Passive samplers for lamprey population assessment
In an ongoing collaboration with Dr Cindy Baker (NIWA), Dr Mike Stewart has developed methods based around Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Samplers (POCIS) (passive samplers) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) for the detection of a lamprey-specific pheromone in New Zealand streams. A pheromone is a chemical substance produced and released into the environment by an animal, affecting the behaviour or physiology of others of its species. The method we have developed is being used to estimate resident lamprey larval populations in streams, which could be used as a baseline in restoration strategies to enhance this taonga species. To date, the methodology has been utilised by Auckland Council, Department of Conservation, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Horizons Regional Council, Hawkes Bay Regional Council and Gisborne District Council.