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Contact details +6492136612

Prof James Dale

Professor in Zoology

School of Natural and Computational Sciences


Contact details

  • Ph: 41125
    Location: 3, 20
    Campus: Albany

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Our group seeks to address major questions in evolutionary ecology. These range from: How do global patterns of biodiversity and species life history traits inform us about evolutionary processes? What accounts for the diversity of sexual size dimorphism across different species? What is the function of bright coloration in animals? And how do hormonal and genetic mechanisms of colour development relate to their evolutionary function?


21st Century Citizenship

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Animal Behaviour (060801): Behavioural Ecology (060201): Biogeography and Phylogeography (060302): Biological Adaptation (060303): Biological Sciences (060000): Ecology (060200): Evolutionary Biology (060300): Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology) (060205): Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis (060309): Terrestrial Ecology (060208): Zoology (060800)



Evolutionary Ecology

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 2 6
Team Member 0 1

Current Projects

Project Title: Evolutionary drivers of ornamental coloration in male and female birds

Date Range: 2016 - 2020

Funding Body: Royal Society of New Zealand

Project Team:

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching Statement

199.101 Biology of Animals

199.330 Ornithology

246.101 Science and Sustainability

194.245 Animal Form and Function

232.707 Conservation Biology

Courses Coordinated

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Main Supervisor 0 1
Co-supervisor 2 3

Current Doctoral Supervision

Co-supervisor of:

  • Simone Giovanardi - Doctor of Philosophy
    The Shape of Penguins in Four Dimensions: Assessing Macroevolutionary Shifts in a Constructional Morphology Framework
  • Heshani Edirisinghe - Doctor of Philosophy
    Biology and behaviour of New Zealand ladybirds: Insights into the establishment success of introduced species

Completed Doctoral Supervision

Main Supervisor of:

  • 2017 - Marleen Baling - Doctor of Philosophy
    Functional significance of highly variable colouration in the shore sink (Oligosoma smith)

Co-supervisor of:

  • 2020 - Wesley Webb - Doctor of Philosophy
    New horizons for female birdsong: evolution, culture and analysis tools
  • 2018 - Christophe Amiot - Doctor of Philosophy
    Impact of human colonisation history on New Zealand Avian diversity
  • 2015 - Sarah Wells - Doctor of Philosophy
    Evolutionary consequences and fitness correlates of extra-pair mating in the tui, Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae

Media and Links

Other Links

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