Lincoln researcher to help drive pest management step-change

24 September 2021 | News

PhD student Brittany Graham is among the six postgraduate and post-doctoral researchers awarded $2.4 million in Jobs for Nature funding to help efforts to eradicate pests.

The funding has been given by Predator Free 2050 (PF2050)  to researchers at Auckland, Canterbury, Lincoln and Otago universities who are working on topics as diverse as genetics, biocontrol, audio lures, and social licence, with the aim to eradicate possums, stoats and rats from New Zealand by 2050.

PF2050 Ltd Science Director, Dan Tompkins, said despite decades of valuable and dedicated conservation efforts, step-changes were needed to achieve its goals and secure New Zealand’s biodiversity.

“And to achieve those step-changes, New Zealand needs new science talent to drive the cutting-edge research needed,” he said.

“The investments made here will help establish these researchers’ careers, and their skills and accomplishments will be of immense value to New Zealand in the future."

Brittany’s work involves investigating the integration of control tools, such as traps and bait stations, and attractants, such as audio, social and food-based lures, to optimise ground-based pest control.

Brittany is aiming to get a better understanding of all traditional and new control tools used in New Zealand, and then move into the cutting edge of current research on lures.

Predator Free 2050 Limited is a Crown-owned, charitable company established in 2016. It provides co-funding to enable predator control and eradication projects and research.

Read more on the Predator Free 2050 website.