Dr Shane Donald Tukukino Wright

Profile Image
Senior Lecturer

Research | Current

My research has several strands that include:

  • Quantifying rates of tropical evolution
  • Quantifying the effect of population size and land area on rates of evolution
  • Phylogeographic studies with woody plants across Oceania
  • The ecology of Pacific plants.

Research methodologies include both genetic and standard quantitative approaches. Recent work on rates of tropical evolution has been widely noted including as a full-page article in The Economist. I have two publications, both as first author, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.

Teaching | Current

My teaching is centred on the BIOSCI 395 Pacific Biogeography course that I convene. This course was first presented in 2001 and won the prize for best student assessment in the School of Biological Sciences. The course covers many aspects of Pacific studies, drawing on the combined knowledge of a number of prominent researchers and teachers with a range of collective experience across Oceania.

That diverse assemblage of lecturers presents a programme of studies that offers the opportunity to gain a multi-faceted understanding of the Biology, Geology and Geography of this biologically important region. The associated lab-based teaching includes:

  • GIS and animal migration
  • cpDNA and Ice Age history (this involves computer-based teaching that is do-able by non-genetics students
  • Herbarium work at Auckland Museum on the distributions of Mistletoe species and their hosts.

Areas of expertise

Biodiversity, Biosecurity and Conservation

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Gillman, L. N., Wright, S. D., Cusens, J., McBride, P. D., Malhi, Y., & Whittaker, R. J. (2015). Latitude, productivity and species richness. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24 (1), 107-117. 10.1111/geb.12245
  • Wyse, S. V., Burns, B. R., & Wright, S. D. (2014). Distinctive vegetation communities are associated with the long-lived conifer Agathis australis (New Zealand kauri, Araucariaceae) in New Zealand rainforests. Austral Ecology, 39 (4), 388-400. 10.1111/aec.12089
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bruce Burns
  • Gillman, L. N., & Wright, S. D. (2014). Species richness and evolutionary speed: The influence of temperature, water and area. Journal of Biogeography, 41 (1), 39-51. 10.1111/jbi.12173
  • Gillman, L. N., & Wright, S. D. (2013). Patterns of Evolutionary Speed: In Search of a Causal Mechanism. Diversity, 5 (4), 811-823. 10.3390/d5040811
  • Wright, S. D., & Rohde, K. (2013). Energy and spatial order in niche and community. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 110 (3), 696-714. 10.1111/bij.12141
  • Gillman, L. N., & Wright, S. D. (2013). Species richness and evolutionary speed: The influence of temperature, water and area. Journal of Biogeography10.1111/jbi.12173
  • Wright, S. D., & Rohde, K. (2013). Energy and spatial order in niche and community. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society10.1111/bij.12141
  • Gillman, L. N., Mccowan, L. S. C., & Wright, S. D. (2012). The tempo of genetic evolution in birds: Body mass and climate effects. Journal of Biogeography, 39 (9), 1567-1572. 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2012.02730.x

Contact details

Primary office location

THOMAS BUILDING - Bldg 110
Level 1, Room 115
3 SYMONDS ST
AUCKLAND CENTRAL
AUCKLAND 1010
New Zealand

Web links