Mark R. Herse

I am an ecologist and PhD student in Jason Tylianakis's lab at University of Canterbury in Aotearoa/New Zealand. My research interests are in wildlife ecology and conservation, particularly within human-modified landscapes and social-ecological contexts where conservation depends on the engagement of local people. My MSc research assessed landscape-scale habitat associations of declining tallgrass prairie birds in fragmented Kansas (USA) grasslands, and has been used by regional habitat managers to support conservation on private agricultural lands. My PhD assesses the population ecology of a culturally important species, the black swan (kakī anau, Cygnus atratus), and its customary management by the Māori tribe Ngāi Tahu in Aotearoa. This research aims to support Ngāi Tahu-led decision-making during customary harvests, and the development of an adaptive plan for tangata tiaki (environmental guardians) to co-manage waterfowl and wetlands locally with other authorities and interest groups.

Email: mark.herse [at] Curriculum Vitae (last updated 05-10-2020)


  • PhD, Ecology (in progress), University of Canterbury, New Zealand (2017–present; expected completion June 2021). Adviser: Prof. Jason Tylianakis

  • MSc, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Kansas State University (2015–2017). Thesis: "Landscape ecology of two species of declining grassland sparrows" (PDF). Adviser: Assoc. Prof. W. Alice Boyle

  • BSc, Wildlife Ecology and Management, Montana State University (2005–2010)


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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

Submitted manuscripts

  • Herse MR, Tylianakis JM, Scott NJ, Brown D, Cranwell I, Henry J, Pauling C, McIntosh AR, Gormley AM, Lyver PO'B, in revision. Effects of customary egg harvest regimes on hatching success of a culturally important waterfowl species. People and Nature