Shallow marine ostracod ecology

Leader: Margaret Morley

Ostracoda are microscopic crustacea (sometimes called water-fleas) that mostly live in water and are characterised by the possession of calcified, bivalved shells that when they die are commonly buried by sediment and preserved as fossils. The goal of this programme, involving Margaret Morley and Bruce Hayward, is to document the biodiversity and ecological distribution of the shallow marine and estuarine Ostracoda of New Zealand, particularly the northern North Island. This is a much neglected field of study in New Zealand. The underlying reason for these studies is to be able to use them to help interpret paleoenvironmental changes that have occurred in the coastal marine environment around New Zealand during the Holocene (e.g. human impacts, earthquake displacements, sea-level changes). We have also used of ostracods to compliment foraminifera in some of these human impact and earthquake displacement studies.

Study areas:
a. Intertidal and shallow subtidal zonation, Whangapoua Harbour, Coromandel published, 2006.
b. Impact of increased freshwater runoff, Waitemata Harbour published, 2006.
c. Ecological distribution, Waitemata Harbour published, 2007.
d. Impact of introduced Asian date mussels and chord grass, Raglan Harbour, Firth of Thames, Tamaki Estuary, Mahurangi Harbour, Kaipara Harbour published, 2008.
e. Microfossil record of the Holocene breaching of Auckland maar craters - published, 2009.

f. Ostracod distribution in Big Lagoon, Marlborough and use in paleogeographic history published, 2010.
g. Elevational zonation of ostracods living among coralline-turf on Auckland rocky shores published, 2010.

h. Biodiversity and distribution of modern ostracods in the Hauraki Gulf Published, 2012.

i. Biodiversity and distribution of modern ostracods in Matai Bay, Northland Published, 2014.

j. Biodiversity and distribution of modern ostracods of the Cavalli Islands, Northland Underway, 2014-present.

Publications