Position: Professor, Field: Marine Ecology, Organisation: Department of Marine Science, University of Otago.

Professor Stephen Wing is based in the Department of Marine Science at the University of Otago in Dunedin. He is part of 2 research groups working on fiord systems and larval ecology. His research focuses on food web structure, population structures of fish and invertebrates, conservation biology of marine systems, and Fiordland and Southern Ocean ecosystems.

From a young age, growing up in the USA, Steve was fascinated by living things and how they interact with each other. As a result, he decided to major in biology and ecology at university. After completing his PhD at the University of California-Davis, Steve did a postdoctoral fellowship and was then offered a job at the University of Otago. Over the past 12 years, Steve has focused on marine ecology projects in Fiordland, Stewart Island, Antarctica and Otago.

Scientific research offers an occupation where you can explore the natural world.

Steve really enjoys the variety that his job offers. He gets to spend a lot of time out in the field scuba diving, working on research boats and collecting information on fish, invertebrates and algae in the marine environment. He also teaches about marine ecology, fisheries, oceanography, invertebrate and vertebrate biology, and subtidal ecology. He helps to organise the ecology research programme at the university and supervises numerous postgraduate student research projects.

Steve’s job also involves service to the community in terms of reviewing journal articles and grant applications and helping to interpret science for managers and the public.

Steve is able to combine one of his favourite hobbies – underwater photography – with his work. His other interests include wood carving, furniture making, organic gardening and restoration of native forest. He’s also a keen runner and tramper.

Useful link

Professor Stephen Wing is the Project Leader on a research project 'Forensic Food Webs' for the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge. The project is looking at ecosystem connectivity to inform ecosystem based management. Learn more about this and other research projects for this National Science Challenge in the digital publication, Sustainable Seas Research Book 2017.

This article is based on information current in 2009.

    Published 8 October 2009, Updated 11 May 2017