Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Barbara J. Anderson

Barbara J. Anderson
Position: Scientist
Team: Biodiversity and Conservation
Location: Dunedin
Private Bag 1930
Dunedin 9054
Phone: +64 3 470 7206
Fax: +64 3 321 9998

Contact Barbara J.

Research Interests

Research Interests



Research interests:

Participatory Science

I currently lead Ahi Pep | MothNet, a citizen science project that aims to engage teachers, students and whānau with moths, and by doing this, gaining a better understanding of how the ecological world is made up of a network of connections and links. Although the project is focused on moths, participants will learn broadly about ecology, as well as gaining skills and experience of how science itself is conducted and connected to everyday life.

Community Structure

I have a long and continued interest in community structure focusing on trait mediated interactions and patterns in the relative abundances of species. My interests include confronting various theories of community structure with empirical data and robust analyses, e.g. purpose built randomisation tests, and attempting to link patterns to ecological and evolutionary processes.

Modelling species distribution changes

I have had several projects modelling species distribution changes within Britain using different techniques and utilising data from a variety of different sources. Collaborating with government bodies (e.g. Natural England) and NGO’s (e.g. Butterfly Conservation, The British Trust for Ornithology, and The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) has ensured that I am able to use the best data available to ask interesting questions and that the outcomes of my research reach the practitioners and aid conservation work. 

Incorporating Population Dynamics into Modelling Species Distributions

My current research project is integrating dynamic climate change projections with spatially explicit stochastic models to incorporate the effects of dispersal, propagule pressure and population dynamics into species distribution models for projected climate change. This is a very exciting and fast moving area in global change and conservation biology. 

Conservation Prioritization

My current research involves using the conservation prioritization software Zonation to search for win-win, and compromise solutions for biodiversity and ecosystem services. In particular investigating possible trade-offs between biodiversity and carbon-storage. My recent research has used fine resolution British data and large-scale analyses looking for best practice placement of global protected areas and global tradeoffs between carbon-storage and biodiversity (Thomas, Anderson et al. 2013).

Linking Biodiversity and Ecosystem services

My recent research into links between biodiversity, ecosystem services and protected areas has been very well received with my J. Applied Ecology paper (Anderson et al. 2009) being  given a Must Read rating from Faculty 1000 and the Proc. Roy. Soc. B. paper (Eigenbrod et al. 2009) a recommended rating.

Previous Positions Held:

2013-Present: Associate Editor Methods in Ecology and Evolution (IF 5.9

2013-present: Rutherford Discovery Fellow, Landcare Research, New Zealand

2012-2013 Post-Doctoral Researcher. Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change, James Cook University, Australia.

2009-2012 Post-Doctoral Researcher. Department of Biology, University of York, UK.

2007-2009 Post-Doctoral Researcher. Department of Biology, University of York, UK.

2008 Principle Investigator. Department of Biology, University of York, UK.

2004-2007 Post-Doctoral Researcher. Department of Biology, University of York, UK.

2002 Assistant Lecturer, Botany Department, University of Otago.

1999 Research Assistant. Botany Department, University of Otago.

1998 Research Assistant, Botany Department, University of Otago.

1997 Research Assistant. Botany Department, University of Otago.

1995-1996 Research Assistant. Botany Department, University of Otago.


Thomas, C. D., P. K. Gillingham, R. B. Bradbury, D. B. Roy, B. J. Anderson, J. M. Baxter, N. A. D. Bourn, H. Q. P. Crick, R. A. Findon, R. Fox, J. A. Hodgson, A. R. Holt, M. D. Morecroft, N. J. O'Hanlon, T. H. Oliver, J. W. Pearce-Higgins, D. A. Procter, J. A. Thomas, K. J. Walker, C. A. Walmsley, R. J. Wilson, J. K. Hill. (2013). Protected areas facilitate species' range expansions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(35):14063-8.

Smith, S. E., R. D. Gregory, B. J. Anderson, and C. D. Thomas. (2013). The past, present and potential future distributions of cold-adapted bird species. Diversity and Distributions 19:352-362.

Thomas, C. D., B. J. Anderson, A. Moilanen, F. Eigenbrod, A. Heinemeyer, T. Quaife, D. B Roy, S. Gillings, P. R. Armsworth, K. J. Gaston. (2013). Reconciling biodiversity and carbon conservation. Ecology Letters (DOI:10.1111/ele.12054 )

Moilanen, A., B. J. Anderson, A. Arponen, F. M. Pouzols, and C. D. Thomas. (2013). Edge artefacts and lost performance in national versus continental conservation priority areas. Diversity and Distributions 19:171-183.

Reside, AE, VanDerWal, J, Phillips, B, Shoo, LP, Rosauer, DF, Anderson, B.J., Welbergen, J, Moritz, C, Ferrier, S, Harwood, TD, Williams, KJ, Mackey, B, Hugh, S, Williams, SE (2013). Climate change refugia for terrestrial biodiversity: Defining areas that promote species persistence and ecosystem resilience in the face of global climate change, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, pp. 216.

