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Birds New Zealand Research Fund (BNZRF)

This important national research fund is managed by our Executive Officer on behalf of T/GEAR, a New Zealand Charitable Trust.

© Les Feasy
© Maggie Evans
© Alan Tennyson

The BNZRF provides financial assistance, mainly for logistics and purchase of equipment and consumables. Wages or time will not be supported. Funding ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 may be awarded. Fund payments will be retrospective and for a 12 month period only. For smaller projects, refer to the Projects Assistance Fund.

Who can apply?

Applications will be accepted from individuals, students, researchers within universities, or organisations prepared to make a difference through ornithological research, with outcomes likely to provide for better management of New Zealand birds or their environment. The applicant has to be a current member of Birds New Zealand, living in New Zealand, and the project carried out in New Zealand or its outlying islands (e.g. Kermadecs).

How and when to apply?

Applications open 1 April and close 15 June.
Download the criteria and application form here.
Applications must be on the application form provided, and submitted as a single pdf file.

Please note:  Birds New Zealand is calling for applications for the Birds NZ Research Fund in good faith. If Covid-19 circumstances require, the Society will either cancel the application round, or suspend consideration of any applications received, or seek confirmation that the research can be delivered in the context of Government restrictions in place at that time.

Preference will be given to projects that:

Kiwi

Involve research into native species.

search

Involve research with a measurable outcome and a commitment to have results published

Light_bulb

Involve people learning as well as being involved

reading

Demonstrate intent to publish at least part of the funded work in the society’s journal Notornis

Chart

Lead to results that will clearly be of benefit to the conservation of New Zealand birds

Education

Involve research on “Preferred Student Research Topics” (for student research projects)

Current and previously funded projects:

2021

Brown kiwi sex role reversal
(Caitlin McLead, MSc Student, Massey University PMR)
Overview

Forest bird foraging
(Liam McAuliffe, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview

Grey-faced petrel restoration
(Michael Fox, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview

Grey-faced petrel stress physiology 
(Maira Fessardi, MSc Student, University of Auckland)
Overview

Kakapo egg trait variation
(Dr James Savage, Individual)
Overview

Kakapo portable sequencing
(Marissa Le Lec, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview

Kakariki evolutionary history
(Dr Nic Rawlence, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview

NZ Storm petrel
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview 

Petrel deaths and anatomy
(Agustina Dominguez, Birdcare Aotearoa and Ariel Heswall, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview

Red knot satellite tracking
(Dr Phil Battley, Massey University PMR)
Overview

Seabird foraging and isotopes
(Edin Whitehead, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview

Virus host jumping
(Dr Benjamin Perry, University of Otago)
Overview

2020

Banded rail habitat use
(Jacques de Satge, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview Summary article

Diving petrel recruitment
(Johannes Fischer, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview Summary article Published paper

Kakapo and takahe genomics
(Lara Urban, University of Otago)
Overview Summary article

Kiwi monitoring methods
(Emma Feenstra, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview Summary article

Kokako phylogeography
(Dr Rodrigo Salvador, Te Papa)
Not proceeding due to issues with DNA extractions and Covid delays.

Little penguin foraging
(Inger Perkins, WCPT)
Overview Summary article

Little penguin tracking
(Kerry Lukies, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview Summary article

Little shearwater foraging and breeding
(Edin Whitehead, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview Summary article

NZ Falcon habitat use
(Dr Rachael Sagar, DOC + Parker Conservation)
Not going ahead this year

NZ Storm petrel
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview Summary article

Sooty shearwater decline
(Dr Brendon Dunphy, University of Auckland)
OverviewDelayed due to lockdown

Tawaki breeding and stoats
(Inger Perkins, WCPT)
Overview Summary article

2019

Banded rail habitat use
(Jacques de Satge, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Bar-tailed godwit satellite tracking
(Dr. Phil Battley, Massey University Palmerston North)
Overview     Summary article

Brown kiwi gut biome
(Dr. Manpreet Dhami, Landcare Research)
Overview     Summary article

