Professor Conrad Pilditch
Professor (Biological Sciences)
Qualifications: MSc Otago PhD Dalhousie
Personal Website: http://conradpilditch.wordpress.com
Since joining the Department of Biological Sciences I have lectured primarily in the area of marine ecology and oceanography. In addition to coordinating the marine ecology courses (see below) I also contribute to undergraduate courses in environmental science (ENVS101) and ecology (BIOL212).
I maintain an active student research laboratory and really enjoy helping them develop as scientists. I am looking for new students to join the laboratory and welcome inquires.
When not working I enjoy traveling with my family and outdoor activities. I am a keen (but not very good) surfer, enjoy diving, sailing and hiking.
Honours and Disctinctions
- ASLO DIALOG III Participant (1999)
- Elected New Zealand Marine Sciences Society elected council member (1999-2002, 2006-)
- Editorial advisory board for New Zealand Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research
Membership of professional and learned societies
- New Zealand Marine Sciences Society since 1989
- American Society for Limnology and Oceanography since 1991
- Oceanography Society since 1998
Contribution to wider community
- Independent expert in various technical working groups co-ordinate by Environment Waikato, Auckland Regional Council and Department of Conservation to assess impacts of human activities on coastal environments.
- Provide expert reviews of research proposals for funding agencies in the UK, USA and Chile, regular reviewer for leading marine ecology journals.
- Assisted iwi groups to establish coastal monitoring programs and provided advice on environmental issues.
- Participated in national workshops on marine conservation and classification of the marine environment.
- Communicated the results of scientific research to the general public via numerous talks to community groups (e.g. Forest and Bird Society, high school students) and publication of popular articles.
- Co-convener of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society annual meeting in 2000 & 2007.
My area of speciality is benthic oceanography/ecology focusing on the processes that influence the structure and function of soft-sediment communities. Specifically, I am interested in how hydrodynamics and benthic organisms interact to affect sediment transport, recruitment, nutrient fluxes and food supply. Together with colleagues and students, research has been conducted in a wide range of environments ranging from the inter-tidal to the deep sea, a reflection of the extensive occurrence of soft-sediment habitats.
- Douglas, Emily (in progress). Resilience and response of estuaries to nutrient enrichment.
- Drylie, Tarn (in progress). The effects of low level disturbances on coastal soft sediment biodiversity and ecosystem function.
- Gladstone-Gallagher, Rebecca (submitted). The role of cross-boundary subsides of macrophyte detritus in soft sediment ecosystem function.
- Monahan, Bradley (in progress). Dispersal and ecological connectivity of Austrovenus stutchburyi and Paphies australis larvae in Tauranga Harbour.
- Niemand, Clarisse (in progress). The impact of macroalgal mats on the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of benthic communities.
- Harris, Rachel (2015). The effects of benthic organisms on intertidal sediment erodibility.
- Pratt, Daniel (2014). Changes in benthic ecosystem properties and functions across sedimentary gradients in estuaries.
- Needham, Hazel (2011). The context-specific roles of a bioturbating crab (Austrohelice crassa) on ecosystem functioning.
- Ross, Phillip (2011). The genetic structure of New Zealand's coastal benthos: using the estuarine clam Austrovenus stutchburyi, to determine rates of gene flow and population connectivity.
- Knox, Matthew (2012). Diversity of New Zealand deep-sea amphipoda.
- Jones, Hannah (2011). The ecological role of the suspension feeding bivalve, Austrovenus stutchburyi, in estuarine ecosystems.
- Dos Santos, Virginie (2011). Impacts of black swans grazing and anthropogenic contaminants on New Zealand seagrass meadows.
- Burger , David (2006). Dynamics of internal nutrient loading in a eutrophic, polymictic lake (Lake Rotorua, New Zealand).
- Giles, Hilke (2006). Dispersal and remineralisation of biodeposits: Ecosystem impacts of mussel aquaculture.
- Hughes, Ryan (2016). The coupled effects of shading and nutrient loading on the morphology, growth, and association macrofauna of seagrass meadows.
- Cooper, Jordan (2015). Does seagrass influence the behavioural and physiological response to flow in juvenile snapper (Pagrus auratus)?
- Hines, Laura (2015). Effects of macrofauna diversity on porewater nutrient concentrations following enrichment.
- Gladstone-Gallagher, Rebecca (2013). Production and decay of mangrove (Avicennia marina subsp. australasica) detritus and its effects on coastal benthic communities.
- McCartain, Lisa (2013). The effects of terrigenous sediment on the behaviour of Macomona liliana (Bivalvia) in permeable sediments: implications for porewater exchange.
- Greenfield, Barry (2013). Spatial variation in functional group diversity in a sandflat benthic community: implications for ecosystem resilience.
- Gibson, Aimee (2009). Seasonal variation in bivalve antioxidant enzymes: can they be used as indicators of heavy metal contamination?
- Niemand, Clarisse (2009). The application of elemental fingerprinting techniques to identify population connectivity using Austrovenus stutchburyi recruits.
- Simpson, Julia (2009). Effects of heavy metal contamination on burial rates of Austrovenus stutchburyi: implications for sediment transport.
- Hailes, Sarah (2006). Contribution of seagrass (Zostera muelleri) to estuarine food webs revealed by carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis
- Sandwell, Dean (2006). Austrovenus stutchburyi, regulators of estuarine benthic-pelagic coupling.
Cussioli, M. C., Bryan, K. R., Pilditch, C. A., de Lange, W. P., & Bischof, K. (2019). Light penetration in a temperate meso-tidal lagoon: Implications for seagrass growth and dredging in Tauranga Harbour, New Zealand. Ocean and Coastal Management, 174, 25-37. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.01.014
Hillman, J. R., Lundquist, C. J., Pilditch, C. A., & Thrush, S. F. (2019). The role of large macrofauna in mediating sediment erodibility across sedimentary habitats. Limnology and Oceanography. doi:10.1002/lno.11337
Staudt, F., Mullarney, J. C., Pilditch, C. A., & Huhn, K. (2019). Effects of grain-size distribution and shape on sediment bed stability, near-bed flow and bed microstructure. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 44, 1100-1116. doi:10.1002/esp.4559
Harris, R. J., Niemand, C., & Pilditch, C. A. (2019). Decomposing macroalgae (Ulva spp.) impacts benthic macrofauna and surface sediment erosion. Geo-Marine Letters. doi:10.1007/s00367-019-00593-z
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Phone: +64 7 838 4466 ext 6132