College of Sciences staff

Associate Professor Weihong Ji staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (09) 414 0800  ext. 43596

Associate Professor Weihong Ji

Senior Lecturer

Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

I am a behavioural ecologist teaching ecology and conservation papers and research in the field of animal behavioural ecology and human-wildlife interactions. I obtained a PhD degree in Environmental Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 2001. My PhD project focused on behavioural responses of Australian brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecular) to population density reduction and female sterility. For my postdoctoral research, I worked on the contact behaviour in brushtail possums and badgers (meles meles) for which I based in the school of Biological Sciences at University of Auckland (March 2002 –December 2003) and Environmental Department, The University of York, UK (January 2004- February 2005). Since March 2005, I have been lecturing in the field of Zoology and Conservation ecology at Massey University.

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Contact details

  • Ph: +64 9 4140800 extn 41195
    Location: 05, 5
    Campus: Albany


  • MSc - Northwest University (1987)
  • PhD - The University of Auckland (2001)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

My research interest is in vetebrate behavioral ecology and the effect of human induced changes on behaviour, life history and fitness of wild animal populations. My research topics include 1. social and mating systems of vetebrates; 2. the effect of conservation management on behaviour of wild animals including pest species and native animals 3.the effect of human induced habitat degradation on wild animals. I have recently innitiated a research programme investigating the effect of urbanisation on life history and behaviour of wild animal populations involving both PhD and MSc students.

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Behavioural Ecology (060201): Biological Sciences (060000): Ecology (060200): Terrestrial Ecology (060208)


Behavioural Ecology, Conservation, huma wildlife interactions, urban ecology, mating systems, social structure

