Professor David Hamilton

BOP Regional Council Chair in Lakes Management & Restoration; Professor (Biological Sciences)

Qualifications: B.Sc.Otago, Ph.D Otago

Research Interests

  • Modeling of water quality in lakes and reservoirs
  • Sediment-water interactions and sediment resuspension in shallow lakes
  • Bloom-forming algae, particularly cyanobacteria
  • Ice cover in lakes

Research Supervised


  • Eivers, Rebecca (in progress). Remediation measures to mitigate sediment and nutrient inputs from agricultural catchments to Waikato lakes.
  • Ferreira Borges, Hugo (2016). Toxic in crowds : the triggers of toxin production in planktonic cyanobacteria.
  • Kpodonu, A.Theo (2016). An integrated ecosystem assessment for water quality management of Lake Okataina.
  • McBride, Christopher (in progress). Coupled catchment-lake modelling of shallow, eutrophic lakes in New Zealand and China.
  • Me, Wang (in progress). Modelling hydrology and nutrients in the Puarenga catchment, Rotorua.
  • Mueller, Hannah (submitted). Impediments to lake restoration by identifying different social, policy and economic drivers that influence the restoration process.
  • Muraoka, Kohji (in progress). Spatio-temporal analysis of high frequency and routine physical and biochemical lake data: a global analysis.
  • Peters, Monica (2016). Towards a greater public ecology - how can New Zealand lakes restoration initiatives be improved.
  • Santoso, Arianto (2016). Organic carbon burial & green house gas roduction from sedimentary organic matter degradation in Waikato's lakes.
  • Stewart, Simon (in progress). Interactions between nitrogen cycling and food web dynamics in Lake Taupo, New Zealand.
  • Kusabs, Ian (2015). Kōura (Paranephrops planifrons) populations in the Te Arawa lakes: An ecological assessment using the traditional Māori tau kōura harvesting method and recommendations for sustainable management.
  • Allan, Mathew (2014). Remote sensing, numerical modelling and ground truthing for analysis of lake water quality and temperature.
  • Pingram, Michael (2014). Food webs in the lower Waikato River and the role of hydrogeomorphic complexity.
  • Abell, Jonathan (2013). Variability in nutrient loading to lake ecosystems and associated impacts on water quality.
  • von Westernhagen, Nina (2010). Measurement and modelling eutrophication in Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand.
  • Oezkundakci, Deniz (2010). Management of internal nutrient loads for restoration of eutrophic lakes.
  • Trolle, Dennis (2009). Lake restoration from a climate change perspective.
  • Burger, David (2006). Benthic-pelagic coupling in Lake Rotorua.
  • Ryan, Eloise (2006). Dynamics of phytoplankton communities in North Island lakes, New Zealand.

MSc (Research)

  • Cotterill, Vanessa (in progress). Validation of phycocyanin to monitor cyanobacteria biovolumes in lakes.
  • Hodges, Caroline (2016). A validation study of phycocyanin sensors for monitoring cyanobacteria in cultures and field samples.
  • Noakes, Katie (submitted). Monitoring and hydrodynamic modelling of groundwater inflows into Lake Rotokakahi, New Zealand.
  • Mallett, Ryan (2015). Modelling the efficacy of in-lake and catchment remediation actions for restoration of a small, eutrophic lake.


  • Dewes, Alison (2014). Economic resilience and environmental performance of dairy farms in the upper Waikato region.
  • Clarke, Dylan (2013). The performance of detainment bunds (DBs) for attenuating phosphorous and sediment loss from pastoral farmland.
  • Sharma, Abhilasha (2012). A modelling approach to assist with managing water quality in a catchment subject to rapid urbanisation: Lake Rotokauri, Hamilton, New Zealand.
  • Dennis, Marie (2011). The role of viral systems in nutrient cycling.
  • Kelly, Chrystal (2011). Charophyte response to herbicide and mycoherbicide technologies.
  • Simmonds, Bernard (2011). Spatial and temporal trends of phytoplankton and physiochemical variables in a hypertrophic, monomictic lake.
  • Zhang, Chenguang Austin (2010). High frequency monitoring and three-dimensional modelling of temporal variations in water quality of Lake Rotorua, New Zealand.
  • Butterworth, Joseph (2008). Lake Rotokakahi: The kakahi (Hyridella menziesi) in a general framework of lake health.
  • Prentice, Matthew (2008). Temporal and spatial variations of cyanobacteria in Karori Reservoir, Wellington.
  • Paul, Wendy (2006). The effect of environmental factors on nitrogen cycling in Lake Okaro.


  • Baldwin, Amanda (2009). Dynamics of negatively and positively buoyant phytoplankton in deep lakes.

Recent Publications

  • Burford, M. A., Carey, C. C., Hamilton, D. P., Huisman, J., Paerl, H. W., Wood, S. A., & Wulff, A. (2019). Perspective: Advancing the research agenda for improving understanding of cyanobacteria in a future of global change. Harmful Algae, 13 pages. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2019.04.004

  • Abell, J. M., Özkundakci, D., Hamilton, D. P., Van Dam-Bates, P., & McDowell, R. W. (2019). Quantifying the Extent of Anthropogenic Eutrophication of Lakes at a National Scale in New Zealand. Environmental Science and Technology, 53(16), 9439-9452. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b03120

  • Frassl, M. A., Abell, J. M., Botelho, D. A., Cinque, K., Gibbes, B. R., Jöhnk, K. D., . . . Hamilton, D. P. (2019). A short review of contemporary developments in aquatic ecosystem modelling of lakes and reservoirs. Environmental Modelling and Software, 117, 181-187. doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.03.024

  • Puddick, J., Goodwin, E. O., Hawes, I., Hamilton, D. P., & Wood, S. A. (2019). In situ collection and preservation of intact microcystis colonies to assess population diversity and microcystin quotas. Toxins, 11(8), 9 pages. doi:10.3390/toxins11080435

View All research publications by David Hamilton

Contact Details

Room: R.2.08
Phone: +64 7 858 5046