Dr. Tom Trnski

Marine Ecologist, Auckland Museum

Tom is Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum, leading the team of curators and collections staff that care for the museum’s fauna and flora collections, and the team records and interprets the biodiversity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the regional Pacific.

He specialises in the larval stages of marine fishes, and studies the biogeography of Pacific fishes and their dispersal across a range of spatial scales. Tom is passionate about fishes and the restoration of marine biodiversity and habitats. Over his career he has undertaken research at over 50 islands throughout the Pacific, from southern Japan and Indonesia, to French Polynesia. He led the most comprehensive biodiversity survey of Rangitāhua in 2011 and has since visited the islands to support a number of marine research projects. Project Havre will be his eighth visit to Rangitāhua.

Over the last five years Tom has developed a relationship with mana whenua Ngāti Kuri to incorporate matauranga Maori into the research activities at Rangitāhua and elsewhere in their rohe. He is now Co-Director of a $13.3 million Endeavour Fund to undertake a five year, iwi-led research programme at the motu, collaborating with scientists from Auckland and Massey universities, NIWA and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, and the California Academy of Sciences.