Mr Markus Gronwald

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


I have a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and English and American Studies. My bachelor thesis was about the effects of Brodifacoum on selected invertebrates in the Waitakere Ranges. I have a Master of Science in Biology with focus on Biodiversity and Ecology (2012). My master thesis was a molecular phylogeny of the Theraphosidae. Both degrees were obtained from the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany.The following years I have developed multimedia online learning material for the Faculty of Biology and Psychology and worked as an E-Learning coordinator for the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the Georg-August-University Goettingen. I started my PhD study at the University of Auckland in 2015.

Research | Current

I have a general interest in conservation and I am fascinated by New Zealand's unique ecosystems. I am addressing the problems caused by invasive predators in order to improve rodent control and eradication.

My study focuses on the behaviour of Rattus exulans, Kiore, in low population densities on islands. In coexistence with the other invasive rat species, R. rattus and R. norvegicus, Kiore is reduced to low numbers due to asymmetrical competition. The accomplishment of a successful rat control or eradication is based on understanding the factors influencing Kiore’s access to traps or poison bait, be it limited by competitors or affected by natural selection for cautiousness. I will analyse the behaviour of Kiore and examine the effect of competition with other rat species and the impact of predator control. Unveiling mechanisms of competition is pivotal for understanding interspecific behaviour and niche separation and will produce valuable output for rat control and eradication programmes on islands.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 1, Room 102
New Zealand