About Tītoki Landcare
We are driven to restore NZ’s unique biodiversity and ecosystems
New Zealand is home to an incredibly unique assemblage of plants, animals, and ecosystems. Over 80% of our native vascular plant species are found nowhere else on earth and the story is similar for our birds, bats, lizards, frogs, and invertebrates. At Tītoki Landcare, we take great pride in, and have enormous passion for, the sustainable management of our natural heritage.
Through the implementation of best practice ecological restoration methods, we aim to restore our unique indigenous ecosystems to resilient and sustainable states.
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Tītoki Landcare was formed in 2021 by Waikato ecologists Adam Purcell and Nathan Smith, when it became evident that there was an opportunity to contribute to ecological restoration across the country.
Together, Adam and Nathan have more than 30 years of experience in ecological restoration and consulting and are eager to use their expertise to restore indigenous biodiversity and natural landscapes.
New Zealand is identified as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, however, the last 200 years have seen more than 97% of many areas of New Zealand cleared of indigenous dominated ecosystems.
Our mission is to reverse this decline and contribute to the restoration of diverse and resilient indigenous-dominated ecosystems through a combination of sound science and best practice ecological restoration.
A healthy environment is critical for healthy communities. We undertake our work under principles of:
- Best practice ecological restoration is a combination of knowledge and action.
- Ecological benefits are optimised by focusing restoration in high-priority areas.
- Restoration is collaborative with iwi, councils, landowners, community groups, and businesses.
Adam Purcell (MSc Hons)
Adam is an Ecologist with seven years of experience in restoration ecology. His background is primarily in terrestrial ecology but he has also worked and studied in the freshwater and marine ecology fields and has a Master of Science degree in wetland ecology.
Adam first got involved with ecological restoration as a student in 2013 when he began volunteering on various community-led restoration projects around Hamilton city. He has since worked as a consultant ecologist for Kessels Ecology and Tonkin + Taylor before
Adam has worked on many ecological restoration and enhancement projects, undertaking the full breadth of tasks required for restoration projects including pre-restoration site assessments, development of restoration plans, funding acquisition, project management, implementation works, ecological monitoring, and community/stakeholder liaising and education.
Nathan Smith (BSc, Cert. 4 Bush Regeneration NSW)
Principal Restoration Ecologist/Director
Nathan has more than 25 years of experience in ecological restoration and consulting.
Nathan moved to New Zealand from his native Sydney in 2016 and has since worked as an ecological consultant, guided by a desire to deliver enhanced biodiversity outcomes, especially for remnant forest stands, throughout the country. Since arriving in Hamilton, he has been heavily involved in Significant Natural Area assessments in various districts, desktop vegetation mapping validation (GIS), Environmental Benefit Lots (EBLs) and Kahikatea Green Wheel assessments (condition assessment methodology used in the Waikato for kahikatea remnants).
Prior to moving to the Waikato, Nathan worked as a restoration ecologist in Australia, including eight years in the bush regeneration industry. From 2003, Nathan was primarily engaged as a consultant developing management plans for mine-site rehabilitation and offset sites. Nathan was an accredited BioBanking Assessor in NSW (biodiversity offset method) and is a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration (Australasian chapter) and the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators.
Bibishan Rai (PhD candidate)
Bibishan is in his third year of a PhD in urban forest restoration at the University of Waikato. He moved to New Zealand in 2019 for his doctoral studies which involves investigating the reassembly of belowground arthropod communities in urban forests undergoing restoration from the pioneering plant stage. Prior to his move to New Zealand, he completed a Master of Science degree in Germany, specializing in wildlife and biodiversity.
Bibishan has participated in several biodiversity and ecological restoration projects in various parts of the world. These include studying freshwater invertebrate diversity in Ireland; pollinator communities, herbivorous arthropod development, and ecological farming in Germany; ecological farming in Finland; and the effect of urbanization in plumage patterns in birds in the Netherlands.
Erin Steed (BSc Tech)
Trainee Restoration Ecologist
Erin recently graduated from the University of Waikato with a BSc (Technology) majoring in Environmental Science, and is currently studying towards a Masters in Environmental Sciences. Her thesis is focused on the role of drone honeybees in varroa mite dispersal between honeybee colonies, and how this can be applied to apiary-wide varroa mite monitoring.
During her time at university, Erin was involved in the Summer Research Scholarship program, undertaking research projects with the Pest Management Team at Scion Research and the Bee Biology and Productivity Team at Plant and Food Research. Additionally, she enjoys tramping and spending time in nature, and has participated in some volunteer pest control work at Pureora Forest. These experiences have fueled a passion for conservation, and she is excited to be taking this further at Tītoki Landcare.