Mr Benjamin Michael Cranston
BSc. Fort Lewis College
I earned my BSc. in Chemistry at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, USA before spending some time at Oregon State University (USA) conducting graduate research in Radioanalytical and Inorganic Materials Science. I then moved to Auckland with my wife to pursue pharmaceutical production to shortly thereafter transition into the ecological and biological domains of scientific inquiry. I am deeply passionate about the natural world and find it greatly rewarding to be among the ecophysiology community.
Research | Current
Climate projections indicate that northern New Zealand will experience more frequent drought events like the one in 2012 - 2013 which afflicted many plant species, yet the response mechanisms of native vegetation remains largely unknown. During my PhD tenure, I am conducting a precipitation-throughfall exclusion experiment on kauri (Agathis australis) trees at Huapai Scientific Reserve in West Auckland to determine how these 'kings of the forest' cope with water shortage. This experiment is the first of its kind in the country; I am primarily focused on monitoring physiological functions associated with water allocation (e.g. sapflow and leaf-level processes) as well as carbon-use indicators as they adequately describe tree-climate interactions during this long-term study.