Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and the environment. In reality, modern ecology is much broader than this, encompassing studies on individuals, species, populations, communities, and ecosystems, and includes behaviour, evolution, physiology, and increasingly molecular biology.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, the study of Ecology is especially important. As a small group of islands separated from larger land masses, Aotearoa's flora and fauna evolved unique characteristics in the absence of mammals. The invasion of Aotearoa by humans and the organisms (including mammals) that they introduced has dramatically altered its ecology, leading to drastic reductions in numbers, or even extinctions, of the original animals and plants.
In addition, global climate change is affecting the ecology of Aotearoa, altering the distribution of both native and introduced organisms.