wb-research-logo-standalone.jpg Wildbase Research

Wildbase Research promotes collaborative investigation and management of wildlife in support of the welfare and conservation of New Zealand native fauna. We are a group of veterinarians, ecologists and students involved in wildlife health.


In New Zealand we work with the:

  • Massey Ecology Group
  • Department of Conservation
  • Maritime New Zealand
  • Ministry of Primary Industries, and
  • Victoria University of Wellington

International collaborations are with:

  • The Oiled Wildlife Care Network at UC Davis
  • International Bird Rescue
  • Sea Alarm, and
  • The Global Oiled Wildlife Response System

Areas of expertise

Oiled penguin being washed Oiled wildlife response

Massey University is at the forefront of oiled wildlife research. Research includes areas of wildlife health, wildlife ecology, wildlife population studies, wildlife reproduction and genetics, wildlife diet and foraging behavior and wildlife management. Find out more on the Oiled Wildlife research page.

Contact: Louise Chilvers 

NZ fur seal looking at camera Toxicology of wildlife

Wildbase scientists are heavily invested in research into the health of wildlife as individuals and as populations. Areas of research include identifying causes of wildlife mortality, wildlife disease ecology and toxicology.

Contact: Kerri Morgan / Brett Gartrell / Wendi Roe

Group of kiwi in wild Wildlife physiology

Understanding animals’ physiological responses to the environment and to human management is a key area of research for Wildbase. This area includes research into behaviour, responses to capture and handling, and the physiology of growth, stress and reproduction.

Contact: Isabel Castro/ Brett Gartrell

Fish as food - lined up on bench Wildlife nutrition

Wildbase scientists are involved in research on the nutrition of both free-living and captive wildlife. This includes research into optimal diets for breeding programmes, translocations and the critical care of wildlife species.

Contact: Brett Gartrell

Releasing penguins off boat, post Rena Compassion fatigue

Wildbase researchers have recognised the need for cross-disciplinary studies into the human impacts of wildlife emergencies.

   Contact: Bridey White / Louise Chilvers / Polly Yeung 

Current research projects

Current research projects are looking at issues with marine mammals such as toxoplasma in Hector's dolphins and tuberculosis in NZ pinnipeds.

There are also a number of oiled wildlife projects such as compassion fatigue, the rehabilitation of seabirds, diving and foraging ecology of penguins.

Wildlife disease projects include chlamydiosis in native and introduced birds, fungal dermatitis in tuatara, avipoxvirus in NZ shore plovers,coccidiosis in kiwi and other threatened species.