Dr Christopher G Longson (Chris)
PhD in Ecology. 2008, Macquarie University. Evolutionary dynamics of invasive Cane Toad populations: population ecology, theoretical aspects of animal defence and feeding, morphometric analysis, husbandry and rearing of juvenile toads.
BSc(Hons) in Zoology (first class). 2001, Victoria University of Wellington. Effects of incubation temperature on gross morphology and asymmetry of Egg-Laying Skinks. Image-based morphometric analysis, growth and survival analyses, husbandry and rearing of native lizards. Graduate-level papers in zoology, marine ecology, evolution.
BSc in Zoology and Ecology. 2000, Victoria University of Wellington. Papers in vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, marine and terrestrial ecology, conservation biology, genetics and biochemistry.
General zoology, both vertebrate and invertebrate.
Invasive species ecology.
Morphometrics, from direct measurements and by image analysis.
Written and oral communications, including web design.
Teaching: In 2007 I was the head tutor for BIOL 373, Temperate Marine Ecology, responsible for planning and running lab sessions and field trips, and assessing student work. I have also taught at 200-level for courses on general zoology, New Zealand biogeography and general ecology, and at 100-level for introductory zoology and cell biology. I have given guest lectures to a 400-level invasion biology course, a 300-level zoology course, and to a graduate bio-statistics and informatics seminar series.
Research: I was a research fellow at the University of Auckland from 2008 to 2009, working in collaboration with Dr Greg Holwell on the ecology and evolution of chemical defences in millipedes.
I worked as a research assistant for Dr Jane Williamson (Macquarie University) on a fixed term project starting in early 2007; my role was to obtain preliminary data about the impact of elevated CO2 levels on larval development in sea urchins. I also assisted graduate students in the lab with planning and carrying out projects.
I also worked for Dr Phil Lester (Victoria University) on a fixed-term contract in early 2002; this project involved a large sampling programme for ant species in crop plants across the upper North Island, and the preparation of a report for a government department.
Writing and editing: I was the editor of SRARNZ Notes, the newsletter of the Society for Research on Amphibians and Reptiles in New Zealand, from 2002 to 2005. I have extensive experience proof-reading and editing scientific literature, as well as less technical writing. My own writing spans a range of topics and I hold myself to a high standard on clarity and freedom from errors.
Web design: During late 2007 I designed both the content and database back-end of an online phenology project to be carried out in collaboration with NSW schools.
I also maintained the website of the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University from 2006 to 2007, including keeping databases up to date and scripting dynamic content.
In peer reviewed journals
C G Longson, K M Hare and C H Daugherty, 2007; Fluctuating asymmetry does not reflect environmental stress during incubation in an oviparous lizard. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 34, 91–96.
C G Longson and J M P Joss, 2006; Optimal toxicity in animals: predicting the optimal level of chemical defenses. Functional Ecology 20(4), 731–735.
K M Hare, C G Longson, S Pledger and C H Daugherty, 2004; Size, growth and survival are reduced at cool incubation temperatures in the temperate lizard Oligosoma suteri (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Copeia 2004(2), 383–390.
P J Lester, C W Baring, C G Longson and S Hartley, 2003; Argentine and other ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in New Zealand horticultural ecosystems: distribution, hemipteran hosts, and review. New Zealand Entomologist 26, 79–89.
P J Lester and C G Longson, 2002; Argentine ant distribution investigation: Horticultural areas. Report prepared for MAF Biosecurity Authority, Wellington. 57 pages.
C G Longson, 2008; Understanding shifts in defensive traits of the invasive toad Bufo marinus. PhD thesis, Macquarie University. 108 pages.
C G Longson, 2001; Stress, symmetry and success in the egg-laying skink, Oligosoma suteri. BSc(Hons) thesis, Victoria University of Wellington. 67 pages.
Papers presented to conferences
C Longson and G Holwell, 2008; The evolutionary ecology of chemical defenses. Oral presentation at the conference of the New Zealand Entomological Society, Auckland, New Zealand.
C Longson and J M P Joss, 2006; Understanding evolutionary changes in invasive species: density effects in the Australian cane toad. Oral presentation at the joint conference of the Australian and New Zealand Ecological Societies, Wellington, New Zealand.
C G Longson, J M P Joss and M Westoby, 2005; Understanding defensive toxicity. Oral presentation at the conference of the Australasian Evolution Society, Fremantle, Australia.
C Longson, J M P Joss and M Westoby, 2005; Plastic fantastic: developmental plasticity as an ecological mechanism for adaptation. Oral presentation at the joint conference of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, the Society for Research on Amphibians and Reptiles in New Zealand, and the Fijian Herpetological Society, Springbrook, Australia.
C G Longson, J M P Joss and M Westoby, 2004; When is enough too much? Optimal toxicity in prey species. Poster presented at the conference of the Ecological Society of Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
C Longson, J M P Joss and M Westoby, 2004; Baldwin and bufotoxins: Cane toads as a model system for phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary constraints on toxicity. Oral presentation at the conference of the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour, Adelaide, Australia.
C Longson, K M Hare and C H Daugherty, 2003; Fluctuating asymmetry and stress in the egg-laying skink, Oligosoma suteri. Oral presentation at the conference of the Society for Research on Amphibians and Reptiles in New Zealand, Whakatane, New Zealand.