Members of the EcoDiv lab
Dr Andrew Barnes
I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato and head of the EcoDiv lab group. I am broadly interested in the impacts of global change drivers on natural systems and the resulting functional consequences. My research focuses on how environmental changes alter the seemingly complex relationships between biodiversity, the structure of communities, biotic interactions, and ecosystem functioning.
Dr Kasey Kiesewetter
Kasey is involved in the MBIE programme ‘Restoring Urban Nature’, where she is studying how urban restoration drives changes in below- and aboveground microbial networks, and how these changes might influence the health of humans and wildlife.
Stella is investigating the long-term reassembly of microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Using both metagenomic and meta-transcriptomic profiling, her research is exploring the role of stochastic and deterministic assembly mechanisms.
Estela Folch Chaos
Estela is carrying out research in a unique set of natural, geothermally warmed sites, where she is able to study the temperature dependence of soil food web structure and ecosystem functioning. She is combining field and lab experiments to determine how food webs will respond to future warming and land-use change.
Bibishan is studying the re-assembly of belowground food-webs in urban forests across different stages of succession. Using a ‘food web energetics’ approach, he is investigating changes in energy flux, complexity and stability of soil food webs over the course of urban forest restoration across New Zealand.
Poppy is investigating drivers of soil fauna and tree community structuring, using metabolic theory to predict and test the fundamental energetic constraints of multitrophic communities across local and global datasets.
Gemma is studying the landscape drivers of invertebrate biodiversity and ecosystem services in avocado plantations. In particular, she is using remote sensing to help understand how landscape structure can influence insect pollinator and pest communities.
Fevziye investigated how traits of introduced and native dung beetles affect biotic and abiotic drivers of ecosystem multifunctionality, at local and global scales.
Rebecca investigated the effects of riparian vegetation on temperature, dissolved oxygen, and macroinvertebrate community structure and ecosystem functioning in low-gradient streams throughout the Waikato region.
Grace studied the reassembly of microbial and mesofauna communities along an urban forest restoration chronosequence.
Dr Rebecca Le Grice
Rebecca investigated soil invertebrate food webs associated with Aotearoa’s iconic kauri, and the impact that kauri dieback (Phytophthora agathidicida) may be having on this ecosystem. This work is part of the programme Ngā Rākau Taketake – Saving our iconic trees, within the BioHeritage Challenge
Nigel investigated how invasive mammalian predators affect forest soil arthropod communities and the transboundary effects on belowground arthropod biodiversity in adjacent pasture soils.
Shaun's MSc research explored how invasive mammal control interacts with fragment size and isolation to affect the abundance of invasive mammalian predators and the resulting impacts on native bird communities in the North Island, New Zealand.
Dr Marijke Struijk
Marijke's postdoc was part of the BioHeritage Challenge programme Ngā Rākau Taketake – Saving our iconic trees. She investigated the impact of kauri dieback (Phytophthora agathidicida) on soil invertebrate food webs.