Miss Daria Alexandrovna Erastova

Master of Biology (with Honors), St. Petersburg State University, Department of Botany

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy



2020 Erastova D.A., Stanley M.C. Observations of New Zealand kingfisher (Todiramphus

sanctus) foraging on insects associated with artificial sugar-water feeders. Notornis 67: 475-478.

2019 Shchepin O.N., Schnittler M., Erastova D.A., Prikhodko I.S., Dahl M.B., Azarov D.V., Chernyaeva E.N., Novozhilov Yu.K. Community of dark-spored myxomycetes in ground litter and soil of taiga forest (Nizhne-Svirskiy Reserve, Russia) revealed by DNA metabarcoding. Fungal Ecology 39, 80-93.

2017 Erastova D.A., Novozhilov Yu.K., Schnittler M. Nivicolous myxomycetes of the Khibiny Mountains, Kola Peninsula, Russia. Nova Hedwigia 104(1-3), 85-110.

2017 Novozhilov Yu.K., Erastova D.A., Shchepin O.N., Schnittler M, Alexandrova A.V., Popov E.S., Kuznetzov A.N. Myxomycetes associated with monsoon lowland tall tropical forests in southern Vietnam. Nowa Hedwigia 104(1-3), 143-182.

2017 Novozhilov Yu.K., Schnittler M., Erastova D.A., Shchepin O.N. Myxomycetes of Sikhote-Alin State Nature Biosphere Reserve (Far East, Russia). Nowa Hedwigia 104(1-3), 183-209.

2015 Erastova D.A., Novozhilov Y.K. Nivicolous myxomycetes of the lowland landscapes of the Northwest of Russia. Mikologia i fitopatologia 49(1), 9-18.

2015 Novozhilov Yu.K., Erastova D.A., Shchepin O.N. Myxomycetes of Lapland Reserve. Chronicles of nature of Lapland State Nature Reserve in year 2015, 58-77 (in Russian).

2014 Schnittler M., Erastova D.A., Shchepin O.N., Heinrich E., Novozhilov Y.K. Four years in the Caucasus - observations on the ecology of nivicolous myxomycetes. Fungal Ecology 14, 105-115.

2013 Erastova D.A., Okun M.V., Fiore-Donno A.M., Novozhilov Yu.K., Schnittler M. Phylogenetic position of the enigmatic myxomycete genus Kelleromyxa revealed by SSU rDNA sequences. Mycological progress 12(3), 599-608.

2013 Novozhilov Yu.K., Okun M.V., Erastova D.A., Shchepin O.N., Zemlyanskaya I.V., Garcia-Carvajal E., Schnittler M. Description, culture and phylogenetic position of a new xerotolerant species of Physarum. Mycologia 105(2), 1535-1546.

2013 Novozhilov Y.K., Schnittler M., Erastova D.A., Okun M.V., Schepin O.N., Heinrich E. Diversity of nivicolous myxomycetes of the Teberda State Biosphere Reserve (Northwestern Caucasus, Russia). Fungal Diversity 59, 109-130.

2009 Erastova D.A., Gimelbrant D.E., Kuznetsova E.S. A preliminary check-list of lichens of "Sredneluzskyi"  wildlife sanctuary (Leningrad oblast). Proceding of Tver State Yniversity, Ser. Biol. and Ecol. 13(14), 157-173 (in Russian).


2018-present PhD student, The University of Auckland, School of Biological Sciences.

2011 Master of Biology (with honours), St. Petersburg State University, Department of Botany.

2009 Bachelor of Biology, St. Petersburg State University, Department of Botany.

Professional Experience

2017 Oka Nature Reserve, volunteer curator of crane chicks and independent researcher.

2016 Lab assistant at the Department of Microbiology of Medical Company "Labstory".

2016 Animal keeper at a private farm "Zolotko".

2014–2016 Junior researcher at Botanical Institute of Russian Academy of Science.

2012 Animal keeper at a private zoo "Zolotoy Klutch".

2010–2013 Trainee in molecular biology and phylogenetic methods at Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald, Germany.

2009–2016 Collection curator and lab assistant at Botanical Institute of Russian Academy of Science.

Ornithological studies

2020 Level 3 Banding and Mist-netting certificate in Passerines.

2019 Level 2 Banding and Mist-netting certificate in Passerines.

2017 Bird banding course at the Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve.

2017 Practice traineeship at the 3rd International Conference on Veterinary Medicine of Wild, Exotic and Zoopark Animals (section Ornithology), held at Oka Nature Reserve.

2016 Ornithological theory and practical courses for undergraduate and graduate students of St. Petersburg State University.

2016 Veterinarian ornithological workshop held by "Green Parrot" bird clinic.

Abstracts and Proceedings

2019 Erastova D, Stanley M, Galbraith J, Cain K. Agenda for the sweet-toothed: all New-Zealand survey on bird sugar-water feeding. 2019 Australasian Ornithological Conference, Darwin, Australia.

2019 Erastova D.A., Cain K., Galbraith J.A., Stanley M.C. Is it really so sweet to feed sugar water to native birds? Insights into urban feeding practices. 2019 New Zealand Bird Conference & Birds NZ AGM, Wellington.

2017 Kashentseva T.A., Postelny T.V., Kondrakova K.D., Erastova D.A. Congenial aggression in white crane chicks. Proceedings of VI All-Russian congress on animal behavior, Moscow, Russia (in Russian).

2017 Schnittler M., Erastova D., Shchepin O., Okun M.V., Novozhilov Yu.K. How far does morphology reach? Molecular taxonomy of the nivicolous Diderma species (Myxomycetes). Proceedings of The Ninth International Congress on the Systematics and Ecology of Myxomycetes, Tanabe, Japan.

2012–2017 Seven oral and poster presentations. 

Research | Current

PhD Research: The effect of urban sugar water feeding on native New Zealand birds

Feeding backyard birds with sugar water is increasingly popular in urban areas, but it has poorly understood effects on bird assemblages. In New Zealand, ca. 20% of households engaged in feeding wild birds use sugar water, often in attempt to attract native, nectarivorous birds. Developing best practices for sugar water feeding could be a powerful tool for attracting these species in urban areas. However, it is currently unclear whether these feeders actually support native species, and, if so, which feeding practices are most effective in increasing visitation. 

The main aim of my project is to determine what effect urban sugar water provisioning has on the behaviour and health of native New Zealand birds. The objectives of the study are the following: 1) explore the existing sugar water feeding practices used by householders;  2) determine the potentials for avian pathogen transmission; and 3) determine how supplementary feeding affects foraging and social birds’ behaviour, such as competitive and other antagonistic interactions (both within and between species).

Teaching | Current

2010–2011 Teaching assistant at St. Petersburg State University, Department of Botany

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Margaret Stanley

Dr Josie Galbraith

Dr Kristal Cain


University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship

Areas of expertise


Bird banding



Contact details

Alternative contact


Primary office location

Level 1, Room 109
New Zealand

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