Mark R. Herse

I'm a postdoctoral researcher in the Conservation Ecology Group at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand. My research aims to support equitable community-led environmental conservation, with a focus on wildlife management. I'm currently working in partnership with local communities, Mekong Community Institute, and Living River Association to support community-led management of critically endangered turtles and riverine ecosystems in northern Thailand. This work builds upon several grassroots initiatives (e.g., Boon Rueang Wetland Forest Conservation Group) to protect local ecosystems, livelihoods, and cultural heritage from administrative plans to expropriate and use traditional community lands for industrial purposes.

Previously, I completed my PhD in Ecology at University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand. My PhD was part of a multidisciplinary cross-cultural project to support customary wetland management by the Ngāi Tahu tribe of Māori (Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa). I used a series of collaborative field studies and modelling to provide tangata tiaki (Ngāi Tahu environmental guardians) with new information about the population ecology and harvest responses of a culturally important waterfowl species, kakī anau (black swan). The results of this work are being used alongside existing knowledge to support tangata tiaki in their efforts to reinstitute customary management and revitalize cultural practices, including harvests of kakī anau eggs. I'll continue contributing to this project as a research associate of Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research through at least 2023.

Email: markr.herse [at]

Academic training

  • PhD, Ecology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (2017–2021). Thesis: "Population ecology and harvest responses of kakī anau (black swan, Cygnus atratus) in Aotearoa New Zealand: A study to support customary management by Ngāi Tahu." (Adviser: Jason M. Tylianakis)

  • MSc, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA (2015–2017). Thesis: "Landscape ecology of two species of declining grassland sparrow." (Adviser: W. Alice Boyle)

  • BSc, Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA (2005–2010)

Positions (post-PhD)

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok, Thailand (2022present)

  • Research Associate, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand (2022present)


  • 11. Herse MR, Lyver POB, Gormley AM, Scott NJ, McIntosh AR, Fletcher D, Tylianakis JM. (in press). A demographic model to support customary management of a culturally important waterfowl species. Ecology and Society

  • 10. Tylianakis JM, Herse MR, Malinen SK, Lyver POB. 2021. Pandemic prevention should not victimize Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. Conservation Letters 14: e12813 (open access)

  • 9. Herse MR, Tylianakis JM, Scott NJ, Brown D, Cranwell I, Henry J, Pauling C, McIntosh AR, Gormley AM, Lyver POB. 2021. Effects of customary egg harvest regimes on hatching success of a culturally important waterfowl species. People and Nature 3: 499512 (open access)

  • 8. Herse MR, With KA, Boyle WA. 2020. Grassland fragmentation affects declining tallgrass prairie birds most where large amounts of grassland remain. Landscape Ecology 35: 2791–2804

  • 7. Herse MR, Lyver PO'B, Scott NJ, McIntosh AR, Coats SC, Gormley AM, Tylianakis JM. 2020. Engaging Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Environmental Management Could Alleviate Scale Mismatches in Social-Ecological Systems. BioScience 70: 699-707

  • 6. Lyver PO'B, Ruru J, Scott NJ, Tylianakis JM, Arnold J, Malinen SK, Bataille CY, Herse MR, Jones CJ, Gormley AM, Peltzer DA, Taura Y, Timoti P, Stone C, Wilcox M, Moller HM. 2019. Building biocultural approaches into Aotearoa-New Zealand's conservation future. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 49: 394–411 (open access)

  • 5. Herse MR, With KA, Boyle WA. 2018. The importance of core habitat for a threatened species in changing landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology 55: 2241-2252

  • 4. Herse MR, Estey ME, Moore PJ, Sandercock BK, Boyle WA. 2017. Landscape context drives breeding habitat selection by an enigmatic grassland songbird. Landscape Ecology 32: 2351−2364

  • 3. Herse MR. 2016. Diet and behavior of extralimital Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugea) in tallgrass prairie. Southwestern Naturalist 61: 341−348

  • 2. Winder VL, Herse MR, Hunt LM, Gregory AJ, McNew LB, Sandercock BK. 2016. Patterns of nest attendance by female Greater Prairie-Chickens in northcentral Kansas. Journal of Ornithology 157: 733−745

  • 1. Herse MR, Ray JM. 2014. A review and correction of data on a poorly known leaf litter snake, Trimetopon slevini (Dunn 1940), from Panama, including additional data on defensive behaviours. Herpetology Notes 7: 359−361 (open access)