Harry Thomas, who recently began his Master of Science research project on protein-based pheromones in rats in the Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology, has had research he conducted as an under-graduate accepted for publication.In a 300-level course in Behaviour & Conservation Ecology (BIOL328), Harry and colleagues, designed an experiment to test whether rats were attracted to the dung of native bird species. Grauano from kaka and kiwi donoted by Wellignton Zoo, was applied to some tracking tunnels but not others, placed throughout suburbs around the university. Harry found that rats were more likely to visit tunnels with bird quano such that it is certain that rats use the scent of bird scat to find native bird prey.
The article New Zealand native bird scat (Apteryx and Nestor spp.) prompts investigation by introduced rats. was publsihed on-line in November 2013 and is available here.
Under-graduate research projects are primarily learning opportunities. Only sometimes might they also have the qualities that make them useful contributions as original, publishable research. Moreover, only rarely does a student show the determination and persistence to see resarch through from deign, undertaking, to writing and publication. The Centre congratulates Harry on his acheivmeent.