Mr Finnbar Lee

BSc, PGDipSci, MSc (hons) first class

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Research Fellow
Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


I completed a BSc majoring in Ecology and Biodiversity and minoring in Statistics at Victoria University in Wellington. I then completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Science and an MSc (Environmental Science) at the University of Auckland. My MSc focused on the role agricultural land use plays in facilitating the spread of an invasive fish (Gambusia affinis) and the trophic ecology of Gambusia in degraded streams. I am currently working towards a PhD in Environmental Science, focusing on metacommunity dynamics in dendritic networks. 

Research | Current

How is metacommunity structure and connectivity influenced by network topologies in dendritic systems?

Dendritic ecological networks (DENs) are a unique form of ecological network, they are distinguished from other network types by two fundamental characteristics: (1) both the branches and the nodes serve as habitat, and (2) the hierarchical organisation and spatial arrangement of these elements interact with species movement behaviour to affect patterns of community distribution, abundance and interactions. The aim of my thesis is to better understand how metacommunity structure and connectivity is influenced by network topologies using rivers as model systems.

Supervised by Professor George Perry, co-supervised by Associate Professor Kevin Simon

Teaching | Current

  • ENVSCI 101/101G Environment, Science and Management
  • GEOG 250 Geographical Research in Practice


  • Postgraduate Student Research Award (UoA - SoE, 2018)
  • DAAD German Exchange Short-term Research Grant (2018)
  • The George Mason Centre for the Natural Environment University of Auckland - University of California, Davis Link Scholarship (2018)
  • SIL Trust Prize - Best Masters Oral Presentation (NZFSS Conference, 2016)
  • V H Jolly Conference Travel Grant (2016, 2017)
  • Marian Cranwell Prize for best MSc thesis focusing on environmental or ecological science (2015)
  • First in Class Award - EnviSci 716 (2014)

Areas of expertise

  • Community ecology
  • Freshwater ecology 

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • New Zealand Ecological Society
  • New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society
  • Ecological Scociety of America 

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Perry, G. L. W., & Lee, F. (2019). How does temporal variation in habitat connectivity influence metapopulation dynamics?. OIKOS, 128 (9), 1277-1286. 10.1111/oik.06052
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: George Perry
  • Lee, F., & Perry, G. L. W. (2019). Assessing the role of off-take and source-sink dynamics in the extinction of the amphidromous New Zealand grayling (Prototroctes oxyrhynchus). FRESHWATER BIOLOGY, 64 (10), 1747-1754. 10.1111/fwb.13366
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: George Perry
  • Simpkins, C., Lee, F., Powers, B., Anderson, S., Asena, Q., Brock, J., & Perry, G. (2018). Population viability analyses in New Zealand: a review. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 42 (2).10.20417/nzjecol.42.32
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: George Perry, Sandra Anderson, James Brock
  • Lee, F., Simon, K. S., & Perry, G. L. W. (2018). Prey selectivity and ontogenetic diet shift of the globally invasive western mosquitofish ( Gambusia affinis ) in agriculturally impacted streams. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 27 (3), 822-833. 10.1111/eff.12395
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: George Perry, Kevin Simon
  • Lee, F., Simon, K. S., & Perry, G. L. W. (2017). Increasing agricultural land use is associated with the spread of an invasive fish (Gambusia affinis). Science of the Total Environment, 586, 1113-1123. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.101
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: George Perry, Kevin Simon

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 5, Room 519
New Zealand