Diving petrel translocation
(Johannes Fischer, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article

Diving petrel diet and trophics
(Grace Tocker, MSc Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland crested penguin (tawaki) habitat use
(Dr. Thomas Mattern, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Fluttering shearwater health
(Edin Whitehead, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Kiwi monitoring methods
(Emma Feenstra, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Rifleman dialects
(Ines Moran, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Spotted shag foraging biology
(Dr. Matt Rayner, Auckland Museum)
Overview     Summary article

Tieke song, personality, parasites
(Dr. Isabel Castro, Massey University)
Overview     Summary article

White-fronted tern survey
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview     Summary article

2018

Brown kiwi: Pair stability using eggshell DNA extraction
(David Vieco, PhD Student, Massey University PMR )
Overview     Summary article

Capacity of restored forests to support native birds
(Elizabeth Elliot-Hogg, PhD Student, University of Waikato)
Overview     Summary article

Database of known penguin colonies in NZ
(Kerry-Jayne Wilson)
Overview     Summary article

Distribution of coccidia in kiwi
(Sarah Coker, PhD Student, Massey University PMR)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland penguins (tawaki): Population monitoring
(Thomas Mattern, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Influence of sugar-feeders on birds in gardens
(Daria Erastova, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Kiwi: Comparison of monitoring methods
(Emma Feenstra, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

New Zealand Storm Petrel: Conservation Genomics (Andrew Veale, Unitec Auckland)
NOT GONE AHEAD

Response of avian feeding ecology to human changes
(Barbara Tomotani, Te Papa)
Overview     Summary article

Seabird surveys of predator-free islands in Northland
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview     Summary article

Takahe: Spatially Explicit Modelling of reintroduction
(James Hunter, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Tui pollination of flax: a microbial perspective
(Manpreet Dhami, Landcare Research)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguins: Post fledging dispersal
(Melanie Young, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguins: Diet of YEP on Auckland I
(Chris Muller, PhD Student, Massey University PMR)
Overview     Summary article

2017

Acoustic automatic ID of species and acoustic indices
(Ivan Campos, PhD Student, Auckland University)
Overview     Summary article

Australasian stilts: Genetics and evol. history
(Natalie Forsdick, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Bird calls analysis – Citizen science project
(Victor Anton, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article

Buller’s shearwater: Population and breeding biology
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview     Summary article

Chatham Island Taiko: Conservation genetics
(Jacqui Tizard, MSc Student, Auckland University)
Overview     Summary article

Crested penguins: Genetic diversity
(Theresa Cole, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland crested penguins: Foraging
(Jeffrey White, MSc Student, Marshall University)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland penguins: Habitat+environment
(Thomas Mattern, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Great spotted kiwi: Distribution+relative abundance
(Robin & Sandy Toy)
Overview     Summary article

Grey ducks: Plumage variation
(Murray Williams)
Overview     Summary article

Hihi: Foraging and ecological restoration
(Caitlin Andrews, PhD Student, University of Cambridge UK)
Overview     Summary article

Robins: Cognitive ability+gen. diversity
(Archie MacFarlane, PhD Student, Canterbury University)
Overview     Summary article

South Georgian diving petrel: conservation
(Johannes Fischer, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article Publ. Animal ConservationPubl. Community Ecology

Weka: Effectiveness as seed dispersers
(Jo Carpenter, PhD Student, University of Canterbury)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguins: Dispersal study fledglings
(Melanie Young, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Media Release     Summary article

2016

Brown skua: Variation in resource use+movement
(Hendrik Schultz, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview    Summary article    Published paper

Buller’s shearwater biology on Poor Knights Islands
(James Ross, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview     Poor Knight’s secrets revealed    
Summary article

Coccidia in kiwi creches  
(Harry Taylor, MSc Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Diving petrel: Foraging behaviour
(Brendon Dunphy, MSc Student, Auckland University)
Overview     Summary article

Falcon: Baseline population data
(Graham Parker)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland crested penguin: Marine ecology
(Thomas Mattern, Otago University)
Overview     Summary article

Gannet: Diet and predator/prey interaction
(Nigel Adams, Auckland Unitec)
Overview     Summary article

Mottled petrel: Impact of translocation on chicks
(Rachael Sagar, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article     Published paper

Kakapo: Palaeoecology and ancient DNA
(Alexander Boast, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Northern Kermadec seabirds
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
NOT GONE AHEAD DUE TO ACCESS ISSUES.

