Dr Cate Macinnis-Ng

BSc (Hons I) PhD (UTS)

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Senior Lecturer

Biography

I am interested in plant responses to climatic conditions and right now, I'm particularly enthused about drought in New Zealand's native forests. I completed my undergraduate and PhD degrees in Sydney and then worked as a research fellow on several projects until mid 2010 when I moved to Auckland with my family. I had various roles in the School of Environment before joining the School of Biological Sciences as Lecturer in Ecology in February 2015. At the end of 2015, I was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship by the Royal Society of New Zealand. My research interests are centred around understanding plant functional responses to environmental conditions. I have used measurement and modelling approaches to investigate the hourly, daily, seasonal and annual patterns in tree water use at leaf and stand scales.

Research | Current

Current projects

Drought impacts on native vegetation

I was  awarded a Marsden Fast-Start grant in November 2012 to study drought impacts on native trees of New Zealand. I am using measurement and modelling approaches to assess the threat of drought to kauri (Agathis australis) and associated species.

In September 2015, I was awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship to develop this research further with the first forest throughfall exclusion experiment in New Zealand. This involves setting up drought plots in the field to simulate drought and measuring tree responses to dry soil conditions.

Carbon fluxes in native forests

I also recently completed a two year research fellowship funded by the Faculty Research Development Fund to quantify carbon cycling in kauri forests. The sampling period captured the wet summer of 2012 and the very dry summer of 2013 so the impact of water availability on the major fluxes of carbon is now being assessed. I am collaborating with Luitgard Schwendenmann on this project.

Some media coverage

Read steady learn, bFM on recent research findings 18th August 2016

Good Magazine piece on kauri ecosystem services

Kauri as a 'climate change canary', NZ Herald article on species influenced by climate change

Marsden Fund IAQ Blog celebrating 20 years of Marsden research.

How will kauri survive drought? One News video segment.

Giant kauri trees and climate change. Our Changing World podcast.

Teaching | Current

BIOSCI 394 Conservation Ecology

BIOSCI 205 Plant, Cell and Environment

Postgraduate supervision

Students interested in plants and climate change can contact me for further information.

Distinctions/Honours

Vice President, New Zealand Ecological Society, 2017

New Zealand Society of Plant Biologists Roger Slack Award, 2016

Rutherford Discovery Fellow, 2015

Early Career Research Excellence Award, Univeristy of Auckland, 2014

Responsibilities

Associate Editor, Journal of Applied Ecology

Associate Editor, Hydrological Processes

Areas of expertise

Climate-vegetation interactions change as the climate changes. I am a plant ecophysiologist and ecohydrologist specialising in water and carbon fluxes of trees and other vegetation.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Identifiers

Contact details

Primary location

TAMAKI BUILDING 733 - Bldg 733
Level 3, Room 332
TAMAKI CAMPUS GATE 1, 261 MORRIN RD
ST JOHNS
AUCKLAND 1072
New Zealand

Social links

Web links