an extensible, general framework for population genetic simulation in R. Molecular Ecology Resources. 17(1), 101-109
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Riginos, C., Crandall, ED., Liggins, L., Bongaerts, P., & Treml, EA. (2016). Navigating the currents of seascape genomics: How spatial analyses can augment population genomic studies. Current Zoology. 62(6), 581-601
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Aguirre, JD., Bollard-Breen, B., Cameron, M., Constantine, R., Duffy, CAJ., Dunphy, B., . . . Wilson, R. (2016). Loved to pieces: Toward the sustainable management of the Waitematā Harbour and Hauraki Gulf. Regional Studies in Marine Science. 8, 220-233
[Journal article]Authored by: Aguirre, J., Liggins, L., Smith, A.
Liggins, L., Treml, EA., Possingham, HP., & Riginos, C. (2016). Seascape features, rather than dispersal traits, predict spatial genetic patterns in co-distributed reef fishes. Journal of Biogeography. 43(2), 256-267
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Richards, ZT., & Liggins, L. (2015). Scleractinian corals and Crown-of-thorns seastars of the Kermadec Islands. Bulletin of the Auckland Museum. 20, 337-340
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Pope, LC., Liggins, L., Keyse, J., Carvalho, SB., & Riginos, C. (2015). Not the time or the place: The missing spatio-temporal link in publicly available genetic data. Molecular Ecology. 24(15), 3802-3809
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Liggins, L., Booth, DJ., Figueira, WF., Treml, EA., Tonk, L., Ridgway, T., . . . Riginos, C. (2015). Latitude-wide genetic patterns reveal historical effects and contrasting patterns of turnover and nestedness at the range peripheries of a tropical marine fish. Ecography. 38(12), 1212-1224
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Crandall, ED., Treml, EA., Liggins, L., Gleeson, L., Yasuda, N., Barber, PH., . . . Riginos, C. (2014). Return of the ghosts of dispersal past: Historical spread and contemporary gene flow in the blue sea star Linckia laevigata. Bulletin of Marine Science. 90(1), 399-425
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Liggins, L., Gleeson, L., & Riginos, C. (2014). Evaluating edge-of-range genetic patterns for tropical echinoderms, Acanthaster planci and Tripneustes gratilla, of the Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific. Bulletin of Marine Science. 90(1), 379-397
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Liggins, L., Treml, EA., & Riginos, C. (2013). Taking the Plunge: An Introduction to Undertaking Seascape Genetic Studies and using Biophysical Models. Geography Compass. 7(3), 173-196
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Riginos, C., & Liggins, L. (2013). Seascape Genetics: Populations, Individuals, and Genes Marooned and Adrift. Geography Compass. 7(3), 197-216
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Torkkola, J., Riginos, C., & Liggins, L. (2013). Regional patterns of mtDNA diversity in Styela plicata, an invasive ascidian, from Australian and New Zealand marinas. Marine and Freshwater Research. 64(2), 139-145
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Huelsken, T., Keyse, J., Liggins, L., Penny, S., Treml, EA., & Riginos, C. (2013). A novel widespread cryptic species and phylogeographic patterns within several giant clam species (cardiidae: Tridacna) from the Indo-Pacific ocean. PLoS ONE. 8(11)
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Mirams, AGK., Treml, EA., Shields, JL., Liggins, L., & Riginos, C. (2011). Vicariance and dispersal across an intermittent barrier: Population genetic structure of marine animals across the Torres Strait land bridge. Coral Reefs. 30(4), 937-949
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Ryan, KG., Cowie, ROM., Liggins, E., McNaughtan, D., Martin, A., & Davy, SK. (2009). The short-term effect of irradiance on the photosynthetic properties of antarctic fast-ice microalgal communities. Journal of Phycology. 45(6), 1290-1298
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Liggins, L., Chapple, DG., Daugherty, CH., & Ritchie, PA. (2008). Origin and post-colonization evolution of the Chatham Islands skink (Oligosoma nigriplantare nigriplantare). Molecular Ecology. 17(14), 3290-3305
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.
Liggins, L., Chapple, DG., Daugherty, CH., & Ritchie, PA. (2008). A SINE of restricted gene flow across the Alpine Fault: Phylogeography of the New Zealand common skink (Oligosoma nigriplantare polychroma). Molecular Ecology. 17(16), 3668-3683
[Journal article]Authored by: Liggins, L.


Albert, S., Grinham, A., Bythell, J., Olds, A., Schwarz, A., Abernethy, K., . . . Gibbes, B.(2012). Building social and ecological resilience to climate change in Roviana, Solomon Islands. (Report No. Component 2 Final Report).
[Technical Report]Authored by: Liggins, L.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision


Current Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

  • Lizzy Myers- PhD
    Functional biodiversity of New Zealand's marine fishes versus depth

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