Recolonisation by native bush birds
(Elizabeth Elliot-Hogg, PhD Student, University of Waikato)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguin: Foraging and nest study
(Mel Young, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguin: Fledgling dispersal
(Bryony Alden, Hon. Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguin: Impacts of tourism on Enderby Island
(Rebecca French, MSc Student, Massey University PMR)
Overview     Summary article 

2015

Australasian bittern:  Seasonal movements
(Emma Williams)
Overview     Summary article

Black-backed gulls:  Ecology
(Mel Galbraith, Unitec Auckland).
NOT GONE AHEAD

Black-billed gulls:  Disturbance and predation
(Claudia Mischler)
Overview     Summary article

Brown skua:  Habitat use and foraging
(Hendrik Schultz, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland penguin:  Marine ecology
(Thomas Mattern, University of Otago)
Overview     Article 2015/16 Field Season  

Hihi:  Inbreeding and male fertility
(Dr Helen Taylor, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article     

Mottled petrels:  Ecology and restoration
(Rachael Sagar, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Red-crowned parakeet:  Dispersal in Zealandia
(Ellen Irwin, MSc Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article     

South Georgian diving petrels
(Johannes Fischer, MSc Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article    Published paper (2017)    Published paper (2018)

2014

Black-billed gull productivity and movement
(Claudia Mischler)
Overview     Summary article

Expanding indigenous habitats in East Otago
(Rhys Millar/Landscape Connections Trust)
Overview     Summary article 

Hutton’s shearwater foraging areas and behaviours
(Della Bennet/Univ. of Canterbury Foundation)
Overview     Summary article

North Island brown kiwi genetics+community engagement 
(D Acebes+I Castro, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article    Report Nga Kaitiaki o Ipipiri

Parasites in bird faecal samples
(Dr Bronwen Presswell, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Tracking shining cuckoos  (Richard Holdaway, HSB Group)
Overview     Summary article

2013

HANZAB digitization for NZ Birds Online
(Colin Miskelly, Te Papa)
Summary article

Movements of Hutton’s shearwater
(Lindsay Rowe, Hutton’s S.C. Trust)
Summary article

Transfer of albatross to Chatham Islands
(Mike Bell, Taiko Trust)
Summary article

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

Brown kiwi sex role reversal
(Caitlin McLead, MSc Student, Massey University PMR)
Overview

Forest bird foraging
(Liam McAuliffe, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview

Grey-faced petrel restoration
(Michael Fox, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview

Grey-faced petrel stress physiology 
(Maira Fessardi, MSc Student, University of Auckland)
Overview

Kakapo egg trait variation
(Dr James Savage, Individual)
Overview

Kakapo portable sequencing
(Marissa Le Lec, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview

Kakariki evolutionary history
(Dr Nic Rawlence, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview

NZ Storm petrel
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview 

Petrel deaths and anatomy
(Agustina Dominguez, Birdcare Aotearoa and Ariel Heswall, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview

Red knot satellite tracking
(Dr Phil Battley, Massey University PMR)
Overview

Seabird foraging and isotopes
(Edin Whitehead, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview

Virus host jumping
(Dr Benjamin Perry, University of Otago)
Overview

Banded rail habitat use
(Jacques de Satge, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview Summary article

Diving petrel recruitment
(Johannes Fischer, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview Summary article Published paper

Kakapo and takahe genomics
(Lara Urban, University of Otago)
Overview Summary article

Kiwi monitoring methods
(Emma Feenstra, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview Summary article

Kokako phylogeography
(Dr Rodrigo Salvador, Te Papa)
Not proceeding due to issues with DNA extractions and Covid delays.

