The research has benefited by from collaboration with scientists with different areas of expertise.

Red-billed Gull Study

John Yarrall

John Yarrall
John has managed the long-term red-billed gull data base since 1980. He has been crucial to the red-billed gull project developing computer files and programmes to analyse the large data set. An important part of this work has been adding new breeding and recovery data to the existing files so that the relevant lifetime information is accumulated about individuals.

Marine Predator-prey Working Group
In 2011, Dr Philippe Cury (Director UMR EME 212 IRD/UM2, Centre de Recherche Halieutique Méditerranéenne et Tropicale) a fisheries biologist, brought together 15 seabird scientists from throughout the world who had long-term seabird data-sets and annual quantitative forage data for a series of annual workshops. The aim has been to determine the amount of forage fish that is required to be set aside to maintain seabird populations. The group has met in South Africa in 2011, Alaska in 2012 and Stockholm in 2013. The meeting in South Africa culminated in the paper: Cury et al. (2011) “Global seabird response to forage fish depletion – one third for the birds”. Science, 334, 1703-1706.

Boulders Beach

Marine Predator-prey Working Group meeting at Boulders Beach, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, South Africa, March 2011.
Left to right: Front row: Bill Sydeman, Ian Boyd, Henrik Österblom, Philippe Cury, Michelle Paleczny.
Middle row: Jim Mills, Bob Furness, John Piatt, Sylvain Bonhommeau, Jean-Paul Roux, Lynne Shannon.
Back row: Rob Crawford. Absent Tycho Anker-Nilssen and Eugene Murphy.

Marine Predator Prey

Marine Predator-prey Working Group meeting at Kasitsna Bay Laboratory Homer Alaska, July 2012.
Left to right: Rob Crawford, Jim Mills, Sarah Schoen, Bob Furness, Bill Sydeman, John Piatt, Philippe Cury, Jean-Paul Roux, Sylvain Bonhommeau, Lynne Shannon, Martin Renner, Claire Saraux, Henrik Österblom, Absent Tycho Anker-Nilssen .


Marine Predator-prey Working Group meeting at Stora Karlsö, Sweden, May 2013.
Left to right: Front row: Jean-Paul Roux, Jonas Sundberg, Olof Olsson, Rob Crawford
Middle row: Jim Mills, Lynne Shannon, Henrik Österblom, Claire Saraux, Philippe Cury, Nancy Piatt, Bill Sydeman,
Back row: John Piatt, Tycho Anker-Nilssen, Bob Furness.


Cèline Teplitsky
Cèline joint the gull research programme in 2006 whilst a Post-doctoral fellow at Dr Juha Merilä’s laboratory at the Ecological Genetics Research Unit, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. She is now based at Unité Mixte de Recherche, Muséum National d’ Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. Cèline has been instrumental in the analyses of quantitative genetic data. The red-billed gull data covers seven generations.

Allan Baker
Allan was a fellow PhD candidate at the Zoology Department, University of Canterbury, New Zealand in the early 1970’s. He became involved in a joint field study from 1992 to 2004 that investigated the frequency of extra-pair paternity in the gull population and the impact of immunity genes (MHC alleles) on mate selection. The study was funded by a Marsden Grant from the New Zealand Royal Society from 1966 to 1999. Over the course of the field study which ran from 1992 to 2004 xxx adults and xxx chicks were bled. In all xxxx family groups were bled.

Three PhD candidates from Dr. Baker’s laboratory at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada, were involved in the study: Andrew Given “Phylogenetics and population genetics of the Australasian silver gull (Larus novaehollandiae)” (2004); Nicola Chong; and Alison Cloutier “Genomic context, sequence evolution, and evolutionary ecology of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes in the red-billed gull (Larus scopulinus) (2012).


Jim and Nicola Chong capturing an adult gull to collect blood for MHC allele analysis of family groups 


Nicola collecting blood from the brancial vein of a known aged adult red-billed gull


Alison Cloutier and Nicola Chong taking blood sample from the branchial vein of a known aged adult red-billed gull for MHC allele analysis of family groups

NIWA Scientists

Scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research – Drs. Janet Bradford-Grieve, Michael Uddstrom and James Renwick collaborated in an analysis of the impact of climate fluctuation on the availability of euphausiids and reproductive performance of the red-billed gull.

Technical Assistance
Peter Shaw, Andy Garrick, Jack Cowie, Peter Moore, Ian Flux, Jane Maxwell, Erica Goetze, Erica Abelen, Dr Andy Given, Nicola Chong, Dr Alison Cloutier, Mark Peck, Oliver Haddrath, Michelle Howard, Chris Petyt, Rod Cossee, Deborah Mills, Nina Swift, Steve Jamieson, Karen Irik and Bert Rebergen contributed substantially to the fieldwork and/or assisted with coding data for the computer.

Takahe Study

The aim of the study from the outset was to make it into a multidisciplinary investigation.

Roger Lavers
Roger worked as a scientist at the NZ Wildlife. He was a co-leader of the takahe programme. An exceptional field biologist with a special interest in predator-prey relationships.

Sir Allan Mark
Allan was invited onto the Takahe research programme in 1972 soon after it was initiated. He was professor of Botany at Otago University, Dunedin. His expertise as a tussock ecology scientist had an important impact on the direction of the study. In 1976 because of his other commitments meant he could not devote time to field work and so he arranged that William Lee a PhD candidate in botany to replace him.

Dennis Fowler
David Fowler of the Remote Sensing Unit of DSIR from became involved in the remote sensing of Takahe habitat.

Kerry James
Kerry James of the NZ Institute for Crop and Food Research collaborated on nutritional and digestibility studies of the Takahe.

Field Assistance
Valuable technical assistance was provided by numerous Wildlife Service Trainees between 1972 and 1975, provided by Brian Bell, Director of Endangered Species Management, NZ Wildlife Service and by Peter Shaw, Andy Garrick, Peter Moore, and Donald Newman.