Dr Christopher Lusk

Senior Research Fellow

Qualifications: PhD in Botany, Auckland

Personal Website:

Research Interests

Chris Lusk is a plant ecologist, working mainly on forest dynamics and plant physiological ecology. He is interested in trying to reconcile New Zealand's strange flora and vegetation with ecological theory, and in understanding the implications of introduced mammals and climate change for NZ vegetation. He is currently supervising research students working on growth vs. shade tolerance trade-offs in warm- and cool-temperate tree assemblages, and the physiological ecology of divaricate plants and their broadleaved congeners.

Research Supervised

MSc (Research)

  • FitzPatrick, Dominic (2015). Tree species sorting along temperature gradients: How do frost-resistant traits influence competitive ability in the forest environment?

Recent Publications

  • Whyte, H. D., & Lusk, C. H. (2019). Woody debris in treefall gaps shelters palatable plant species from deer browsing, in an old-growth temperate forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 448, 198-207. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2019.06.010

  • Lusk, C. H. (2019). Leaf functional trait variation in a humid temperate forest, and relationships with juvenile tree light requirements. PeerJ, 7, e6855. doi:10.7717/peerj.6855

  • Lusk, C. H., Grierson, E. R. P., & Laughlin, D. C. (2019). Large leaves in warm, moist environments confer an advantage in seedling light interception efficiency. New Phytologist, 9 pages. doi:10.1111/nph.15849

  • Nichlos, S. A., Wilson, C. R., & Lusk, C. H. (2019). Differential effects of elevation on leaf size of overstorey and understorey species in a temperate rainforest. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 57(1), 39-49. doi:10.1080/0028825X.2019.1567558

View All research publications by Christopher Lusk

Contact Details

Room: D.1.08A
Phone: +64 7 838 4205