Debra Wotton's picture
Dr Debra Wotton
Moa's Ark Research
Director and Principal Ecologist
PO Box 11270, Wellington, 6142
021 2580045

I'm an independent Ecologist and run my own company carrying out ecological research for conservation. My research interests include plant-animal mutualisms (seed dispersal and pollination), limits to plant recruitment, and rare and threatened plants.

Originally from Wellington, I completed my BSc in Botany and Ecology and MSc in Ecology at Victoria University. I then worked as a Biosecurity Scientist for central government, before heading to University of Canterbury in 2004 to do a PhD. My PhD research found that loss of our native kereru (wood pigeon) would dramatically reduce regeneration of large-seeded forest trees, which depend on kereru for dispersal.

Following my PhD, I worked in the Research and Development Group at the Department of Conservation in Wellington (mostly on weeds), before returning to Christchurch in 2010 to undertake a FRST Postdoctoral Fellowship at Landcare Research. For my postdoc I investigated the causes of rarity in NZ native plants. In 2013 I set up my own business - Moa's Ark Research.

I am Newsletter Editor for the NZ Ecological Society, which I have been a member of since 2000, and am also a member of the NZ Plant Conservation Network.

plant ecology, conservation, animal seed dispersal, limits to plant regeneration, rarity, seed ecology, bird ecology, lizard ecology

Publications by Debra Wotton

Wotton, DM, Kelly D. 2012. Do larger frugivores move seeds further? Body size, seed dispersal distance, and a case study of a large, sedentary pigeon.. Journal of Biogeography, Special Issue ‘Seed Dispersal on Islands’ 39(11): 1973–1983
Wotton, DM, Kelly D. 2011. Frugivore loss limits recruitment of large-seeded trees.. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B: Biological Sciences. 278: 3345–3354
Kelly, D, Ladley JJ, Robertson AW, Anderson SH, Wotton DM, Wiser SK. 2010. Mutualisms with the wreckage of an avifauna: the status of bird pollination and fruit-dispersal in New Zealand. . New Zealand Journal of Ecology 34(1): 66–85