Dr. John G Ewen
- Chair of Hihi Recovery Group, Department of Conservation, New Zealand
- Honorary Senior Research Associate, University College London (UCL)
- Member IUCN SSC Reintroduction Specialist Group
- Research Fellow at the Institute of Zoology
- 2007-2012 Research Councils United Kingdom Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology
- 2004-2007 Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology
- 2002-2004 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
- 1998-2002 PHD Ecology, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
- 1995-1998 MSC Ecology (1st class honours), Massey University, New Zealand
- 1992-1994 BSC Zoology, Massey University, New Zealand.
My research group largely works on the ecology and conservation of small populations. Much of my own work has focussed on New Zealand (where I am originally from) and I use this isolated landmass to study the impacts of anthropogenic extinction drivers and then human assisted recovery of threatened bird species. A major focus of species conservation globally is reintroduction, and I have recently co-edited the first theory-focused text on reintroduction biology (1). My work on small population biology includes analyses of population demography (2), inbreeding and genetic drift (3,4), the needs for targeted and relevant population monitoring (5,6), and increasingly using structured decision analytic approaches to help make better management decisions (7). Understanding contemporary extinction drivers has naturally led to a focus on parasites and disease. My research has quantified population level impacts on rare hosts from novel disease emergence (8), and has quantified fitness costs of ectoparasites and the nutritional requirements of hosts to offset these costs (9). As reintroduction biology involves the movement of hosts and their parasites there is an urgent need to develop tools for disease risk assessment and management and I continue to make contributions in this area (10). Recently my attention has focussed on a group of parasites collectively known as avian malaria, investigating how avian malaria has co-established with one of the world’s most invasive host bird species (11), and studying the traits of exotic avian malaria now established in New Zealand (12). I have also maintained a strong interest in the evolution of animal signals and continue to explore evolutionary questions related to integument colouration (13,14,15).
1) Ewen, J.G. et al. (2012). Reintroduction Biology: Integrating Science and Management. Wiley-Blackwell; 2) Ewen, J.G. (2011) J. Anim. Ecol. 80, 448-455; 3) Brekke, P. et al. (2010) Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 277, 3677-3684; 4) Brekke, P. et al. (2011) Molecular Ecology 20, 29-45; 5) Sutherland, W.J. et al. (2010) Conservation Letters 3, 229-235; 6) Ewen & Armstrong (2007) Ecoscience 14, 401-409; 7) Ewen, J.G. et al. (2014) Conservation Biology (in press); 8) Ewen, J.G. et al. (2007) J. Emerging Infectious Diseases 13, 788-790; 9) Ewen, et al. (2009) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106, 12798-12802; 10) Ewen, et al. & Sainsbury et al. (2012) chapters 9 and 10 in Reintroduction Biology: Integrating Science and Management. Wiley-Blackwell; 11) Marzal, A. et al. (2011) PLoS ONE 6, e21905; 12) Ewen et al. (2012) Ecology Letters 15, 1112-1119; 13) Cassey, P. et al. Meth. Ecol. Evol 3: 450-456; 14) Thorogood, R. et al. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 278: 2638-2645; 15) Walker, L. et al. (2013) Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 280: 20122852.
Hihi Conservation and Ecology Project
Hihi are an endemic and threatened passerine of New Zealand. The primary focus of hihi conservation is the establishment of populations through reintroduction and their subsequent supportive management. I lead this project through the IOZ with strong collaborations at many institutions (UK, NZ and elsewhere). We have been working with the species for many years and have a range of unique and long term data sets. Hihi make an ideal model system to study many of the challenges reintroduction biology faces and you can find out much more about this project by visiting hihiconservation.com
Guest editor Animal Conservation: Herpetofauna reintroductions
- Ewen, J.G., Armstrong, D.P., Parker, K. & Seddon, P. (Editors)(2012). Reintroduction Biology: integrating science and management. Blackwell Publishing.
Recent Representative Papers
- Ewen, J.G., Walker, L. Canessa, S. & Groombridge, J.J. (2014) Improving supplementary feeding in species conservation. Conservation Biology (in press)
- Ewen, J.G., Soorae, P.S. & Canessa, S. (2014) Reintroduction objectives, decisions and outcomes: global perspectives from the herpetofauna. Animal Conservation (in press)
- Walker, L., Ewen, J.G., Brekke, P. & Kilner, R.M. (2014) Sexually selected dichromatism in the hihi Notiomystis cincta: multiple colours for multiple receivers. Journal of Evolutionary Biology DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12417
- Walker, L., Thorogood, R., Karadas, F., Raubenheimer, D., Kilner, R. & Ewen, J.G. (2014) Foraging for carotenoids; do colourful male hihi target carotenoid-rich foods in the wild? Behavioural Ecology DOI: 10.1093/beheco/aru076
- Seddon, P., Moehrenshlager, A. & Ewen, J.G. (2014) Reintroducing Resurrected Species: Selecting DeExtinction Candidates. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 29: 140-147 (with cover image).
- Armstrong, D.P & Ewen, J.G. (2013) Consistency, continuity and creativity: long-term studies of population dynamics on Tiritiri Matangi Island. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 37: 288-297.
- Ewen, J.G., Adams, L. & Renwick, R. (2013) New Zealand species recovery groups and their role in evidence-based conservation. Journal of Applied Ecology 50: 281-285.
- Chauvenet, A.L.M., Ewen, J.G., Armstrong, D.P. & Pettorelli, N. (2013) Saving the hihi under climate change: a case for assisted colonization. Journal of Applied Ecology 50: 1330-1340.
- Walker, L.K., Stevens, M., Karadas, F., Kilner, R.M. & Ewen, J.G. (2013) A window on the past: male ornamental plumage reveals the quality of their early life environment. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 280: 20122852
- Walker, L.K., Armstrong, D.P., Brekke, P., Chauvenet, A.L.M., Kilner, R.M. & Ewen, J.G. (2013) Giving hihi a helping hand: assessment of alternative rearing diets in food supplemented populations of an endangered bird. Animal Conservation 16: 538-545
- Brekke, P., Cassey, P., Ariani, C. & Ewen, J.G. (2013) Evolution of extreme-mating behaviour: patterns of extrapair paternity in a species with forced extrapair copulation. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67: 963-972
- Ewen, J.G., Bensch, S., Blackburn, T.M., Bonneaud, C., Brown, R., Cassey, P., Clarke, R. & Pérez-Tris, J. (2012) Establishment of exotic parasites: The origins and characteristics of an avian malaria community in an isolated island avifauna. Ecology Letters 15: 1112-1119
- Chauvenet, A.L.M., Ewen, J.G., Armstrong, D.P., Coulson, T., Blackburn, T.M., Adams, L., Walker, L.K. & Pettorelli, N. (2012) Does supplemental feeding affect the viability of translocated populations? The example of the hihi. Animal Conservation 15: 337-350