Dr Ian David Tuck

PhD (Marine Biology), MSc (Marine and Fisheries Science), BSc (Maritime Geography)

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Senior Lecturer


Ian has a background in European fisheries, having worked in Scotland before moving to New Zealand. He completed his PhD on scampi fisheries ecology in the early 1990s, before joining the FRS Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen. He has particular interests in scampi, and other shellfish fisheries, having been heavily involved in scampi assessment within the ICES system, and leading scampi research, survey and assessment activities for NIWA. He also has research experience investigating the effects of fishing on the seabed, and ecosystem indicators, and currently leads research in these areas. He has worked at NIWA since 2006, is a Principal Scientist in the Fisheries Centre, and leads the Fisheries Environmental Impacts Programme. Ian holds a co-appointment in the NIWA/Joint Graduate School in Coastal and Marine Science (1 day a week), through the Department of Statistics. The day he spends on campus is usually Friday, but sometimes varies, so to contact him the best option is email.

Postgraduate supervision

Scholarships in Quantitative Fisheries Science

Students with a numerate background may be interested in applying for this scholarship.


Feel free to get in touch if you want to discuss


Available projects (Statistics)

Exploring fishing power

Fishing power provides a measure of vessel efficiency, and can be used to explain why some vessels catch more than others. Commercial catch and fishing effort data are often used by fisheries scientists to estimate fish abundance indices (catch per unit effort), but often struggle to explain vessel effects identified. This project will examine a range of commercial fisheries catch data, to identify the factors that affect a vessel’s fishing power.


Zero-altered Lognormal Regression​ (Thomas Yee & Ian Tuck)

Prerequisites: STATS 310, STATS 330 and STATS 380

This project in statistical computing entails writing a VGAM family function for handling data sets where there are a mixture of 0s and values coming from a continuous positive-valued distribution such as the lognormal.

Once the function has been written, some data analysis involving fisheries data should be conducted.  In particular, the catch data is to be modelled in relation to other variables (fishing effort,vessel parameters etc) to provide an abundance index.  The software will be used to analyze catch data collected from the trevally fishery
from the East Northland and Hauraki Gulf areas to generate an annual index.

Ideally the student can fit regression models competently, knows S4 R programming and has a sound background in statistical theory.


Available projects (Marine Science)


Current students:

  • Chantelle Wolloner - Metier analysis and catch profiles in New Zealand fisheries (Hons Statistics)
  • Richa Garg - Environmental-Recruitment Relationships and Catch Data Based Analysis of Movement Patterns in New Zealand Snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) (MSc Marine Science)
  • Luther Hare - An exploration of relationships between ecosystem drivers and fauna demographics in the Sub-Antarctic (MSc Statistics)
  • Kyle Hilliam - Invasion biology of the Asian paddle crab Chrybdis japonica (MSc Marine Science)
  • Chris Nottingham - Stock assessment and management strategy evaluation for surf clam fisheries (PhD Statistics)
  • Craig Marsh - Investigating contemporary issues in Stock assessment methods (PhD Statistics)
  • Alaric McCarthy - Distribution, abundance and ecology of deepwater scampi (PhD Marine Science)
  • Tamlin Jefferson - Improving fisheries sustainability and biodiversity conservation through MPA design (PhD Marine Science)

Recent students:

