Nick first joined the project as he completed his PhD exploring how far invasive mammals like hares, feral cats and stoats range in the upland areas of the Mackenzie Basin. We’ve been lucky enough to persuade him to join us fulltime from 2021.
While he’s Australian, a visit to the Te Anau DOC visitor centre in 2009, where he learnt about the plight of our native birds, led him to pursue a life in conservation.
Back home, he completed a BSc at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and did an Honours project in North Queensland, advancing camera trapping methodology for the Northern Quoll, an endangered native marsupial.
He then went on to work in the management of Northern Quoll populations in wind farm development projects but the call of research (and the tropical heat) was too strong, and he headed to Otago University to do his PhD.
Nick began looking at how invasive small mammal distributions change across seasons and between tussock mast and non-mast years, and how well mountains act as barriers to certain pest species. His work is hugely important to our planning for the 20-year long term project.
Nick says Te Manahuna Aoraki Project aligns perfectly with his academic and recreational interests – plenty of invasive species work to be done and countless hills to climb.