Dr Brendon John Dunphy

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Senior Lecturer

Research | Current

I believe science has a central role in helping us address the immense challenges facing the planet in the future. In this regard I am interested in understanding the resilience of marine animals to biotic and abiotic perturbations at the population, individual and molecular level. I am particularly interested in what metabolic strategies animals employ to maintain homeostasis within a fluctuating environment and how we might use this information to predict the effects of future climate change, and where relevant sustainably manage economically important species. The model organisms I use are broad and encompass seabirds, fish and intertidal invertebrates.

Potential projects could include (but happy to discuss ideas)

Diving and stress physiology of seabirds

Predicting climate change effects via mapping thermotolerance of intertidal/coastal invertebrates

Improving aquaculture sustainability via mapping physiological responses of invertebrates in aquaculture systems

Characterising population connectivity of coastal invertebrates via LA-ICP-MS tracking of larval dispersal

Teaching | Current

BIOSCI 103 Comparative Animal Biology

BIOSCI 206 Principles of Ecology

BIOSCI 210 Evolution and origin of life

BIOSCI 328 Fisheries and Aquaculture

BIOSCI 335 Ecological Physiology

BIOSCI 725 Ecological Physiology (PG DipSci)

BIOSCI 727 Aquaculture


Postgraduate supervision


Edin Whitehead (MSc) Comparative stress physiology of grey-faced petrels in the Auckland region

Jade Dudley (MSc) How do blooms of Ostreopsis siamensis effect abundance and grazing pressure of key kaimoana species? Co-supervsied with Dr Nick Shears (UoA) and Dr Jarrod Walker (Auckland Council).

Sophie Roberts (Summer student) Thermal stress of intertidal marine invertebrates within north-eastern New Zealand.

Dyahruri Sanjayasari (PhD): Feeding biology of green-lipped mussels (P. canaliculus) and green mussels (P. viridis). Co-supervised with Prof Andrew Jeffs and Dr Neill Herbert (UoA).

Jenn Jury (PhD): Transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses of ocean acidification impacts on green-lipped mussels. Co-supervised with Prof Mary Sewell (UoA).

Craig Norrie (PhD): Connectivity of green-lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus) within the Hauraki Gulf. Co-supervised with Dr Carolyn Lundquist (NIWA).

Nicola Hawes (PhD) Adaptive evolution in changing environments: Can epigenetic variation compensate for low genetic diversity? Co-supervised with Xavier Pochon Cawthron Institute.

Kevin Heasman (PhD) Project title: Aquaculture potential of scampi. Co-supervised with Prof. Andrew Jeffs

Rachel Sagar (PhD) Ecophysiology and breeding ecology of mottled petrels (co-supervised with Dr Margaret Stanley and Dr Matt Rayner, Auckland Museum).



Shae Vickers (MSc) Stress physiology of Common diving petrels in the Hauraki Gulf (co-supervised with Assoc. Prof Anthony Hickey and Dr Matt Rayner, Auckland Museum)

Alyx Pivac (MSc.) Project title: Can kūtai (green-lipped mussels) be used as a bioremediation tool of urban environments?

Davide Zazzaro (PhD) Project title: Control of nuisance brancles on Greenshell mussel farms. Co-supervised with Prof. Andrew Jeffs.

Celia Crossan (MSc) Project title: Seasonal variation in scope for growth of the farmed flat oyster Ostrea chilensis.

Rachel Goddard (MSc) Project title: Comparative analysis of physiological and morphological adaptations for diving in Sooty Shearwaters, with non-diving seabirds. Co-supervised with Dr Tony Hickey.

Jamie Powell (MSc.) Project title: Aerial survival in green-lipped mussels

Rachael Sagar (PhD) Project title: Ecophysiology and breeding ecology of New Zealand procellariiform bird species. Co-supervised with Dr Margaret Stanley (UoA) and Dr Matt Rayner (Auckland Museum)

Ben Mortensen (MSc) Acute thermotolerance of the intertidal gastropod (Lunella smaragdus)

Craig Norrie (MSc.) Project title: Identifying natal locations of Cockles (Austrovenus stutchburyi) within Whangarei Harbour. Co-supervised with Dr Carolyn Lundquist (NIWA) and Prof. Joel Baker (School of Environment, UoA).

Alana Jute (MSc.) Project title: Settlement and physiological tolerances of the invasive Mediterranean fanworm (Sabella spallazani). Co-supervised with Dr Graeme Inglis (NIWA).

