Joint Graduate School in Biodiversity and Biosecurity


What we do


New Zealand is an acknowledged world leader in conservation practice and in research into biodiversity and biosecurity. This country, and the Pacific region of which it is part, has high levels of endemism in its flora and fauna and has unique ecosystems which are of international interest. Biosecurity is a major and growing concern of the New Zealand government, as reflected in policy and funding decisions. Biological invasion is now recognised as a major threat to native biodiversity, especially in island nations (and other geographically and evolutionarily isolated areas). However, islands are also more likely to respond to successful eradication and border control methods to reduce or remove threats.

Research partners

The CBB brings together researchers at Landcare Research and the University of Auckland, which comprises many of New Zealand’s pre-eminent experts in biosecurity, conservation biology, biodiversity research and the development and application of new molecular technologies to biosecurity and biodiversity issues. In Auckland, Landcare Research holds a number of nationally and internationally significant collections - the NZ arthropod and NZ fungi collections, the National Nematode collection and the International Collection of Micro-organisms from Plants. The University has expertise in animal behaviour, plant ecology, molecular ecology, conservation biology and restoration ecology. It also hosts the Pacific Region of the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature) at its Tāmaki campus.

Innovation

With the presence of Landcare Research on the University’s Tāmaki Campus, the combination of the expertise in the two organisations into the CBB provides new opportunities for synergies to be generated around existing areas of research and a strong platform to exploit new funding opportunities nationally and internationally. Such interactions (including joint supervision of postgraduate students) are leading to novel and innovative approaches in biosecurity, biodiversity and biosystematics research that will significantly enhance the capacity, efficiency and quality of biodiversity management, conservation and biosecurity in New Zealand and internationally.

An example of an existing joint venture of the CBB is the Global Invasive Species Database (managed by University of Auckland staff on behalf of the IUCN and hosted by Landcare Research). This free online database (www.issg.org/database) on the ecology and management of invasive alien species is increasingly recognised as the most significant and authoritative international source of information on such organisms.