Spencer is currently conducting an integrative analysis of penguin and petrel health down environmental and urbanisation gradients of the Hauraki Gulf. This study will encompass seabirds of differing flight capacity to understand whether birds of differing mobility are equally impacted by the environmental gradient operating in the Hauraki Gulf.
The team wishes to generate a sensitivity analysis of bird stress using a matrix model approach. This will allow identification of the most vulnerable life stages, and from where and when in the Gulf. From this a fuller account can be provided of how environmental change/urbanization affects seabirds and uncover the more subtle responses exhibited by seabirds in response to extrinsic and intrinsic drivers. Moreover, this can also be used to inform marine management plans as to when, and who, will be most affected by inferior environmental conditions, and what steps can be taken to ameliorate this.