Stephen Hartley

Dr Stephen Hartley profile picture

Director of the Centre of Biodiversity & Restoration Ecology School of Biological Sciences

Personal Bio

PhD University of Leeds | MSc University of Aberdeen | BSc University of York

Kia ora.  I grew-up in the United Kingdom, including two years spent in Scotland doing a Masters in Environmental Science and river habitat surveys for the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology. I have been involved in community-driven conservation from an early age in a variety of contexts.  I moved to Wellington in 2002 and love the compact nature of the city, with bush walks and the harbour so accessible, and the fact that I can see tūī, kererū and kākā (honey-eaters, woodpigeon and a parrot) on my walk in to work. My current research includes monitoring the Aorangi & Remutaka forest ecosystems in response to control of introduced mammals, a wetland restoration project on the Eastern shore of Lake Wairarapa and a study of urban ecology called People, Cities & Nature.

Director | Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology

Chair | Enhancing resilience and sustainability of our natural heritage and capital

Theme lead | People, Cities & Nature urban ecology project

Associate Editor | NZ Journal of Botany (2011-2017)

Research interests

My research encompasses topics in conservation biology, ecological restoration and invasive species ecology; combining the approaches of field observation, experimentation and spatial modelling.

Current research includes:

  • Wetland restoration  - vegetation succession, tree growth and survival under different management regimes
  • Forest ecosystem responses to widespread possum and rodent control.
  • Urban ecology and citizen science
  • Predicting the future distribution of invasive species using bioclimatic and physiological models.
  • Developing efficient monitoring techniques for birds, mammals and invertebrates (to assist all of the above)

View the Spatial Ecology research group


Cook A & Hartley S. (2018) Efficient sampling of avian acoustic recordings: intermittent subsamples improve estimates of single species prevalence and total species richness. Avian Conservation and Ecology 13(1):21 article

Romijn RL & Hartley S (2016) Trends in lizard translocations in New Zealand between 1988 and 2013. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 43: 191-210. abstract

Hasenbank M & Hartley S (2015) Weaker resource diffusion effect at coarser spatial scales observed for egg distribution of cabbage white butterflies. Oecologia 177: 423-430. abstract

Cooling M, Hartley S, Sim DA, Lester PJ (2012) The widespread collapse of an invasive species: Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in New Zealand. Biology Letters 8: 430-433. abstract | review in The Economist

Buswell JM, Moles AT & Hartley S (2011) Is rapid evolution common in introduced plant species? Journal of Ecology 99: 214-224. abstract + | Faculty1000 review

Hartley S, Krushelnycky PD & Lester PJ (2010) Integrating physiology, population dynamics and climate to make multi-scale predictions for the spread of an invasive insect: the Argentine ant at Haleakala National Park, Hawaii. Ecography 33: 83-94. abstract

Hartley S, Harris R, & Lester PJ (2006) Quantifying uncertainty in the potential distribution of an invasive species: climate and the Argentine ant. Ecology Letters. 9: 1068-1079. abstract

View more publications