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Dr Marleen Baling

Researcher
School of Environmental and Animal Sciences
Location: 115-1040 or 113-3004

Professional memberships

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

Profile

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 fellow at the Applied Molecular Solutions Research Centre (Tuapapa Rangahau).

Research Interests:

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

Collaboration projects:

  • 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)

Supervision:

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)

Co-supervisor:

  • 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):

Peer-reviewed articles:

  • Chapple DG, Roll U, Böhm M, Aguilar R, Amey AP, Austin CC, Baling M, Barley AJ, Bates MF, Bauer AM, Blackburn DG, Bowles P, Brown RM, Chandramouli SR, Chirio L, Cogger H, Colli GR, Conradie W, Couper PJ, Cowan MA, Craig MD, Das I, Datta-Roy A, Dickman CR, Ellis RJ, Fenner AL, Ford S, Ganesh SR, Garnder MG, Geissler P, Gillespie GR, Glaw F, Greenlees MJ, Griffith OW, Grismer LL, Haines ML, Harris DJ, Hedges SB, Hitchmough RA, Hoskin CJ, Hutchinson MN, Ineich I, Janssen J, Johnston GR, Karin BR, Keogh JS, Kraus F, LeBreton M, Lymberakis P, Masroor R, McDonald PJ, Mecke S, Melville J, Melzer S, Michael DR, Miralles A, Mitchell NJ, Nelson NJ, Nguyen TQ, de Campos Nogueira C, Ota H, Pafilis P, Pauwels OSG, Perera A, Pincheira-Donoso D, Reed RN, Ribeiro-Júnior MA, Riley JL, Rocha S, Rutherford PL, Sadlier RA, Shacham B, Shea GM, Shine R, Slavenko A, Stow A, Sumner J, Tallowin OJS, Teale R, Torres-Carvajal O, Trape J-F, Uetz P, Ukuwela KDB, Valentine L, Van Dyke JU, van Winkel D, Vasconcelos R, Vences M, Wagner P, Wapstra E, While GM, Whiting MJ, Whittington CM, Wilson S, Ziegler T, Tingley R, and Meiri S (2021). Conservation status of the world’s skinks (Scincidae): taxonomic and geographic patterns in extinction risk. Biological Conservation. 257: 109101. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109101
  • Baling M & Mitchell C (2021). Salmonella prevalence and body condition during quarantine of wild reptiles during several translocations to an island. New Zealand Veterinary Journal. 69 (3):174-179. DOI: 10.1080/00480169.2021.1890647
  • Baling M, Stuart-Fox D, Brunton DH & Dale J (2020). Spatial and temporal variation in prey colour patterns for background-matching across a continuous heterogeneous environment. Ecology and Evolution. 10(5): 2310–2319. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.6024
  • Baling M, Stuart-Fox D, Brunton DH & Dale J (2016). Habitat suitability for conservation translocation: the importance of considering camouflage in cryptic species. Biological Conservation 203: 298–305. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.10.002
  • Books/book chapters:

  • van Winkel D, Baling M & Hitchmough R 2018. Reptile and amphibians of New Zealand: a field guide. Auckland University Press, Auckland. 376 pp. Whitley Book Awards 2019
  • Parker KA, Adams L, Baling M, Kemp L, Kuchling G, Lloyd B, Ruffell J, Stringer I, Watts C & Dickens MJ 2015. Practical guidelines for planning and implementing fauna translocations. In (eds: Armstrong DG, Hayward MW, Moro D, Seddon PJ): Advances in re-introduction biology of Australian and New Zealand fauna. CSIRO Press, Melbourne. p 255–271. Whitley Book Awards 2015
  •  

    Publications

    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)).

    Raphanaud, P., Baling, M., & Ceacero, F. (2021). Investigating the use of AI-based image identification to monitor wild cryptic lizards. SRARNZ conference 2021, Auckland.

    Butcher, R., Baling, M., Gartrell, B., & McInnes, K. (2021). Pathogen prevalence and diversity in native and invasive New Zealand lizards. SRARNZ conference 2021, Auckland.

    Kerrigan, M., McFarlane, D., Gibson, R., & Baling, M. (2021). Investigating arboreal behaviour in Chesterfield skinks. SRARNZ conference 2021, Auckland.

    Fajardo, W. A., Naden, K., van Winkel, D., & Baling, M. (2021). Diversity of endoparasites in exotic herpetofauna. SRARNZ conference 2021, Auckland.

    Goodman, H., McFarlane, D., Gibson, R., & Baling, M. (2021). Behavioural response of Archey's frogs to predator scent. SRARNZ conference 2021, Auckland.

    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., & Wairepo, J. (2020). Rapid assessment of eradication success of an invasive lizard. World Congress of Herpetology 9, Dunedin.

    van Winkel, D., Baling, M., & Hitchmough, R. (2018). Reptiles and Amphibians of New Zealand: A Field Guide. Auckland, New Zealand, Auckland Uni Press (Vol. 1).

    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. (2017). Functional significance of highly variable colouration in the shore skink (Oligosoma smithi). Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.

    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).

    Baling, M. (2015). Woodworthia maculata (common gecko). Leucism. Herpetological Review (Vol. 41).

    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., & Nagle, B. (2013). Island biosecurity training Samoa, March 2010. Conservation International Pacific Islands Program, Apia, Samoa.

    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).

    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., & Nagle, B. (2013). Island biosecurity training Fiji, June 2010. Conservation International Pacific Islands Program, Apia, Samoa.

    Barre, N., Baling, M., Boutellier, A., Bachy, P., Chartendrault, V., & Spaggiari, J. (2012). Survey of fairy tern (Sterna nereis exsul) in New Caledonia. Marine Ornithology (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., Wedding, C., Barry, M., Ji, W., & Brunton, D.H. (2010). Re-introduction of shore skinks to offshore islands in the Auckland region, New Zealand. Soorae, P.S. Abu Dhabi.

    Baling, M., Jeffries, D., & Brunton, D.H. (2009). A survey of fairy tern (Sterna nereis) breeding colonies in the Southern Lagoon, New Caledonia. Emu (Vol. 109).

    Baling, M. (2008). Species at risk: Conservation of the fairy tern (Sternula nereis spp.) via subspecies level management. Endangered Species Update (Vol. 25).

    Baling, M., Brunton, D.H., & Jeffries, D. (2008). Marine and coastal bird survey of islands in the Southern Lagoon, New Caledonia. Notornis (Vol. 55).

    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.