Sarah & Nicole in the field

Sarah Hockings – Sarah is a MSc student at UoA working on characterising sperm competition and polyandry in the New Zealand giraffe weevil using a combination of field based observations and microsatellite genotyping. Sarah is co-supervised by Thomas Buckley.

Twitter: @HockingsSarah 


Nicole Haerewa – Nicole is a MSc student at UoA researching geographic variation in sexual selection and the role of heat loss in driving variation in rostrum investment in the New Zealand giraffe weevil. Nicole is co-supervised by Kristal Cain.

Twitter: @HaerewaNicole 

Erin Powell photo 

Erin Powell  – Erin is a PhD student at UoA supervised by Greg Holwell, Tony Hickey and I looking at weaponry and mating behaviour of long legged harvestmen. Erin is particularly interested in the phsyiological costs of bearing weapons.





Wee Huixin Renee – Renee did her Honours with Daiqin Li and I at NUS looking at the function of bright colouration in Orsima ichneumon jumping spiders. Renee finished in early 2016.




Chow Shi En Gwendolyn  Gwen did her final year undergraduate research project with Daiqin Li and I at NUS looking at imperfect mimicry in Orsima ichnuemon jumping spiders.









Rebecca Le Grice -Bex did her Masters of Science (with 1st Class Hons) in 2014/2015 with Greg Holwell and I. Bex looked at the competitive assessment strategies (fighting) and lifetime mating success of NZ giraffe weevils. Bex is now a PhD student at UoA researching the behavioural ecology of NZ kelp flies.

Twitter: @bexlegrice




Me insect


Anna Probert – BSc 1st Class Honours – 2013

Anna investigated the ecology and variation of chelicerae size of some pretty amazing harvestmen under supervision of Greg Holwell and myself at the University of Auckland. Anna recently completed her PhD on biosecurity risk assessment of ants in the Ecology Ngātahi group, and is soon taking up a postdoc in Switzerland.

Twitter: @AFProbert



Daniel Townsend – BSc 1st Class Honours – 2013 – Sexual selection and weapon allometry in endemic New Zealand harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones) (Co-supervised with Dr Greg Holwell, University of Auckland)

Summer students


Madeleine Thom – 2016/2017

Maddi investigated sperm competition in the New Zealand giraffe weevil and completed a Bachelor of Science degree.




I supervised three summer students and an intern during my PhD research: Leilani Walker, Fonti Kar, Nicholas Goh, and Celia Chan. Although all were in some way involved with the giraffe weevil research, I encouraged the development of independent side-projects including exploring the diversity of phoretic mites that piggyback on giraffe weevils and a pitfall trapping programme to investigate invertebrate diversity in response to pest control at Matuku Reserve.


photo for webpage

Marking and measuring weevils all summer long! (From left to right: Leilani Walker, Fonti Kar, Celia Chan, Nicholas Goh, me)



BIOSCI207 Adaptive Design (2013): I developed and delivered 8 lectures for the Behavioural Ecology component of this 2nd year undergraduate course. Topics I covered included parental care, optimal foraging, signalling and deception. I also coordinated and ran the field trip to the Muriwai gannet colony for this course to teach students about the breeding behaviour of Australasian gannets. Finally, for this course I ran four lab sessions on ornamentation, sexual dimorphism and mating systems in birds.


BIOSCI320 Pure and Applied Entomology (2011-2013): For three years I was the sole tutor for this 3rd year undergraduate course which involved helping to run the 3 day field course, developing & delivering a series of statistics tutorials, marking reports & insect collections and generally being the go-to person for all the practical aspects of the course.

BIOSCI337 Animal Behaviour (2011-2013) : For three years I helped to coordinate and teach a 3 day field course to the Miranda Shorebird Centre where students conducted group projects on animal behaviour (frogs, spiders, moths, shorebirds & earwigs, etc!). I also helped students post-trip with data analysis and marked reports.

Lab & Field Trip Demonstrating

BIOSCI103 Comparative Animal Biology (Lab demonstrator, 2010-2011)

BIOSCI104 New Zealand Ecology & Conservation (Field trip demonstrator, 2010-2013)

BIOSCI100 Antarctica: The Frozen Continent (Lab demonstrator, 2010-2012)

BIOSCI92F: Foundation Biology (Lab demonstrator, 2011)

BIOSCI207: Adaptive Design (Lab demonstrator, 2010)


Students on the animal behaviour field trip watching shore birds in the distance (not cows)

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