James, C., Vanderwal, J., Capon, S., Hodgson, L., Waltham, N., Ward, D., Anderson, B.J., Pearson, R. (2013). Identifying climate refuges for freshwater biodiversity across Australia   National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, pp. 150.

Anderson, B. J., A. Chiarucci, and M. Williamson. (2012). How differences in plant abundance measures produce different species-abundance distributions. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 3:783-786.

Cash, F. B. J., A. Conn, S. Coutts, M. Stephen, N. W. H. Mason, B. J. Anderson, and J. B. Wilson. (2012). Assembly rules operate only in equilibrium communities: Is it true? Austral Ecology 37:903-914.

Mair, L., C. D. Thomas, B. J. Anderson, R. Fox, M. Botham, and J. K. Hill. (2012). Temporal variation in responses of species to four decades of climate warming. Global Change Biology 18:2439-2447.

Suggitt, A. J., C. Stefanescu, F. Paramo, T. Oliver, B. J. Anderson, J. K. Hill, D. B. Roy, T. Brereton, and C. D. Thomas. (2012). Habitat associations of species show consistent but weak responses to climate. Biology Letters 8:590-593.

Thomas, C. D., J. K. Hill, B. J. Anderson, S. Bailey, C. M. Beale, R. B. Bradbury, C. R. Bulman, H. Q. P. Crick, F. Eigenbrod, H. M. Griffiths, W. E. Kunin, T. H. Oliver, C. A. Walmsley, K. Watts, N. T. Worsfold, and T. Yardley. (2011). A framework for assessing threats and benefits to species responding to climate change. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 2:125-142.

Holland, R.A., Eigenbrod. F., Armsworth, P.R., Anderson, B.J., Thomas, C.D., Gaston, K.J. (2011). The influence of temporal variation on relationships between ecosystem services. Biodiversity and Conservation. 20: 3285–3294 (doi: 10.1007/s10531-011-0113-1)

Moilanen, A., Anderson, B.J., Eigenbrod, F., Heinemeyer, A., Roy, D.B., Gillings, S., Armsworth, P.R., Gaston, K.J., Thomas, C.D. (2011) Balancing alternative land uses with the Zonation conservation prioritization approach. Ecological Applications 21:1419–1426 (doi: 10.1890/10-1865.1)

Oswald, S.A., Huntley, B., Collingham, Y.C., Russell, D.J.F., Anderson, B.J., Arnold, J.M., Furness, R.W., Hamer, K.C. (2011) Evidence for direct effects of climate on distributions of endothermic species Journal of Biogeography 38: 430–438

Hodgson, J.A., Thomas, C.D., Oliver, T.H., Anderson, B.J., Brereton, T.M., Crone, E.E. (2011) Predicting insect phenology across space and time Global Change Biology 17: 1289–1300 (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02308.x)

Holland, R.A., Eigenbrod, F., Armsworth, P.R., Anderson, B.J., Thomas, C.D., Heinemeyer, A., Gillings, S., Roy, D., Gaston, K.J. (2011) Spatial covariation between freshwater & terrestrial ecosystem services. Ecological Applications 21: 2034–2048

Eigenbrod, F., Armsworth, P.R., Anderson, B. J., Heinemeyer, A., Gillings, S., Roy, D.B., Thomas, C.D., Gaston, K.J. (2010) Error propagation associated with benefits transfer based mapping of ecosystem services. Biological Conservation 143: 2487-2493

Eigenbrod, F., Anderson, B.J., Armsworth, P.R., Heinemeyer, A., Gillings, S., Roy, D.B., Thomas, C.D., Gaston, K.J. (2010) Representation of ecosystem services by tiered conservation strategies. Conservation Letters 3: 184–191

Eigenbrod, F., Armsworth, P.R., Anderson, B.J., Heinemeyer, A., S.Gillings, Thomas, C.D., Gaston, K.J. (2010) The impact of data quality on the spatial congruence of ecosystem services. Journal of Applied Ecology. 47: 377–385

Anderson, B.J., & Ohlemüller, R. (2010) Climate change and protected areas: how well do our rare bryophytes fare? In Bryophytes and Climate Change, Eds. Slack, N. & Tuba, Z. Cambridge University Press. Pp 409-425

Anderson, B.J., Armsworth, P.R., Eigenbrod, F., Thomas, C.D., Gillings, S., Heinemeyer, A., Roy, D.B., Gaston, K.J. (2009) Spatial Covariance between biodiversity and other ecosystem service priorities. Journal of Applied Ecology 46: 888–896 (Faculty 1000 – Must Read)

Eigenbrod, F., Anderson, B.J., Armsworth, P.R., Heinemeyer, A., Jackson, S.F., Parnell, M., Thomas, C.D., Gaston, K.J. (2009) Ecosystem service benefits of contrasting conservation strategies in a human-dominated region. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 276: 2903–2911 (doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0528) (Faculty 1000 – Recommended)

Anderson, B.J., Akçakaya, H.R., Araújo, M.B., Fordham, D.A., Martinez-Meyer, E., Thuiller, W., & Brook, B.W. (2009). Dynamics of range margins for metapopulations under climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 276:1415-1420

