Kalinka Rexer-Huber

Curriculum Vitae of Kalinka Rexer-Huber

My background is in ecology, with expertise in southern ecosystems and seabirds, introduced mice and fisheries

My PhD tackled conservation of a wide-ranging Southern Ocean species, investigating at-sea range, population size and population genetics in the white-chinned petrel. My field studies on subantarctic Auckland and Campbell Islands are set in the bigger picture of the petrel’s entire circumpolar range.

I have worked on a series of South Atlantic and Southern Ocean islands since my MSc in 2009. My research focus is seabird conservation. I am particularly interested in population dynamics and the year-round movements at sea of albatrosses and petrels. Research efforts contribute to subantarctic island restoration, quantifying various aspects of mouse and rat eradication (home range size, population parameters, baiting densities, non-target species impacts). 

My island-based work is complemented by work with fisheries management organisations, taking a big-data approach to get at the drivers of seabird bycatch and identify bycatch mitigation opportunities. I am also interested in the ecology and management of protected species in production landscapes, focusing on raptors (island farms in the Falkland Islands, plantation forestry in New Zealand).

I enjoy devising research questions that deliver meaningful results for organisations large and small, ranging from government agencies, national science institutes and large NGOs to small conservation organisations and private business.

 


ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

PhD in Zoology – University of Otago, New Zealand (2014-2017) Thesis title: White-chinned petrel distribution, abundance and connectivity have circumpolar conservation implications

Masters of Science in Zoology with Distinction - University of Otago (2007-2009) Thesis title: Freezing frogs: the ecophysiology of winter survival in the Brown tree frog, Litoria ewingii

Bachelor of Science - University of Otago (2004-2006)

PROJECT INVOLVEMENT

2019 Consultant Biologist, Department of Conservation, Adams, Disappointment and Enderby Islands, Auckland Islands

During the 2018-19 summer Parker Conservation conducted a demographic and tracking study of Gibson's wandering albatrosses, a demographic, population and tracking study of white chinned petrels, and continued a demographic study of white-capped albatrosses. We also conducted research to quantify the non-target risk of New Zealand falcons, skua, northern giant petrels and black-backed gulls at the Auckland Islands during a proposed mouse eradication operation.

2016–2018 Consultant Biologist, Otago, New Zealand

Parker Conservation investigated kārearea / NZ falcons inhabiting conifer plantation forests in coastal Otago. Work focused on collecting demographic data to inform the conservation of kārearea in plantation forests, and identification and mitigation of conflict between forestry operations and breeding kārearea.

2018 Consultant Biologist to National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Bounty Islands

Parker Conservation completed a field trip to the Bounty Islands to conduct tracking and demographic research on Salvin’s albatrosses.

2018 Consultant Biologist, Department of Conservation, Adams and Disappointment Islands, Auckland Islands

During the 2017-18 summer Parker Conservation conducted a demographic study of Gibson's wandering albatrosses and continued a demographic study of white-capped albatrosses.

2018 Consultant Biologist, Department of Conservation

Parker Conservation conducted two quantitative reviews examining relationships between commercial inshore fisheries and non–fish protected species bycatch.

2014-2017 PhD Research, University of Otago Zoology Department

My research focused on white-chinned petrels. I tracked the at-sea movements of white-chinned petrels from all island populations, year-round; quantified the population size at Auckland and Campbell Islands, and investigated population-genetic patterns using standard genetic tools as well as cutting-edge genomic techniques.

2017 Consultant Biologist, Department of Conservation, Adams and Disappointment Islands, Auckland Islands

During the 2016-17 summer Parker Conservation conducted a demographic study of Gibson's wandering albatrosses for Albatross Research, trialled two methods to obtain population estimates for light-mantled sooty albatross, continued a demographic, population and tracking study of white chinned petrels, and built on a demographic study of white-capped albatrosses.

2016 Seabird biologist on Otago Canyons Survey (voluntary), University of Otago

We conducted boat-based line transect surveys of seabirds across the Otago Canyons marine area, off the Otago Peninsula.

2015-2016 Seabird biologist, Auckland Islands, Albatross Research, Parker Conservation, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)

I was part of a two-person team conducting a census of Northern giant petrels throughout the Auckland Islands; collecting data as part of a long-term study on Gibsons wandering albatrosses; and developing mark-recapture and tracking studies for white-capped albatrosses.

2015 Field assistant (voluntary), Parker Conservation

Assisted with a study of North Island robins and kokako on Little Barrier Island. 

2015 Burrowing petrel review, Department of Conservation

Reviewed the literature dealing with burrowing petrel population estimates, ran a workshop with seabird researchers, and presented the final review document to stakeholders. 

2015 Seabird translocation (voluntary), Red Mercury Island, Motuora Restoration Trust

Assisted with a translocation of Pycrofts petrel from Red Mercury to Motuora islands, as part of a six-person team. 

2015 Seabird research (voluntary), Auckland and Campbell Islands, NIWA

As part of a three-person team we quantified burrowing petrel populations and established a mark-recapture study of white-capped albatrosses on Disappointment Island. At Campbell Island, a boat-based survey of light-mantled sooty albatrosses was trialled, and we continued GLS tracking on Southern royal albatrosses, obtained band re-sightings from Campbell and grey-headed albatrosses, and surveyed the main and offshore islands for burrowing petrels.

2007-2008 and 2014-2017 Zoology project supervisor, University of Otago

I supervise a range of student research projects in ecology, environmental physiology and zoology.

2013-2014 Seabird research (voluntary), Auckland Islands, Albatross Research and NIWA

I collected data as part of a long-term study on Gibsons wandering albatrosses, conducted preliminary research on white-chinned petrels and retrieved data-loggers from white-headed petrels.

2012-2013 Invasive Species project leader, Falklands Conservation and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Falkland Islands

I used a prioritisation framework to rank islands in the Falklands group for eradication of invasive vertebrate species, with extensive stakeholder consultation. This linked to a larger prioritisation of UK overseas territories islands for invasive vertebrate eradication.

I also led a project testing mouse eradication techniques via bait trials, mark-recapture and monitoring potential non-target species (e.g. the raptor striated caracara) on Steeple Jason.

2011-2013 Scientific assistant, South Georgia, South Georgia Government

I investigated several aspects of rodent eradication: mouse bait uptake trials and mouse distribution, abundance and breeding ecology; rat trapping in glacially-separated areas for DNA analysis; rodent incursion monitoring; and quantifying non-target species mortalities during rat eradication.

I also conducted surveys of albatross, giant petrels, skuas and burrowing petrel colonies, and recorded the first colony of Kerguelen petrels on South Georgia. Finally, I was involved with the pest plant eradication programme at Grytviken.

2012 Seabird ecologist, Falkland Islands, Antarctic Research Trust

Island seabird surveys, quantifying burrow density, training in methods. Post-eradication land-bird monitoring. Tracking southern rockhopper penguins with GPS and temp-depth recorders.

2011 Field volunteer, Falkland Islands, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and Falklands Fisheries Department

Raptor winter resource use, tracking and population structure; focus on striated caracara.

Intertidal predators: habitat use, feeding and breeding ecology of Falklands starfish and crab species.

2009-2011 Senior research technician, Gough Island, RSPB

Seabird and mouse-eradication research on remote Gough Island. Seabird demography, tracking, mouse bait-uptake trials, and captive husbandry of potential non-target passerine and rail species. Also continued pest plant (Sagina procumbens) eradication programme.

Other work from 2000-2009 included field-based biological research in New Zealand's sub-alpine zone and in native and plantation forests. I volunteer on a spectrum of conservation projects, mainly those with a community engagement focus. I have also worked in retail and tourism. 

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

Ornithological Society of New Zealand
Australasian Seabird Group
World Seabird Union
New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women (Fellow 2015-2016)

 

PUBLICATIONS

2011 – Present (reprints available on request)

Scientific papers
  • Rexer-Huber K., Thompson, D.R., Parker, G.C. 2020. White-chinned petrel burrow density, occupancy and population size at the Auckland Islands. Notornis 67 in press
  • Rexer-Huber K., Walker, K., Elliott, G., Baker, G.B., Debski, I., Jensz, K., Sagar, P.M., Thompson, D.R., Parker G.C. 2020. Population trends of light-mantled sooty albatross at Adams Island and trials of ground-, boat- and aerial methods for population estimates. Notornis 67 in press
  • Parker G.C., French R., Muller C.G., Taylor G., Rexer-Huber K. 2019. First northern giant petrel Macronectes halli breeding population survey and estimate, Auckland Islands, New Zealand. Notornis submitted April 2019
  • Elliott, G., Walker, K., Parker G.C., Rexer-Huber K., Miskelly, C.M. 2020. Adams Island and its birdlife. Notornis submitted June 2019
  • Miskelly, C.M., Elliott, G.P., Parker G.C., Rexer-Huber K., Russ, R.B., Taylor, R.H., Tennyson, A.J.D., Walker, K.J. 2020. Birds of the Auckland Islands, New Zealand subantarctic. Notornis 67 in press
  • Walker, K., Elliott, G.P., Rexer-Huber K., Parker G.C., McClelland, P., Sagar, P.M. 2020. Birds of Disappointment Island. Notornis 67 submitted June 2019
  • Dilley B.J., Hedding D.W., Henry D.A.W., Rexer-Huber K., Parker G.C., Schoombie S., Osborne A., Ryan P.G. 2019. Clustered or dispersed: testing the effect of sampling strategy to census burrow-nesting petrels with varied distributions at sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Antarctic Science in press July 2019
  • Harrington, K.J., Pole-Evans, S., Reeves, M., Bechard, M., Bobowski, M., Barber, D.R., Rexer-Huber K., Lecomte, N., Bildstein, K.L. 2018. Seasonal micro-migration in a farm-island population of striated caracaras (Phalcoboenus australis) in the Falkland Islands. Movement Ecology 6: 4.
  • Parker G.C., Rexer-Huber K., Thompson, D. 2017. Grey petrel population on Campbell Island 14 years after rodent eradication. Antarctic Science 29: 209–216.
  • Rexer-Huber K., Parker G.C., Sagar, P.M., Thompson, D.R. 2017. White-chinned petrel population estimate, Disappointment Island (Auckland Islands). Polar Biology 40: 1053–1061.
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Bishop, P.J., Wharton, D.A. (2015) Field ecology of freezing: linking microhabitat use with freezing tolerance in Litoria ewingii. Austral Ecology 40: 933-940.
  • Parker, G.C., Black, A., Rexer-Huber, K., Sommer, E.C., Cuthbert, R.J. 2015. Low population density and biology of an island population of house mice Mus musculus on South Georgia. Polar Biology 39: 1175–1181
  • Laptikhovsky, V., Brickle, P., Söffker, M., Davidson, D., Roux, M., Rexer-Huber, K., Brewin, P.E., Kälkvist, E., Brown, J., Brown, S., Black, A., Anders, N.R., Cartwright, S., Poncet, D., Parker, G. (2015) Life history and population characteristics of the Antarctic starfish, Anasterias antarctica Lütken, 1856 (Asteroidea: Forcipulatida: Asteriidae) around the Falkland Islands. Marine Biology 38: 463-474.
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G. C., Ryan, P. G. and Cuthbert, R. (2014) Burrow occupancy and population size in the Atlantic Petrel: a comparison of methods. Marine Ornithology 37: 137-141.
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G.C., Reeves, M., Stanworth, A.J. and Cuthbert R.J. (2013) Winter ecology of house mice and the prospects for their eradication from Steeple Jason. Polar Biology 36: 1791-1797
  • Cuthbert, R. J., Louw, H., Parker, G., Rexer-Huber, K., Visser, P. (2013) Observations of mice predation on dark-mantled sooty albatross and Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross chicks at Gough Island. Antarctic Science 25: 763-766
  • Black, A., Parker, G., Rexer-Huber, K., Sommer, E. and Cuthbert, R. J. (2013) Kerguelen petrel (Lugensa brevirostris): a 'new' breeding species for South Georgia. Antarctic Science 25: 69-70
  • Rexer-Huber, K. and Bildstein, K. L. (2013) Winter diet of striated caracara Phalcoboenus australis (Aves, Polyborinae) at a farm settlement on the Falkland Islands. Polar Biology 36: 437-443
  • Cuthbert, R. J., Louw, H., Lurling, J., Parker, G., Rexer-Huber, K., Sommer, E., Visser, P. and Ryan, P. G. (2013) Low burrow occupancy and breeding success of burrowing petrels at Gough Island: a consequence of mouse predation. Bird Conservation International 23: 113-124
  • Parker, G. C., Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, K. A., Ryan, P. G., Techow, N. M. S. and Cuthbert, R. J. (2012) Morphometric and genetic sexing in the Gough moorhen Gallinula comeri. Ringing & Migration 27: 20-25
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G. C., Ryan, P. G. and Cuthbert, R. J. (2012) Ringing injuries in the Gough moorhen Gallinula comeri. Ringing & Migration 27: 53–56
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Schofield, J. C. and Bishop, P. J. (2012) Survival blood sampling in small frogs using "keyhole cardiac puncture". Herpetological Review 43: 406–410
  • Cuthbert, R. J., Visser, P., Louw, H., Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G. and Ryan, P. G. (2011) Preparations for the eradication of mice from Gough Island: results of bait acceptance trials above ground and around cave systems. Pp. 47-50 in C. R. Veitch, M. N. Clout and D. R. Towns, ed. Island invasives: Eradication and management. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Bishop, P. J. and Wharton, D. A. (2011) Skin ice nucleators and glycerol in the freezing-tolerant frog Litoria ewingii. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 181: 781–792

Reports
  • Rexer-Huber, K.; Elliott, G.; Thompson, D.; Walker, K.; Parker, G.C. 2019. Seabird populations, demography and tracking: Gibson’s albatross, white-capped albatross and white-chinned petrels in the Auckland Islands 2018–19. Final report to the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation. Dunedin, Parker Conservation

  • Rexer-Huber, K.; Parker, G. 2019. Maukahuka indicator species 2018: Enderby, Rose, French’s, Adams and Disappointment Islands. Final report to DOC Maukahuka. Dunedin, Parker Conservation. 

  • Sagar, P., Charteris, M., Parker, G., Rexer-Huber, K., Thompson, D. 2018. Salvin's albatross: Bounty Islands population project. Final report to the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation, prepared by NIWA. 18 p.

  • Parker, G.C., Rexer-Huber, K. 2019. Characterisation and mitigation of protected species interactions in inshore trawl fisheries. Report to Conservation Services Programme. Parker Conservation, Dunedin. 45 p.

  • Rexer-Huber, K., Thompson, D.R., Parker, G.C. 2018. White-capped albatross mark-recapture study at Disappointment Island, Auckland Islands. Report to the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation. Parker Conservation, Dunedin. 15 p.

  • Rexer-Huber, K. and Parker, G.C. 2019. Characterising discharge management in small-vessel trawl and longline fisheries. Report to Conservation Services Programme. Parker Conservation, Dunedin. 43 p.

  • Elliott, G., Walker, K., Parker, G., Rexer-Huber, K. 2018. Gibson's wandering albatross population study and census 2017/18, June 2018. Report prepared by Albatross Research for the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation. 16p.

  • Parker, G.C., Sagar, P., Thompson, D., Rexer-Huber, K. 2017. The establishment of a marked population of white-capped albatrosses to allow estimation of adult survival and other demographic parameters, Disappointment Island, Auckland Islands. Report to the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation, Wellington. Parker Conservation, Dunedin

  • Parker, G.C., Walker, K., Elliott, G., Baker, G.B., Debski, I., Jensz, K., Sagar, P., Thompson, D., Rexer-Huber, K. 2017. Trial of three methods to obtain population estimates of light-mantled sooty albatross Phoebetria palpebrata at Campbell and Auckland islands, New Zealand. In: Fourth Meeting of the Population and Conservation Status Working Group. Information paper 20. ACAP, Hobart

  • Walker K., Elliott, G., Rexer-Huber K., Parker G. 2017. Gibson's wandering albatross population study and census 2016/17. Report to the Conservation Services Programme, Department of Conservation, Wellington. Albatross Research, Nelson

  • Parker, G.C., Muller, C.G., Rexer-Huber, K. (2016). Northern giant petrel Macronectes halli breeding population survey, Auckland Islands, December 2015 – February 2016. Report prepared by Parker Conservation for the Department of Conservation, Wellington. 16p.
  • Elliott, G., Walker, K., Parker, G., Rexer-Huber, K. (2016). Gibson's wandering albatross census and population study 2015/16. Report prepared by Albatross Research for the Department of Conservation, Wellington. 19p.
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G.C., Thompson, D. (2016). New Zealand White-chinned Petrel population research update. Report to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, Third Meeting of the Population and Conservation Status Working Group. Parker Conservation, Dunedin
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Robertson, B.C. (2015). Phylogenetic affinities of New Zealand white-chinned petrels: questions for conservation management. Draft report prepared by University of Otago for New Zealand Department of Conservation, Wellington
  • Parker, G.C. and Rexer-Huber, K. (2015). Literature review of methods for estimating population size of burrowing petrels based on extrapolations from surveys. Report prepared by Parker Conservation for the Department of Conservation, Wellington. 29p.
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G.C., Sagar, P. and Thompson, D. (2015). White-chinned petrel population estimate, Disappointment Island (Auckland Islands). Report to the Agreement for the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. Parker Conservation, Dunedin
  • Parker, G.C., Rexer-Huber, K., Thompson, D. (2015) An assessment of the breeding distribution of grey petrels Procellaria cinerea, Campbell Island, New Zealand. Report to the Department of Conservation. Parker Conservation, Dunedin 
  • Thompson D., Parker G.C., Rexer-Huber K., Sagar P. (2015). Feasibility of Monitoring White-capped Albatross at Disappointment Island. Report prepared by National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Ltd for Department of Conservation, Conservation Services Programme.
  • Parker, G.C., Rexer-Huber, K., Sagar, P.M. (2015) Trip report to DOC Southland: Disappointment, Adams and Campbell islands. Internal report from Parker Conservation to the Department of Conservation, New Zealand
  • Parker, G.C. and Rexer-Huber, K. (2014) Adams Island trip report. Internal report from Albatross Research to the Department of Conservation, New Zealand.
  • Lee, J., Black, A., Parker, G. and Rexer-Huber, K. (2013) Report on mortality of non-target species following year 1 of Phase 2 of the South Georgia rodent eradication. Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Stanley.
  • Rexer-Huber, K. (2013) Contributing to prioritisation of invasive vertebrate eradications. Falklands Conservation, Stanley.
  • Rexer-Huber, K. (2013) Progress report on the Falkland Islands Biodiversity Database v 7. Falklands Conservation, Stanley.
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G.C., Reeves, M., Stanworth, A. and Cuthbert, R.J. (2012) Baiting trials, winter biology and non-target species: house mice on Steeple Jason August–September 2012. RSPB Research Report No. 51. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sandy, UK. ISBN 978-1-905601-42-4.
  • Cuthbert, R. J., Black, A., Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G. and Sommer, E. (2012) Field trials for the eradication of House Mice from South Georgia. RSPB Research Report No. 48 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sandy, UK. ISBN 978-1-905601-35-6.
  • Rexer-Huber, K., Parker, G. C. and Black, A. (2012) Rat monitoring on the Greene Peninsula: pre-winter wax tag checks. Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Stanley.
  • Black, A., Poncet, S., Wolfaardt, A., Peters, D., Hart, T., Wolfaardt, L., Tasker, M. and Rexer-Huber, K. (2012) Rodent eradication on South Georgia – preparation and evaluation: a summary report of activities during the 2011/2012 field season. Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Stanley.
  • Poncet, S., Passfield, K., Rexer-Huber, K. (2012) Burrowing petrel surveys: Top and Bottom Islands and Tussac Point in Port William and Sophie and Amy Islands in Port Pleasant. Beaver Island LandCare, Stanley.
  • Rexer-Huber, K. and Parker, G. C. (2011) Captive husbandry of the Gough Island bunting and moorhen. RSPB Research Report 42. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sandy, UK.