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 3 12
Team Member 0 2

Research Outputs


Hill, SD., Aryal, A., Pawley, MDM., & Ji, W. (2017). So much for the city: urban-rural song variation in a widespread Asiatic songbird.. Integr Zool.
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W., Pawley, M.
Qi, XG., Huang, K., Fang, G., Grueter, CC., Dunn, DW., Li, YL., . . . Li, BG. (2017). Male cooperation for breeding opportunities contributes to the evolution of multilevel societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284(1863)
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Zhang, S., Gan, Y., Ji, W., Xu, B., Hou, B., & Liu, J. (2017). Mechanisms and characterization of trichoderma longibrachiatum T6 in suppressing nematodes (Heterodera avenae) in wheat. Frontiers in Plant Science. 8
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Hill, SD., Brunton, DH., Anderson, MG., & Ji, W. (2017). Fighting talk: Complex song elicits more aggressive responses in a vocally complex songbird. Ibis.
[Journal article]Authored by: Anderson, M., Brunton, D., Ji, W.
Harker, TD., Harker, NF., Harker, FR., Peace, J., Barry, M., Ludbrook, MR., . . . Ji, W. (2017). Analysis of footprints provides additional insights during monitoring of Duvaucel’s geckos (Hoplodactylus duvaucelii). New Zealand Journal of Zoology. 44(4), 305-318
[Journal article]Authored by: Barry, M., Ji, W.
Wells, SJ., Ji, W., Gleeson, D., Jones, B., & Dale, J. (2017). Population social structure facilitates indirect fitness benefits from extra-pair mating. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 5(MAR)
[Journal article]Authored by: Dale, J., Ji, W., Jones, M.
Qu, J., Russell, JC., Ji, W., Yang, M., Chen, Q., Li, W., . . . Zhang, Y. (2017). Five-year population dynamics of plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) on the east of Tibetan Plateau. European Journal of Wildlife Research. 63(3)
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Koirala, RK., Raubenheimer, D., Aryal, A., Pathak, ML., & Ji, W. (2016). Feeding preferences of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Nepal. BMC Ecology. 16(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Qu, J., Ji, W., Russell, JC., Zhang, H., & Zhang, Y. (2016). The more the merrier? Multi-species grazing of small herbivores mediates plant community impacts. Biodiversity and Conservation. 25(11), 2055-2069
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Aryal, A., Shrestha, UB., Ji, W., Ale, SB., Shrestha, S., Ingty, T., . . . Raubenheimer, D. (2016). Predicting the distributions of predator (snow leopard) and prey (blue sheep) under climate change in the Himalaya. Ecology and Evolution. 6(12), 4065-4075
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Aryal, C., Dhakal, M., Panthi, S., Yadav, BP., Shrestha, UB., Bencini, R., . . . Ji, W. (2015). Is trophy hunting of bharal (blue sheep) and Himalayan tahr contributing to their conservation in Nepal?. Hystrix. 26(2)
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Morgan-Richards, M., Hinlo, AR., Smuts-Kennedy, C., Innes, J., Ji, W., Barry, M., . . . Hitchmough, RA. (2016). Identification of a Rare Gecko from North Island New Zealand, and Genetic Assessment of Its Probable Origin: A Novel Mainland Conservation Priority?. Journal of Herpetology. 50(1), 77-86
[Journal article]Authored by: Barry, M., Brunton, D., Ji, W., Morgan-Richards, M.
Wells, SJ., Ji, W., Dale, J., Jones, B., & Gleeson, D. (2015). Male size predicts extrapair paternity in a socially monogamous bird with extreme sexual size dimorphism. Behavioral Ecology. 26(1), 200-206
[Journal article]Authored by: Dale, J., Ji, W., Jones, M.
Hill, SD., Amiot, C., Ludbrook, MR., & Ji, W. (2015). Seasonal variation in the song structure of tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae). New Zealand Journal of Ecology. 39(1)
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Su, J., Hua, L., Wang, J., Gleeson, DM., Wei, Y., Howitt, R., . . . Ji, W. (2015). Abundance and characteristics of microsatellite markers in Gansu zokor (Eospalax cansus), a fossorial rodent endemic to the Loess plateau, China. Journal of Genetics. 94, 25-28
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Qi, XG., Garber, PA., Ji, W., Huang, ZP., Huang, K., Zhang, P., . . . Li, BG. (2014). Satellite telemetry and social modeling offer new insights into the origin of primate multilevel societies. Nature Communications. 5
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Baling, M., Ji, W., Gartrell, B., & Brunton, DH. (2013). Detection of Salmonella during the translocation of two endemic New Zealand lizard species within the Hauraki Gulf. New Zealand Journal of Zoology. 40(3), 249-254
[Journal article]Authored by: Brunton, D., Gartrell, B., Ji, W.
Wells, SJ., Ji, W., Baillie, SM., & Gleeson, D. (2013). Characterisation and cross-amplification of fourteen microsatellite loci for the endemic New Zealand tui (Meliphagidae), Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae. Conservation Genetics Resources. 5(1), 113-116
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Aryal, A., Hopkins, JB., Raubenheimer, D., Ji, W., & Brunton, D. (2012). Distribution and diet of brown bears in the upper Mustang Region, Nepal. Ursus. 23(2), 231-236
[Journal article]Authored by: Brunton, D., Ji, W.
Whitwell, SM., Amiot, C., Mclean, IG., Lovegrove, TG., Armstrong, DP., Brunton, DH., . . . Ji, W. (2012). Losing anti-predatory behaviour: A cost of translocation. Austral Ecology. 37(4), 413-418
[Journal article]Authored by: Armstrong, D., Brunton, D., Ji, W.
Aryal, A., Brunton, D., Pandit, R., Shrestha, TK., Lord, J., Koirala, RK., . . . Raubenheimer, D. (2012). Biological diversity and management regimes of the northern Barandabhar Forest Corridor: An essential habitat for ecological connectivity in Nepal. Tropical Conservation Science. 5(1), 38-49
[Journal article]Authored by: Brunton, D., Ji, W.
Xie, Z., Zhang, Y., Li, A., Li, P., Ji, W., & Huang, D. (2010). Cd-induced apoptosis was mediated by the release of Ca<sup>2+</sup> from intracellular Ca storage. Toxicology Letters. 192(2), 115-118
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Brunton, DH., Evans, B., Cope, T., & Ji, W. (2008). A test of the dear enemy hypothesis in female New Zealand bellbirds (Anthornis melanura): Female neighbors as threats. Behavioral Ecology. 19(4), 791-798
[Journal article]Authored by: Brunton, D., Ji, W.
Brunton, DH., Evans, BA., & Ji, W. (2008). Assessing natural dispersal of New Zealand bellbirds using song type and song playbacks. New Zealand Journal of Ecology. 32(2), 147-154
[Journal article]Authored by: Brunton, D., Ji, W.
Huang, D., Zhang, Y., Qi, Y., Chen, C., & Ji, W. (2008). Global DNA hypomethylation, rather than reactive oxygen species (ROS), a potential facilitator of cadmium-stimulated K562 cell proliferation. Toxicology Letters. 179(1), 43-47
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Qi, XG., Li, BG., & Ji, WH. (2008). Reproductive parameters of wild female Rhinopithecus roxellana. American Journal of Primatology. 70(4), 311-319
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Huang, D., Zhang, Y., Wang, Y., Xie, Z., & Ji, W. (2007). Assessment of the genotoxicity in toad Bufo raddei exposed to petrochemical contaminants in Lanzhou Region, China. Mutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis. 629(2), 81-88
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Huang, DJ., Zhang, YM., Song, G., Long, J., Liu, JH., & Ji, WH. (2007). Contaminants-induced oxidative damage on the carp Cyprinus carpio collected from the Upper Yellow River, China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 128(1-3), 483-488
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Ji, W., Sarre, SD., Aitken, N., Hankin, RKS., & Clout, MN. (2001). Sex-biased dispersal and a density-independent mating system in the Australian brushtail possum, as revealed by minisatellite DNA profiling. Molecular Ecology. 10(6), 1527-1537
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.
Li, B., Chen, C., Ji, W., & Ren, B. (2000). Seasonal home range changes of the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana)in the Qinling Mountains of China. Folia Primatologica. 71(6), 375-386
[Journal article]Authored by: Ji, W.


