- Current students
- Under 25s
School of Environmental and Animal Sciences
Fellow of the Linnean Society of London
Society for Research on Amphibians and Reptiles New Zealand
Ornithological Society of New Zealand
New Zealand Ecological Society
New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women
IUCN Reintroduction Specialist Group
IUCN Skink Specialist Group
I conducted my MSc thesis on the habitat use, behaviour and population genetics of the chevron skink (Oligosoma homalonotum) at the University of Auckland, under the supervision of Graham Ussher, Dianne Brunton and Dianne Gleeson. Recently I completed a PhD investigating the function of colour variation of the shore skinks (Oligosoma smithi) at Massey University (Auckland), under the supervision of James Dale, Dianne Brunton and Devi Stuart-Fox. In between acquiring these two degrees I worked as a project coordinator for the Pacific Invasives Initiative, a research technician at Massey University, consultant ecologist/ herpetologist for Auckland Council and various consultant companies, and a research associate at the University of Auckland investigating the genetic relationship between fairy terns (Sternula nereis spp) in New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia. I have also volunteered my time (as an advisor and for fieldwork) for various research and community projects including avian and reptile translocations in New Zealand, Malaysia, Australia, Mexico, and Galapagos Islands. Currently, I am a research scientist at the Applied Molecular Solutions Research Centre (Tuapapa Rangahau).
Reptile ecology, animal colouration and wildlife translocation. My current projects:
- Effect of diet supplementation on vitamin D synthesis of lizards
- Testing the feasibility of identifying reptile species using eDNA from tracking tunnel
- Disease-screening of native lizards using molecular techniques
- IAQ Research Team (Assoc Prof Terri-Ann Berry, PI): Effect of home ventilation systems on indoor air quality.
- Dr Luis Ortiz Catedral & Harry Sollis (Massey University): Colouration in Galapagos snakes.
- Dr An Pas (Auckland Zoo): Prevalence and clinical relevance of Cryptosporidium infections in native reptiles in New Zealand.
Potential short project for NSCI7732 Negotiated Research students:
- Tatahi skink (Oligosoma sp) survey in the Auckland Region (collaboration with Auckland Council)
NSCI7732 Negotiated Research students that I supervise:
- Furat Jawad: Testing the feasibility of identifying reptile species using eDNA from tracking tunnels: a pilot study
- Holly Goodman: Behavioural response of native frogs to predator scent (collaboration with Auckland Zoo)
- Holly Barker: Investigating the husbandry practices of captive reptiles: cases of metabolic bone disease and other common illnesses
- Marcel Kerrigan: Investigating arboreal behaviour in Chesterfield skinks (collaboration with Auckland Zoo)
- Warren Anne Fajardo: Diversity of endoparasites in exotic herpetofauna (collaboration with Bioresearches)
Pauline Raphanaud (MSc Wildlife Management and Conservation, Czech University of Life Sciences): Investigating the use of AI-based image identification to monitor wild cryptic lizards
(Supervisor: Francisco Ceacero Herrador)
- Richelle Butcher (MSc Veterinary Science, Massey University): Pathogen prevalence and diversity in native and invasive New Zealand lizards (Supervisor: Brett Gartrell; Co-supervisor: Kate McInnes DOC)
- Tilde Sorenson (MSc, The University of Auckland): Interspecific competition, population density and detectability of the plague skink (Lampropholis delicata) in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand (Supervisor: James Russell; Co-supervisor: Rod Hitchmough DOC)
Recent publications (last 5 years):
Baling, M., & Mitchell, C. (2021). Prevalence of Salmonella spp. in translocated wild reptiles and effect of duration of quarantine on their body condition. New Zealand Veterinary Journal (Vol. 69 (3)).
Hernandez, G., Low, J., Wallis, S., Birchmore, R., Ramirez-Prado, G., de Groot, C., Gremillion, H., Lee-Morgan, J., Blanchon, D., Baling, M., Doyle, E., & Berry, T. (2020). The development of a transdisciplinary team to investigate indoor air quality issues in New Zealand. Unitec Research Symposium, Mount Albert Campus, Unitec.
Baling, M., Stuart-Fox, D., & Dale, J. (2017). Camouflage in heterogeneous environments: an experimental test of the effect of prey colour and pattern complexity. 17th biennial conference of the Society for Research on Amphibians and Reptiles in New Zealand, Whangarei Heads.
Baling, M., Stuart-Fox, D., Brunton, D.H., & Dale, J. (2016). Habitat suitability for conservation translocation: the importance of considering camouflage in cryptic species. Biological Conservation (Vol. 203).
Parker, K.A., Adams, L., Baling, M., Kemp, L., Kuchling, G., Lloyd, B., Ruffell, J., Stringer, I., Watts, C., & Dickens, M.J. (2015). Practical guidelines for planning and implementing fauna translocations. Armstrong, D.G., Hayward, M.W., Moro, D. & Seddon, P.J. Melbourne, Australia (Vol. 1).
Baling, M., van Winkel, D., Rixon, M., Ruffell, J., Ji, W., & Ussher, G. (2013). A review of reptile research and conservation management on Tiritiri Matangi Island. New Zealand Journal of Ecology (Vol. 37).
Baling, M., Gartrell, B., Ji, W., & Brunton, D.H. (2013). Detection of Salmonella during translocation of two endemic New Zealand lizard species within the Hauraki Gulf. New Zealand Journal of Zoology (Vol. 40).
van Winkel, D., Baling, M., Barry, M., Ji, W., & Brunton, D. (2010). Translocation of Duvaucel's geckos to Tiritiri Matangi and Motuora Islands, Hauraki Gulf, as part of island ecological restoration initiatives. Soorae, P.S. Abu Dhabi.
Baling, M. (2003). The habitat use, behaviour and population genetic structure of the chevron skink (Oligosoma homalonotum) from Great Barrier Island. The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.