  • Luther Hare (2019) - Beyond temperature - exploring environmental drivers of fish population recruitment (Hons Statistics)
  • Hayley Nessia (2019) - Invasion biology of the Japanese mantis shrimp Oratosquilla oratoria (MSc Marine Science)
  • Gabriel Wong (2018) - Optimising trawl survey stratification (MSc Statistics)
  • Mac Townsend (2018) - Tools for climate data (Honours Statistics)
  • Felicity Xue (2018) - Tools for climate data (MSc Statistics)
  • Rikki Taylor  (2018) - Ecosystem indicators from trawl survey data (MSc Marine Science)
  • Najihah Haron (2017) - Species distribution modelling (Honours Statistics)
  • Sophie Kincaid (2017) - How volume and spatial patterns in tag data affect abundance estimates (MSc Statistics)
  • Gabriel Wong (2016) - Estimating fish catches (Honours Statistics)
  • Hannah Binnie (2016) - Investigating the fate of long line caught fish (MSc Statistics)
  • William Gibson (2016) - Factors affecting catches and fishing behavious in the NZ scampi fisheries (MSc Statistics)
  • Callum Templeton (2016) - Developing data poor stock assessment models for bycatch species (MSc Marine Science)
  • Ferique Shortte (2016) - The status of fish stocks in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean (MSc Marine Science)
  • Chris Nottingham (2015) - Factors affecting hapuku spawning success and larval survival (Honours Statistics)
  • Sophie Burgess (2015) - Fisheries ecology and assessment of scallops (MSc Marine Science)
  • Pamela Kane (2015) - Factors affecting catchability in rock lobsters (MSc Marine Science)
  • Lilith Peng (2015) - Factors affecting the distribution of Mako and Porbeagle sharks in New Zealand waters (MSc Statistics)
  • Katie Ward-Allen (2015) - Investigating temporal and spatial correlation in scampi catch rates (Honours Statistics)
  • Adibah Rashid (2014) - Factors affecting tagging mortality in snapper (MSc Statistics)
  • Alex Tse (2014) - Factors affecting catch composition in scampi fisheries (MSc Statistics)
  • Verina Yuan (2014) - Modelling patterns in catchability (MSc Statistics)
  • Tegan Evans (2014) - Spatial patterns in juvenile snapper growth (MSc Marine Science)
  • Jenny Castle (2013) - Metier analysis and catch profiles in New Zealand fisheries (Honours Statistics)
  • Sam McRae (2013) - Investigating spatial and temporal patterns in trawl survey time series (Honours Statistics)
  • Adibah Rashid (2013) - Variability in paua (abalone) growth (Honours Statistics)

Areas of expertise

Fisheries stock assessment, shellfish fisheries, fisheries ecology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Verry, A. J. F., Walton, K., Tuck, I. D., & Ritchie, P. A. (2020). Genetic structure and recent population expansion in the commercially harvested deep-sea decapod, Metanephrops challengeri (Crustacea: Decapoda). NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF MARINE AND FRESHWATER RESEARCH, 54 (2), 251-270. 10.1080/00288330.2019.1707696
  • Lundquist, C. J., Bowden, D., Cartner, K., Stephenson, F., Tuck, I., & Hewitt, J. E. (2018). Assessing Benthic Responses to Fishing Disturbance Over Broad Spatial Scales That Incorporate High Environmental Variation. FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE, 510.3389/fmars.2018.00405
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46923
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Carolyn Lundquist
  • Williams, J. R., Parkinson, D. P., Drury, J., Roberts, C. L., Bian, R., & Tuck, I. D. (2017). Survey of scallops in SCA7, January 2017. , 2017 Wellington: Ministry for Primary Industries. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35272
  • McCarthy, A., Tuck, I., Jeffs, A., Taylor, D., Ogilvie, S., & Conner, S. (2017). Estimating the size at the onset of maturity for New Zealand scampi (Metanephrops challengeri). Paper presented at International Conference and Workshop on Lobster Management and Biology, Portland, Maine. 4 June - 9 June 2017.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Jeffs
  • Tuck, I. D., Parkinson, D., Armiger, H., Smith, M., Miller, A., Rush, N., & Spong, K. (2017). Estimating the abundance of scampi in SCI 6A (Auckland Islands) in 2016. , 2017 Wellington: Ministry for Primary Industries. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35252
  • Tuck, I. D., Hewitt, J. E., Handley, S. J., & Lundquist, C. J. (2017). Assessing the effects of fishing on soft sediment habitat, fauna and process. Wellington: Ministry for Primary Industries. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35249
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Judi Hewitt, Carolyn Lundquist
  • Tuck, I. D. (2016). Characterisation and length-based assessment model for scampi (Metanephrops challengeri) in the Bay of Plenty (SCI 1) and Hawke Bay– Wairarapa (SCI 2). , 2016 Wellington: Ministry for Primary Industries. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35267
  • Tuck, I. D. (2016). Characterisation and a length-based assessment model for scampi (Metanephrops challengeri) on the Mernoo Bank (SCI 3). , 2016 Wellington: Ministry for Primary Industries. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/35271


Contact details

Alternative contact

Office hours

Fridays (usually). Email beforehand to check

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 375
New Zealand

Web links