Biodiversity and biogeography
The nature of a community is best described by its diversity: i.e., the number and abundance of different species. Our research focuses on understanding and modelling biodiversity patterns at local, regional and global scales, particularly in relation to natural and anthropogenic disturbance.
Conservation and ecological genetics
Expertise in understanding the biological significance of genetic traits, their contribution to ecological performance and the regulatory networks that control their expression. We use population genetics (multi-locus markers, DNA sequence data, cytogenetics) to assess the conservation status, genetic diversity and evolutionary potential of populations.
We apply ecological analysis to the recovery of ecosystems disrupted by human activity including forestry, pollution and agriculture. We focus on management of terrestrial vegetation and freshwater systems; the reestablishment of functioning biotic and abiotic interactions; and mitigating impacts of high-intensity agro-industrial practices.
Freshwater ecosystem management and modelling
We apply research in theoretical ecology and ecological modelling to freshwater ecosystem management, conservation and bioassessment and investigate systems to solve water-management issues.
We have expertise in how and why animals undertake regular, usually annual, long-distance movements. We investigate spatial distributions of individuals and populations and have ongoing studies into the genetics and plasticity of migration timing in response to climate change and habitat loss.
Sustainability and environmental systems analysis
We study the interactions between ecological systems and economic activity, and assessment of more sustainable consumption and production (SCP) systems. This includes development and use of environmental footprinting techniques such as carbon and water footprinting, Life Cycle Assessment and wider sustainability assessment.
Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.
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Developing a traffic light system for river health
Funded by Vision Mātauranga. Partnership with Ngāti Whatua o Karipara
Professor Russell Death was awarded $100,000 from the MBIE Vision Mātauranga fund to develop with Ngāti Whatua o Karipara a traffic light coloured (Figure ; red = poor, green = good) internet map of Kaipara river health. This will allow marae, interest groups or individuals to easily explore the health of their local sites and potential reasons for its current condition upstream. In turn this will hopefully identify management actions for improvement.
Horo Whenua: Measuring the moving land through precision geomorphic analysis of the Punahau/Lake Horowhenua lakebed and surrounding areas
Partnership with: Niwa, Muaupoko iwi and Lake Horowhenua Trust
In this project, funded by Vision Mātauranga, Jon Procter and Kat Holt worked to collect lakebed cores totalling over 45m in length. The deepest cores from the lake preserve evidence for a major flood or marine inundation event, in the form of a thick sand layer, which may have played a role in the formation of the lake.
Ira Moana - Genes of the Sea
The Ira Moana Project aims to deliver a searchable metadatabase for our genetic and genomic data (from both old and next-generation sequencing techniques, for terrestrial and marine critters, as well as environmental samples).
The metadatabase will ensure the kaitiakitanga of our data– creating opportunities for data synthesis, data re-use, and to inform our future research directions.
Partnerships for healthy estuaries
Professor Murray Patterson is leading a project focusing on empowering iwi and hapū to be strong partners in the co-management of estuaries in the Tauranga harbour. The project benefits the community and wider New Zealand through improved knowledge of estuarine ecosystem health, resilience and function.
Weka division pre-dates Cook Strait
A research project has uncovered previously unconfirmed evidence of distinct subspecies of weta within the same island. Previously there were thought to be to six weta subspecies, but new data finds just two subspecies in the North Island and one in the South Island. The research, led by evolutionary biologist Professor Steve Trewick, not only looked at the DNA of weka, but also of their feather lice, as each weka subspecies was found to have its own distinct lineage of feather lice.
The findings are part of a much larger effort to understand the pattern of North Island and South Island races in many New Zealand birds.
Bug identification service
Massey scientists provide a bug identification service. Email us with your enquiry.
Zero Waste Academy
The Zero Waste Academy facilitates research and development engagement between the New Zealand waste and recycling industry and the University's academic community.
Innovative River Solutions
The Innovative River Solutions Centre is a hub of expertise on river catchments and provides integrated solutions for the management of New Zealand’s dynamic river systems.
We have staff with expertise in several of the science disciplines within river catchments.