Little penguin foraging
(Inger Perkins, WCPT)
Overview Summary article

Little penguin tracking
(Kerry Lukies, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview Summary article

Little shearwater foraging and breeding
(Edin Whitehead, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview Summary article

NZ Falcon habitat use
(Dr Rachael Sagar, DOC + Parker Conservation)
Not going ahead this year

NZ Storm petrel
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview Summary article

Sooty shearwater decline
(Dr Brendon Dunphy, University of Auckland)
OverviewDelayed due to lockdown

Tawaki breeding and stoats
(Inger Perkins, WCPT)
Overview Summary article

Banded rail habitat use
(Jacques de Satge, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Bar-tailed godwit satellite tracking
(Dr. Phil Battley, Massey University Palmerston North)
Overview     Summary article

Brown kiwi gut biome
(Dr. Manpreet Dhami, Landcare Research)
Overview     Summary article

Diving petrel translocation
(Johannes Fischer, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article

Diving petrel diet and trophics
(Grace Tocker, MSc Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland crested penguin (tawaki) habitat use
(Dr. Thomas Mattern, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Fluttering shearwater health
(Edin Whitehead, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Kiwi monitoring methods
(Emma Feenstra, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Rifleman dialects
(Ines Moran, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Spotted shag foraging biology
(Dr. Matt Rayner, Auckland Museum)
Overview     Summary article

Tieke song, personality, parasites
(Dr. Isabel Castro, Massey University)
Overview     Summary article

White-fronted tern survey
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview     Summary article

Brown kiwi: Pair stability using eggshell DNA extraction
(David Vieco, PhD Student, Massey University PMR )
Overview     Summary article

Capacity of restored forests to support native birds
(Elizabeth Elliot-Hogg, PhD Student, University of Waikato)
Overview     Summary article

Database of known penguin colonies in NZ
(Kerry-Jayne Wilson)
Overview     Summary article

Distribution of coccidia in kiwi
(Sarah Coker, PhD Student, Massey University PMR)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland penguins (tawaki): Population monitoring
(Thomas Mattern, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Influence of sugar-feeders on birds in gardens
(Daria Erastova, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Kiwi: Comparison of monitoring methods
(Emma Feenstra, PhD Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

New Zealand Storm Petrel: Conservation Genomics (Andrew Veale, Unitec Auckland)
NOT GONE AHEAD

Response of avian feeding ecology to human changes
(Barbara Tomotani, Te Papa)
Overview     Summary article

Seabird surveys of predator-free islands in Northland
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview     Summary article

Takahe: Spatially Explicit Modelling of reintroduction
(James Hunter, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Tui pollination of flax: a microbial perspective
(Manpreet Dhami, Landcare Research)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguins: Post fledging dispersal
(Melanie Young, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguins: Diet of YEP on Auckland I
(Chris Muller, PhD Student, Massey University PMR)
Overview     Summary article

Acoustic automatic ID of species and acoustic indices
(Ivan Campos, PhD Student, Auckland University)
Overview     Summary article

Australasian stilts: Genetics and evol. history
(Natalie Forsdick, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Bird calls analysis – Citizen science project
(Victor Anton, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article

Buller’s shearwater: Population and breeding biology
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview     Summary article

Chatham Island Taiko: Conservation genetics
(Jacqui Tizard, MSc Student, Auckland University)
Overview     Summary article

Crested penguins: Genetic diversity
(Theresa Cole, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland crested penguins: Foraging
(Jeffrey White, MSc Student, Marshall University)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland penguins: Habitat+environment
(Thomas Mattern, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Great spotted kiwi: Distribution+relative abundance
(Robin & Sandy Toy)
Overview     Summary article

Grey ducks: Plumage variation
(Murray Williams)
Overview     Summary article

Hihi: Foraging and ecological restoration
(Caitlin Andrews, PhD Student, University of Cambridge UK)
Overview     Summary article

