Note: this talk is on a Thursday, not our usual talk night.
Postgraduate students awarded Stocker Scholarships by the North Canterbury branch in 2019 will speak on the results of their research projects carried out over 2020.
Masters student Matthew Turner will discuss improving tools for monitoring lizards. His research investigated the effectiveness of artificial concrete refuges for attracting and protecting lizards. The second aspect of his investigation analysed methods for monitoring arboreal lizards in tall native forests. The aim is to improve the overall conservation of lizards; 80% of native skinks and geckos are threatened or at risk.
PhD candidate Sanaz Safavian will present on the effects of human disturbance on braided river birds in Canterbury. She investigated four types of disturbance: 4WD vehicles, jet boats, invasive weeds, and walkers. One of the methods used in the research was drone surveys of 4WD tracks in relation to density/diversity of birds.
John Ramana's PhD research investigated how microbial communities in the soil associated with plant roots affect plant health. The aim is to develop combinations of beneficial bacteria and fungi to inoculate native plants to boost growth and improve resistance to disease. John has used high powered computerisation to analyse the hidden species found in any one soil sample.