Published on 6 September 2018

Lessons from the Leigh and Long Bay trips

Goat Island

As part of a paper on marine protected areas (MPAs) that I'm taking this semester, we went to Leigh and Long Bay to experience two of the most iconic no-take MPAs in the country. It was a great opportunity to experience first-hand the impacts of these two reserves but also to learn about the challenges and difficulties they are currently facing. Plus we were lucky enough to attend great talks by marine conservation legends Roger Grace and Tony Enderby among others.


Published on 26 August 2018

Reviewing a study on marine protected area efectiveness for reef shark conservation

Palmyra Atoll

I have been doing some work reviewing the literature on marine protecte areas (MPAs) and how effective they are in protecting mobile species. This recent paper from White et al. (2017) demonstrates how large MPAs are capable of providing a high degree of protection, although incomplete, to mobile pelagic species such as the grey reef shark.


Published on 9 August 2018

Mapping NZ Dotterel observations at Piha

NZ Dotterel sightings 2017-2018

Although it feels like as yesterday, it has been over a year since I started uploading observations into iNaturalistNZ. I thought it would be cool to export all my NZ Dotterel observations and visualize them in a compelling way. There are certainly heaps of ways to do this but for this particular case I decided to use a density map. I reckon it is a good way to help raise some awareness about these wee birds at Piha.


Published on 8 July 2018

DIY protective cover for your nesting shorebirds

Incubating adult under the protective cover

Shorebird breeding season in Aotearoa NZ is almost here and I thought it would be helpful to share some tips from previous years. Last season Sean and I had to deal with a nasty bunch of black-backed gulls here in Piha that predated the eggs of a pair of northern NZ dotterel / tūturiwhatu we were monitoring. This is what we did to prevent it from happening again.


Published on 26 June 2018

The dilemma of bringing the Passenger Pigeon back from extinction

Illustration of a male passenger pigeon by Mark Catesby, 1731

I first learned about the case of the passenger pigeon, Ectopistes Migratorius, when I read "Resurrection Science" by M. R. O'Connor, which by the way I highly recommend. I did find the case extremely interesting due to its special circumstances and I ended up choosing it as the main topic for an essay about de-extinction of species.


Published on 7 June 2018

Analyzing Marine Debris Tracker data with R

World Distribution

The Marine Debris Tracker app allows users to record observations of marine debris items by offering a simple set of fields that users can fill with the particular information of the observed item, such as the material of the debris item and the quantity of it. In this post I present an analysis of the results collected between the years 2011 and 2018.