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Ian Payton 

Research Associate

Ian Payton

Ian trained as a plant ecologist at the University of Otago between 1968 and 1975. 

After completing his PhD on the effects of fire on high country tussock grasslands he joined the New Zealand Forest Service as a scientist with their high country research division. That changed in 1992 when the Government restructured its science agencies and created what is now known as Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. Over the years his research has focused on the impacts of introduced brushtail possums, deer and other ungulates on native forests, and more recently on the measurement of carbon stocks in New Zealand, several Pacific Islands, and Ecuador. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the National Vegetation Survey databank, which brings together the vegetation survey data from throughout New Zealand.

In his late teens he took over responsibility for the family shell collection which had been started by his mother in the mid-1950s and some years ago was gifted a large land snail collection by his late friend John Marston. Now in his 70s and with no family interested in maintaining these collections he is slowly but steadily adding them to Canterbury Museum’s mollusc collection.

He is also working with a Wellington-based group of small land snail specialists (Dr Frank Climo, Dr Karin Mahlfeld, Mr David Roscoe) on the taxonomy of New Zealand’s Charopid and Punctid land snails, many of which have yet to be formally described.

Away from the research and collections, you will find him growing fruit and vegetables for his family and his local church foodbank, and helping his wife look after some of their 11 grandchildren.

See Researchgate