My research interests are plant ecology, especially plant-animal interactions (seed predation, seed dispersal, pollination, herbivory), plant demography and life histories, and conservation biology.
Specific interests include:
- Mast seeding: the description of variable among-year flowering patterns (mast seeding) and inter-species synchrony in New Zealand, the evolutionary benefits of masting, modelling the resource dynamics within plants that create masting (see Masting research group pages)
- Bird-plant mutualisms: the importance and resilience of bird pollination and bird seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora; the regeneration, distribution and conservation of native bird- pollinated and bird-dispersed plants, especially mistletoes (see Mistletoe group pages)
- Effects of herbivory: use of biological control agents for control of thistles; impact of sap-sucking scale insects on photosynthesis of Nothofagus trees
- Mechanisms of plant competition: use of long term monitoring studies and modelling to measure the process of competition among plants
- Conservation biology: demography of rare plants, effects of weeds in reserves, use of bioindicators for habitat quality, impacts of mammalian herbivores.
- Carpenter JK., O’Donnell CFJ., Moltchanova E. and Kelly D. (2019) Long seed dispersal distances by an inquisitive flightless rail (Gallirallus australis) are reduced by interaction with humans. Royal Society Open Science 6(8) http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.190397.
- Bennet DG., Kelly D. and Clemens J. (2018) Food plants and foraging distances for the native bee &ITLasioglossum sordidum&IT in Christchurch Botanic Gardens. NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 42(1): 40-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.20417/nzjecol.42.1.
- Carpenter JK., Kelly D., Moltchanova E. and O'Donnell CFJ. (2018) Introduction of mammalian seed predators and the loss of an endemic flightless bird impair seed dispersal of the New Zealand tree Elaeocarpus dentatus. Ecology and Evolution 8(12): 5992-6004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4157.
- Carpenter JK., Wood JR., Wilmshurst JM. and Kelly D. (2018) An avian seed dispersal paradox: New zealand’s extinct megafaunal birds did not disperse large seeds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285(1877) http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.0352.
- Fraley KM., Warburton HJ., Jellyman PG., Kelly D. and McIntosh AR. (2018) Responsiveness of fish mass–abundance relationships and trophic metrics to flood disturbance, stream size, land cover and predator taxa presence in headwater streams. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 27(4): 999-1014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eff.12410.