Carroll, M.J., Anderson, B.J., Brereton, T.M., Knight, S.J., Kudrna, O., Thomas, C.D. (2009) Climate change and translocations: The potential to re-establish two regionally-extinct butterfly species in Britain. Biological Conservation. 142: 2114–2121 (doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2009.04.010)  

Anderson, B.J., Bai, Y., Thomas, C.D. & Oxford, G.S. (2009). Predicting range overlap in two closely-related species of spiders. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 2: 135-141

Anderson, B.J., Arroyo, B.E., Collingham, Y.C., Etheridge, B., Fernandez-de-Simon, J., Gillings, S., Gregory, R.D., Leckie, F.M., Sim, I.M.W., Thomas, C.D., Travis, J., &. Redpath, S.M. (2009). Using distribution models to test alternative hypotheses about a species’ environmental limits and recovery prospects. Biological Conservation 142: 488-499

Franco, A.M.A., Anderson, B.J., Roy, D.B., Gillings, S., Fox, R., Moilanen, A., Thomas, C.D. (2009). Surrogacy and persistence in reserve selection: landscape prioritisation for multiple taxa in Britain. Journal of Applied Ecology 46: 82-91

Thomas, C.D., Ohlemüller, R., Anderson, B.J., Hickler, T., Miller, P.A., Sykes, M.T. & Williams, J. W. (2008). Exporting the ecological effects of climate change. EMBO Reports 9, S1, S28–S33

Ohlemüller, R., Anderson, B.J., Araújo, M.B., Butchart, S.H.M., Kudrna, O., Ridgely, R.S., Thomas, C.D. (2008). The coincidence of climatic and species rarity: high risk to small-range species from climate change. Biology Letters 4: 568-572

Fraser, S.E.M., Dytham, C., Mayhew, P.J., Mouillot, D., Anderson, B.J. (2008). Community structure in ichneumonid parasitoids at different spatial scales. Oecologia 157: 521-530

Anderson, B. J., & Ohlemüller, R. (2008). A preliminary study of the distribution trends of bryophytes under various climate change scenarios with an assessment of the capacity of the SSSI network to provide suitable climate space. Natural England Report SAE03-02-106

Anderson, B.J.; Mouillot, D. (2007). Assembly rules in saltmeadows. Aquatic Biology 1: 195–204

Lawrence Lodge, R.H.E., Anderson, B.J., de Groot, A., Bill, A., McQueen, A.A.M., Steel, J.B., Mistral, M., Mason, N.W.H., Wilson, J.B. (2007). Spatial autocorrelation in plant communities: vegetation texture versus species composition. Ecography 30: 801-811

Early, R.I., Anderson, B.J., Thomas, C.D. (2007). Using habitat distribution models to identify priority landscapes: issues of resolutions and scale. Journal of Applied Ecology 45: 228-238

Ohlemüller, R., Bannister, P., Dickinson, K.J.M., Walker, S., Anderson, B.J. & Wilson, J.B. (2004). Determinants of plant species richness in fragmented indigenous forests: assessing the role of local vs. regional factors. Community Ecology 5: 45-54

Steel, J.B., Wilson, J.B., Anderson, B.J., Lodge, R.H.E. & Tangney, R.S. (2004). Are bryophyte communities different from higher-plant communities?: Abundance relations. Oikos 104: 479-486

Chiarucci, A., Mistral, M., Bonini, I., Anderson, B.J. & Wilson, J.B., (2002). Canopy occupancy: How much of the space in plant communities is filled? Folia Geobotanica 37: 333-338

Wilson, J.B. & Anderson, B.J. (2001). Species-pool relations: a wooden light bulb? Folia Geobotanica 36: 35-44

Lord, J.M., Wilson, J.B., Steel, J.B. & Anderson, B.J. (2000). Community reassembly: a test using limestone grassland in New Zealand.  Ecology Letters 3: 213-218

Mistral, M., Buck, O., Meier-Behrmann, D.C., Burnett, D.A., Barnfield, T.E., Scott, A.J., Anderson, B.J. & Wilson, J.B. (2000). Direct measurement of spatial autocorrelation at the community level in four plant communities. Journal of Vegetation Science 11: 911-916

Wilson, J.B., Steel, J.B., Dodd, M.E., Anderson, B.J., Ullmann, I. & Bannister, P. (2000). A test of community re-assembly using the exotic communities of New Zealand roadsides, in comparison to British roadsides. Journal of Ecology 88: 757-764

Chiarucci, A., Wilson, J.B., Anderson, B.J. & De Dominicis, V. (1999). Cover versus biomass as the estimate of abundance in examining plant community structure: does it make a difference to the conclusions?  Journal of Vegetation Science 10: 35-42



  • Otago
    PhD Botany



  • Botany
  • Ecology
  • Community Ecology
  • Species Responses to Climate Change
  • Species Distribution Modelling
  • Quantitative Ecology
  • Niche Theory
  • GIS Analysis
  • Conservation Prioritization
  • Community Structure