Lisa Quigg (BSc Hons) Project title: Chronobiology of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas). Co-supervised with Dr James Cheeseman

Sam Kettle (Summer student) Project focus: Physiological adaptation in the rocky intertidal.

Peter van Kampen (Summer student) Project focus: Aquaculture of the Lamington urchin (Tripneustes gratila) I.

Teuru Passfield (Summer student) Project focus: Aquaculture of the Lamington urchin (Tripneustes gratila) II.

Rachael Sagar (MSc.) Project title: Foraging behaviour and translocation stress and success in the mottled petrel (Pterodroma inexpectata). Co-supervised with Dr Matt Rayner.

Emma Gallagher (MSc.) Project title: Optimising laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry for use with the green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus).

Taimi Tuimaleali’ifano (MSc.) Thesis title: Key aspects of the Flat oyster (Ostrea chilensis): induced thermotolerance and non-invasive larval assessment technique.

Keria Fenton (MSc.) Thesis title: Effects of desiccation, acute heat shock and starvation on mortality of juvenile Perna canaliculus and the induction of heat shock protein 70.

Angela Esene (MSc.) Thesis title: Survival of green-lipped mussels (Perna canaliculus) in air: characterisation of glycolytic enzyme activity, HSP70, and metabolomic profiling.

Yue Gui (PhD) Thesis title: Particle retention and selection by the spat of the green-lipped mussel, Perna canaliculus. Co-supervised with Prof. Andrew Jeffs

Mark Fitzpatrick (MSc.) Thesis title: The chemical marking of Siphonaria australis and Perna canaliculus larvae for the measurement of larval spill over. Co-supervised with Prof Andrew Jeffs.


Areas of expertise

Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Powell, J. A., Ragg, N. L. C., & Dunphy, B. J. (2017). Phenotypic biomarkers in selectively-bred families of the Greenshell™ mussel ( Perna canaliculus ): Anaerobic enzyme and shell gape behaviour as biomarkers of prolonged emersion tolerance. Aquaculture, 479, 601-608. 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2017.06.038
  • Ranjard, L., Reed, B. S., Landers, T. J., Rayner, M. J., Friesen, M. R., Sagar, R. L., & Dunphy, B. J. (2017). MatlabHTK: a simple interface for bioacoustic analyses using hidden Markov models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8 (5), 615-621. 10.1111/2041-210X.12688
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Todd Landers
  • Aguirre, J. D., Bollard-Breen, B., Cameron, M., Constantine, R., Duffy, C. A. J., Dunphy, B., ... Jeffs, A. (2016). Loved to pieces: Toward the sustainable management of the Waitematā Harbour and Hauraki Gulf. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 8, 220-233. 10.1016/j.rsma.2016.02.009
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31853
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Jeffs, Mary Sewell, Rochelle Constantine, Judi Hewitt
  • Gui, Y., Kaspar, H. F., Zamora, L. N., Dunphy, B. J., & Jeffs, A. G. (2016). Capture efficiency of artificial food particles of post-settlement juveniles of the Greenshell™ mussel, Perna canaliculus. Aquaculture, 464, 1-7. 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2016.06.011
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/29688
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Jeffs
  • Mortensen, B. J. D., & Dunphy, B. J. (2016). Effect of tidal regime on the thermal tolerance of the marine gastropod Lunella smaragda (Gmelin 1791). Journal of Thermal Biology, 60, 186-194. 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2016.07.009
  • Gui, Y., Zamora, L. N., Dunphy, B., & Jeffs, A. G. (2016). Understanding the ontogenetic changes in particle processing of the greenshell™ mussel, Perna canaliculus, in order to improve hatchery feeding practices. Aquaculture, 452, 120-127. 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2015.07.035
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Jeffs
  • Gui, Y., Zamora, L., Dunphy, B. J., & Jeffs, A. G. (2015). Evaluation of the formulated diet MySpat for feeding hatchery-reared spat of the green-lipped mussel, Perna canaliculus (Gmelin, 1791). Aquaculture Research, n/a-n/a. 10.1111/are.12841
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Jeffs
  • Dunphy, B. J., Taylor, G. A., Landers, T. J., Sagar, R. L., Chilvers, B. L., Ranjard, L., & Rayner, M. J. (2015). Comparative seabird diving physiology: first measures of haematological parameters and oxygen stores in three New Zealand Procellariiformes. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 523, 187-198. 10.3354/meps11195
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rachael Sagar, Todd Landers


Contact details

Primary location

Level 1, Room 142
New Zealand

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