Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and fastest growing city. The city straddles the isthmus of land that divides the Waitemata harbour to the east, from the Manukau harbour to the west. Auckland is known as the city of sails, and the Waitemata harbour is our most publicly utilised marine playground, as well as New Zealand’s largest port. The land surrounding the Manukau harbour is becoming increasingly industrialised, and is home to our largest international airport. Rapid population growth and increased industrial land use has dramatically altered the coastal landscape, and impacted the adjacent marine environments. Nonetheless, both harbours have retained relatively high levels of biodiversity.
Our research strengths and priorities are: source, fate and consequence of contaminants, nutrients and sediments; bioremediation; and a critical assessment of ecological restoration activities – identifying pathways for future success.
David Aguirre completed an MSc examining abalone population demographics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand before undertaking a PhD investigating the effects of biodiversity on productivity in sessile marine invertebrate communities at The University of Queensland, Australia. He then spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at The University of Queensland researching genetic constrains on the potential for adaptation in marine and terrestrial invertebrates.
David has recently returned to New Zealand to take up a lecturing position at Massey University Albany, New Zealand. He is a New Zealand post-doctoral fellow and his current research interests combine approaches in quantitative genetics and experimental marine ecology to uncover the mechanisms driving the turnover of biodiversity on temperate reefs.