Lydia McLean

Studying towards a PhD in Ecology
Location: Julius von Haast 326
Country of origin: Broad Bay, Dunedin, New Zealand
"Time spent among trees is never time wasted"


Primary Supervisor: Ximena Nelson
Co-Supervisor: Travis Horton

Research Interests

I research aspects of kea behaviour and foraging ecology that are applicable to conservation management. By comparing stable isotopes in kea tissues to potential food sources I can model diet variations between individuals, regions, lead poisoning status and seasons to understand how diet interplays with these variables. I also study aspects of kea behaviour and sensory perception with an aim to understand and mitigate risks during predator control operations.  Alongside my PhD I work in the backcountry catching, banding, tracking and monitoring kea for DOC and the Kea Conservation Trust.

Working thesis title

Understanding behavioural and diettary variatins between populations of endangered kea (Nestor notabilis) for conservation management.

Personal Interests

I came to work with kea because I enjoy spending time outdoors – tramping, mountaineering, backcountry skiing and trail running with my dog.