Janet Wilmshurst

Director of Long-Term Ecology Laboratory. Analyses modern and fossil pollen, charcoal and testate amoebae analyses of lakes, bogs, swamps, coprolites and cave sediments to reconstruct past vegetation and fire history, initial human impacts, and former plant-animal interactions of extinct birds.

Jamie Wood

Manager of the Ancient DNA Laboratory. Analyses ancient DNA of sediments, coprolites, bones and environmental samples, and pollen and charcoal records, to reconstruct former diets and habits of extinct birds, and recent vegetation change. Uses modern DNA analyses of soils as a biodiversity assessment tool.

Matt McGlone

Senior researcher. Analyses long-term vegetation and climate history of New Zealand, general biogeography, and initial human impacts.

Jessica Rivera Perez

Project: Paleoecology of kiore in New Zealand

Michelle McKeown

Palaeoecologist. Analyses long-term environmental and climate change over the Holocene using biological proxies, which include chironomid subfossils, pollen, and charcoal, sourced from lakes, bogs and rock-pools.


Alex Boast (PhD candidate, University of Auckland)

Project: Prehistoric ecology of kakapo from coprolites

Tess Cole (PhD candidate, University of Otago)

Project: Ancient and modern crested penguins (Eudyptes spp.)

Research technicians

Nic Bolstridge

Prepares microfossil slides from lake sediments, peats, soils, coprolites, caves, fresh dung, and feathers, and manages the Microfossil Preparation Laboratory and refrigerated sample archives.

Karen Boot

Prepares samples for sediment and charcoal analyses, manages the Subsampling Room, field store, transitional facility, and sample archives.

Past students & visitors

Francisca Diaz

Project: Extraction of ancient DNA from the Atacama rodent fossil coprolites to reconstruct vegetation change.

Helen Boothby

Participant Teacher on the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Science Teacher Leadership Programme

Lea de Nascimento

Project: Tracking past human impact on islands by improving palaeoecological reconstructions with PalEnDNA analysis

Edward Mitchell

Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland