My background is in ecology, with expertise in southern ecosystems and seabirds, introduced mice and fisheries.
After completing an MSc at Otago University I worked on a series of South Atlantic and Southern Ocean islands. My work there focused on population dynamics and tracking studies in albatrosses, petrels, prions and penguins, and included research on various aspects of mouse and rat eradication.
Working in the Southern Ocean has provided invaluable opportunities for devising research questions that deliver meaningful results for organisations ranging from the South African National Antarctic Programme and the British Antarctic Survey to Falklands Conservation and Albatross Research.
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 NZ (2004-2006)
PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS HELD
2014-present Doctoral research, University of Otago
My research addresses tracking, provenance and census gaps for White-chinned petrels (Procellaria aequinoctialis). I am producing a population estimate for the Auckland Islands, tracking individuals at sea and assessing the taxonomic status of New Zealand populations.
2016 Seabird biologist on Otago Canyons Survey (voluntary), University of Otago
We conduct 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 Pterodroma pycrofti 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 - present 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 (Diomedea gibsoni), conducted preliminary research on White-chinned petrels (Procellaria aequinoctialis) and retrieved data-loggers from white-headed petrels (Procellaria lessonii).
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. Striated caracara Phalcoboenus australis) 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
Striated caracara (Phalcoboenus australis) winter resource use, tracking and population structure.
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.
Forest & Bird New Zealand (Otago Branch committee member)
Ornithological Society of New Zealand
Association of Polar Early Career Scientists
Otago Institute, Royal Society of New Zealand
World Seabird Union
New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women (Fellow 2015-2016)
2011 – Present (reprints available on request)
- Parker, G.C., Rexer-Huber, K., Thompson, D. (in review) An assessment of the breeding distribution of grey petrels Procellaria cinerea, Campbell Island, New Zealand. Antarctic Science in review
- Rexer-Huber K, Parker GC, Sagar PM, Thompson DR (2016, accepted) White-chinned petrel population estimate, Disappointment Island (Auckland Islands). Polar Biol accepted
- 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., Cuthbert, R.J. (2015) Low population density and biology of an island population of house mice Mus musculus on South Georgia. Polar Biology 10.1007/s00300-015-1831-8.
- 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
- 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.
- Elliot 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.