Ziesemann, B., Castro, IC., Ji, W., & Brunton, DH. (2009, April). Nest success and next site reuse in an introduced population of North Island brown kiwi, Apteryx mantelli. Presented at Meeting of the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Auckland, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Brunton, D., Castro, I., Ji, W.
Whitwell, S., Armstrong, DP., Brunton, DH., & Ji, W. (2009, April). The impact of isolation from mammalian predators on the anti-predator behaviours of the North Island robin. Presented at Meeting of the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Auckland, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Armstrong, D., Brunton, D., Ji, W.
Baling, M., Ji, W., Gartrell, BD., & Brunton, DH. (2008, September). Disease screening in New Zealand reptiles: Importance in translocation. Presented at New Zealand Ecological Society Conference. Auckland, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Brunton, D., Gartrell, B., Ji, W.

Consultancy and Languages


  • English
    Last used: everyday
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent
  • Chinese
    Last used: everyday
    Spoken ability: Excellent
    Written ability: Excellent

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 6 1
CoSupervisor 4 6


Ecology and conservation (196.205)

Molecular ecology (196.318)

Conservation Biology

Current Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • Hemanta Kumar Yadav - PhD
    Population, structure, movement, nutritional ecology and interaction with predators (tiger and common leopard) and other sympatric ungulates (hog deer and spotted deer) of Swamp deer in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Western Lowland, Nepal
  • Luca Butikofer - PhD
    Spatial dynamics of the human-wildlife interaction.
  • Sam Hill - PhD
    Avian song complexity variation: functional and environmental influences
  • Christophe Amiot - PhD
    Impact of human colonisation history on New Zealand Avian diversity
  • Brigitte Kreigenhofer - PhD
    The Effect of Food Provisioning on the Nutrient Intake of Wild and Captive Primates - Implications for the Conservation Management of Wild and Captive Populations.

CoSupervisor of:

  • Abigail Kuranchie - PhD
    Assessing the role of marginal and degraded habitats in species conservation
  • Mehrnaz Tavasoli - PhD
    Behavioural plasticity in common blackbird (Turdus merula): exploration, responses to novelty, and reproductive success
  • Jessica Patino Perez - PhD
    Personality and social networks in bottlenose dolphin at Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
  • Michelle Roper - PhD
    Song ontogeny of the New Zealand bellbird (Anthornis melanura).

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Supervisor of:

  • 2015 - Sarah Jane Wells - PhD
    Evolutionary consequences and fitness correlates of extra-pair mating in the tui, Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae

CoSupervisor of:

  • 2016 - Virginia Moreno Puig - PhD
    Conservation of the critically endangered frog Telmatobufo bullocki in fragmented temperate forests of Chile
  • 2014 - Idan Shapira - PhD
    Behavioural Ecology of New Zealand Invasive Rodents (Rattus norvegicus and Mus musculus): Implications for Rodent Control
  • 2013 - Achyut Aryal - PhD
    Prey, predator, human and climate change interactions in the Himalayas, Nepal
  • 2012 - Anna Clarissa Gsell - PhD
    The Ecology and Anatomy of Scent in the Critically Endangered Kakapo (Strigops Habroptilus)
  • 2011 - Manuela Barry - PhD
    Shelter aggregations, social behaviour, and seasonal plasma corticosterone levels in captive and wild Duvaucel's geckos, Hoplodactylus duvaucelii
  • 2010 - Mark Nicholas Hawdon Seabrook-Davison - PhD
    An evaluation of the conservation of New Zealand's threatened biodiversity: Management, species recovery and legislation

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