David is New Zealander and Associate Professor in marine ecology at Massey University in Auckland. After years living and studying overseas he returned to New Zealand as a Rutherford Foundation New Zealand post-doctoral fellow and is now a Rutherford Discovery fellow focused on making a contribution to advancing our understanding the forces governing the distribution of marine organisms surrounding our island nation.
David’s research focuses on understanding what determines the range limits of reef building corals. Rangitāhua hosts one the world’s most southerly coral reefs, and we expect that corals at Rangitāhua have developed unique adaptations that allow them to survive this harsh environment. This voyage presents a unique opportunity to advance scientific understanding of how the diversity of coral species observed at Rangitāhua has accumulated and what threats facing New Zealand’s only coral reefs as well as to share this knowledge and discovery with the next generation of New Zealand scientists.