Robins: Cognitive ability+gen. diversity
(Archie MacFarlane, PhD Student, Canterbury University)
Overview     Summary article

South Georgian diving petrel: conservation
(Johannes Fischer, PhD Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article Publ. Animal ConservationPubl. Community Ecology

Weka: Effectiveness as seed dispersers
(Jo Carpenter, PhD Student, University of Canterbury)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguins: Dispersal study fledglings
(Melanie Young, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Media Release     Summary article

Brown skua: Variation in resource use+movement
(Hendrik Schultz, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview    Summary article    Published paper

Buller’s shearwater biology on Poor Knights Islands
(James Ross, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
Overview     Poor Knight’s secrets revealed    
Summary article

Coccidia in kiwi creches  
(Harry Taylor, MSc Student, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Diving petrel: Foraging behaviour
(Brendon Dunphy, MSc Student, Auckland University)
Overview     Summary article

Falcon: Baseline population data
(Graham Parker)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland crested penguin: Marine ecology
(Thomas Mattern, Otago University)
Overview     Summary article

Gannet: Diet and predator/prey interaction
(Nigel Adams, Auckland Unitec)
Overview     Summary article

Mottled petrel: Impact of translocation on chicks
(Rachael Sagar, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article     Published paper

Kakapo: Palaeoecology and ancient DNA
(Alexander Boast, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Northern Kermadec seabirds
(Chris Gaskin, Northern NZ Seabird Charitable Trust)
NOT GONE AHEAD DUE TO ACCESS ISSUES.

Recolonisation by native bush birds
(Elizabeth Elliot-Hogg, PhD Student, University of Waikato)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguin: Foraging and nest study
(Mel Young, PhD Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguin: Fledgling dispersal
(Bryony Alden, Hon. Student, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Yellow-eyed penguin: Impacts of tourism on Enderby Island
(Rebecca French, MSc Student, Massey University PMR)
Overview     Summary article 

Australasian bittern:  Seasonal movements
(Emma Williams)
Overview     Summary article

Black-backed gulls:  Ecology
(Mel Galbraith, Unitec Auckland).
NOT GONE AHEAD

Black-billed gulls:  Disturbance and predation
(Claudia Mischler)
Overview     Summary article

Brown skua:  Habitat use and foraging
(Hendrik Schultz, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Fiordland penguin:  Marine ecology
(Thomas Mattern, University of Otago)
Overview     Article 2015/16 Field Season  

Hihi:  Inbreeding and male fertility
(Dr Helen Taylor, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article     

Mottled petrels:  Ecology and restoration
(Rachael Sagar, PhD Student, University of Auckland)
Overview     Summary article

Red-crowned parakeet:  Dispersal in Zealandia
(Ellen Irwin, MSc Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article     

South Georgian diving petrels
(Johannes Fischer, MSc Student, Victoria University)
Overview     Summary article    Published paper (2017)    Published paper (2018)

Black-billed gull productivity and movement
(Claudia Mischler)
Overview     Summary article

Expanding indigenous habitats in East Otago
(Rhys Millar/Landscape Connections Trust)
Overview     Summary article 

Hutton’s shearwater foraging areas and behaviours
(Della Bennet/Univ. of Canterbury Foundation)
Overview     Summary article

North Island brown kiwi genetics+community engagement 
(D Acebes+I Castro, Massey University Auckland)
Overview     Summary article    Report Nga Kaitiaki o Ipipiri

Parasites in bird faecal samples
(Dr Bronwen Presswell, University of Otago)
Overview     Summary article

Tracking shining cuckoos  (Richard Holdaway, HSB Group)
Overview     Summary article

HANZAB digitization for NZ Birds Online
(Colin Miskelly, Te Papa)
Summary article

Movements of Hutton’s shearwater
(Lindsay Rowe, Hutton’s S.C. Trust)
Summary article

Transfer of albatross to Chatham Islands
(Mike Bell, Taiko Trust)
Summary article