Jonathan Gardner

Prof Jonathan Gardner profile picture

Marine Biology, Ecology, Genetics and Conservation School of Biological Sciences


Teaching in 2020

Personal Bio

PhD University College of Swansea, UK | MSc University of New Brunswick, Canada

I am a marine biologist with wide-ranging interests. Much of my research relates to management issues in the sea, both in coastal and deep-sea areas. My work is multi-disciplinary because I enjoy the contribution that I can make to a team, and because I believe that much of modern science needs to be broad ranging and multi-disciplinary to achieve meaningful management, environmental and social outcomes.

One of the biggest challenges now facing society is how to balance resource extraction and environmental protection. We will want a first world standard of living and generally speaking that means a resource-intensive standard of living. My research interests are largely related to understanding how we can try to achieve a balance between extractive use (fishing, deep-sea mining, etc) and environmental protection.

My tertiary education was carried out in England, Canada and Wales, before I moved to Victoria University of Wellington in April, 1994.

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1991-1994 – Open Production Enhancement Network (OPEN) and Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS), Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1989-1991 – Joint Agriculture and the Environment Programme (JAEP), University of Leicester, UK.
  • Ph.D., 1989 – Ecological genetics of hybridising blue mussels, University College of Swansea, University of Wales, UK.
  • M.Sc., 1986 – Intertidal ecology of rocky reef systems, University of New Brunswick (Saint John), Canada
  • B.Sc. Honours, 1984 – Marine Biology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Awards and achievements

2014 and 2018 – Visiting Professor, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.

In August 2014, and again in February 2018, I was a Visiting Professor at the Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia working with Dr Jorge Toro’s group on native and invasive blue mussels (genus Mytilus) in Chile. My visits followed the visit of PhD student Pablo Oyarzún from Valdivia a year earlier to my lab to work on molecular methods of Mytilus spp. identification.

2012-2016 – Chutian Scholar and Visiting Professor, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

For 5 years I have visited the College of Fisheries at Huazhong Agricultural University (HZAU) in Wuhan, for 2 months per year. I have worked closely with Dr. Kai-Jian Wei on a number of different projects looking at China’s freshwater biodiversity. These projects have included research on freshwater mussels, the northern snakehead (Channa argus) and freshwater fishes of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. At HZAU I have co-supervised 1 PhD and 2 MSc students, and 2 students from HZAU have joined my group for their PhD research, and 1 PhD student from HZAU has been a visiting PhD student in my lab

2011 – Visiting Professor, New Zealand-United Kingdom Link Foundation

I was privileged to spend three months working in the School of Advanced Study at University College London on marine protected areas at the time that the United Kingdom was setting up its new marine protected areas network (this process is still ongoing). The highlight for me was a lecture that I gave at The Kohn Centre of The Royal Society (17 October 2011) that was chaired by HRH The Princess Royal and with Prof. Sir Bob Watson as the respondent.

Research Interests

Marine Biology, including physical oceanography, aquaculture and habitat mapping

Ecology, including connectivity and shellfish

Genetics, including population, ecological and seascape genetics

Conservation, including marine protected areas and bioinvasions

View the Marine Resource Management research group



Silva CNS, MacDonald HS, Hadfield M, Cryer M, Gardner JPA. 2019. Ocean currents predict fine scale genetic structure of a marine broadcast spawner. ICES Journal of Marine Science doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsy201

Zeng C, Clark MR, Rowden AA, Kelly M, Gardner JPA. 2019. Patterns of genetic connectivity amongst four deep-sea demosponges in the New Zealand region: implications for the protection of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. Scientific Reports, in press.

Larraín MA, Zbawicka M, Araneda C, Gardner JPA, Wenne R. 2018. Native and invasive taxa on the Pacific coast of South America: Impacts on aquaculture, traceability and biodiversity of blue mussels (Mytilus spp.). Evolutionary Applications 11: 298-311.

Zeng C, Rowden AA, Clark MR, Gardner JPA. 2017. Population genetic structure and connectivity of deep-sea stony corals (Order Scleractinia) in the New Zealand region: implications for the conservation and management of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. Evolutionary Applications 10: 1040-1054.

Gardner JPA, Wenne R, Westfall KR Zbawicka M. 2016. Invasive mussels threaten regional scale genetic diversity in mainland and remote offshore locations: the need for baseline data and enhanced protection in the Southern Ocean. Global Change Biology 22: 3182–3195, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13332.

Gardner JPA, Patterson J, George S, Patterson Edward JK. 2016. Combined evidence indicates that Perna indica is Perna perna from the Oman region introduced into southern India more than 100 years ago. Biological Invasions 18: 1375–1390.

View more publications at ResearchGate

View more publications at Google Scholar

Recent key conference presentations and public talks

31 October 2016 | Guo X-Z, Zhang G-R, Wei K-J, Yan R-J, Gardner JPA, Ji W, Yang R-B, Wei Q-W. Phylogeography and population genetics of Schizothorax o’connori: strong subdivision in the Yarlung Tsangpo River inferred from mtDNA and microsatellite markers. 2016 Symposium of Chinese Ichthyological Society, Wuhan, China. *Mr. XiangZhao Guo won second prize in best postgraduate student conference talk category.

28 July 2016 | Gardner JPA, Lamarche G, Pallentin A, Geange S. “Mapping of Kapiti Marine Reserve” at the New Zealand National Library, Wellington, as part of the national series of talks “Unfolding the map: the cartography of New Zealand”

4 July 2016 | Laferriere A, Geange S, Lamarche G, Pallentin A, Gardner JPA, Zintzen V, Curtis H, Caie S. 2016. Linking physical and biogenic habitats to reveal Kapiti Island’s submarine landscape. Joint NZ Marine Sciences Society and Australian Marine Sciences Society Conference, Wellington, July 2016. *Winner – Ms. Alix Laferriere won the Department of Conservation’s Best Paper for Advancing Marine Conservation.

7 July 2015 | Laferriere AM, Gardner JPA. 2015. Examining blackfoot paua metrics and habitat requirements at different scales to better understand observed patterns and responses to protection. NZMSS, Auckland * Ms. Alix Laferriere won the Department of Conservation’s Best Paper for Advancing Marine Conservation.

5 March 2015 | Jonathan Gardner, Invited Speaker, Marine Reserves in New Zealand – Science Express, The National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


Teaching in 2020