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Get to Know Us

We are a group of dedicated conservation biologists working on creative, science-based solutions to biodiversity conservation challenges. We support one another, collaborate on group projects, and have a lot of fun.

Our Team

Sara Kross, PhD

Sara Kross, PhD

Senior Lecturer @ Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha| The University of Canterbury.

Sara is a conservation biologist interested in human-modified landscapes, ecosystem services, human-wildlife conflicts, and predator-prey dynamics.

Emily Phillips

Emily Phillips

PhD student @ UC Davis

Emily is studying barn owl nesting ecology, growth rates, diet, and other aspects of their ecology in intensive farmland.

Fergus Lowen

Fergus Lowen

Masters student @ University of Canterbury

Fergus is interested in conservation biology and ecology that includes responses to environmental changes and human-wildlife interactions/services with a specific focus on vertebrates.

Mary Buford Turnage

Mary Buford Turnage

PhD student @ University of Canterbury

Mary Buford is combining ecological and geospatial methods to look at habitat connectivity and wild biodiversity use of non-crop vegetation across the Canterbury Plains agricultural region. She is broadly interested in transitioning food production systems to address global biodiversity decline and work better for feeding the human population.

Erin Mornin

Erin Mornin

Masters student @ University of Canterbury

Erin is interested in conservation biology with a specific focus on animal behaviour and ecological relationships. For her current master’s research, she is investigating the occupancy and diet of an introduced owl species in Christchurch.

Jordan Hollinshead

Jordan Hollinshead

Masters student @ University of Canterbury

Jordan is interested in ecological relationships and how they influence conservation efforts and agricultural practices in New Zealand. Her current Master’s research focuses on understanding the impact of birds in New Zealand kiwifruit orchards.

Laura Plimpton

Laura Plimpton

PhD student @ Columbia

Laura is interested in the effect of anthropogenic drivers, specifically related to land conversion and habitat fragmentation, on spillover (and spillback) of zoonoses.

Kelly Herrmann

Kelly Herrmann

Masters student @ University of Canterbury

Kelly is interested in animal behaviour and welfare. For her Master's research, she is investigating if and how visitors at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve impact the overall welfare of four primate species.

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