Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) Biodiversity Researcher Shines

Figure 1: Alivereti Naikatini learns about temperate bird species while visiting his PhD supervisors in South Australia

The Institute of Applied Sciences is proud to report on the research achievements of IAS PhD candidate Alivereti Naikatini, Senior Technician of the South Pacific Herbarium Unit who is currently on study leave. In the first half of 2022, Alivereti has fulfilled his medium-term goals as a researcher by publishing four peer-reviewed articles in international journals. Two of these articles1&2 were directly related to his PhD work on Fiji’s birds and an additional two manuscripts reflect research on bat pollination3 and endangered plant conservation4 via his contribution as a team member with local and overseas colleagues. One of Alivereti’s external supervisors an international recognized bird expert Professor Sonia Kleindorfer of Flinders University in South Australia said, “ working with Alivereti has been a learning experience for us all, as his knowledge of the birds, plants and other animals of Fiji is exceptional”. His other external supervisor, an expert in forest ecology and Pacific biogeography, Associate Professor Gunnar Keppel of the University of South Australia, said that “Alivereti’s work is providing us a first understanding of the ecology and evolution of Fiji’s bird fauna and will remain important for biogeographers and ecologists working in the Pacific for decades“. “Our humble Alivereti is an inspiring role model for his USP colleagues and for all up and coming local scientists in the Pacific region,” said IAS Deputy Director Dr Gilianne Brodie. Dr Brodie and the IAS Family wish him well with the final step of his thesis submission in coming months.

  1. Naikatini, A. N., Keppel, G., Brodie, G., & Kleindorfer, S. (2022). Interspecific competition and vertical niche partitioning in Fiji’s forest birds. Diversity14(3), 223.
  2. Naikatini, A. N., Keppel, G., Brodie, G., & Kleindorfer, S. (2022). Avian diversity and abundance across years: consistent patterns in forests but not grasslands on Viti Levu, Fiji. Pacific Conservation Biology.
  3. Petit, S., Scanlon, A. T., Naikatini, A., Pukala, T., & Schumann, R. (2022). A novel bat pollination system involving obligate flower corolla removal has implications for global DilleniaPlos one17(2), e0262985.
  4. Itaya, A., Miyamori, M., Ehara, H., Naito, H., Rounds, I., Naikatini, A., & Tuiwawa, M. (2022). Modeling future habitats to identify suitable sites for ex situ conservation of the endangered palm Metroxylon vitiense (H. Wendl.) H.Wendl. ex Benth. & Hook. in Fiji. Tropical Ecology, 1-8.

    Figure 2: Fiji’ barking pigeon one of the endemic birds Alivereti Naikatini is studying for his PhD. Photo credits Professor Sonia Kleindorfer.
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