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Dr James Savage
Research Coordinator
Dr James Savage

As the SIT Research Coordinator, James both supports the research activity of staff across SIT and engages in research directly. James’ research area is behavioural ecology and conservation, and he has a particular focus on the reproductive and social behaviours of animals. In Invercargill James works with the Department of Conservation’s Kākāpō Recovery Programme, and he maintains international collaborations with researchers in the UK, France, Netherlands, and USA.


2018: PG Cert Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University College Cork, Ireland 

2014: PhD Behavioural Ecology, University of Cambridge, UK 

2007: BA (Hons) Natural Sciences (Zoology), University of Cambridge, UK


Research Coordinator


Academic Support


Invercargill Main Campus, D2-17

Professional Memberships/ Certifications/ Committees
  • Co-chair of Engaging Researchers with Data Interest Group, Research Data Alliance. 
  • Committee Member, International Consortium of Research Staff Associations.
External Profiles
Selected Research
  • Savage J. L., Crane J. M. S., Kākāpō Recovery Team, Hemmings N. (2021) Low hatching success in the critically endangered kākāpō (Strigops habroptilus) is driven by early embryo mortality not infertility. Animal Conservation.
  • Savage, J. L., Hinde, C. A., & Johnstone, R. A. (Eds.) (2021) Cooperation and Coordination in the Family. Frontiers Media SA.
  • Johnstone R. A. & Savage J. L. (2019) Conditional cooperation and turn-taking in parental care. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7, 335.
  • Clare, C., Cruz, M., Papadopoulou, E., Savage, J. L., Teperek, M., Wang, Y., Witkowska, I., & Yeomans, J. (2019) Engaging Researchers with Data Management: The Cookbook. Open Book Publishers.
  • Engesser S., Crane J. M. S., Savage J. L., Russell A. F. & Townsend S. W. (2015) Experimental Evidence for Phonemic Contrasts in a Nonhuman Vocal System. PLOS Biology 13, e1002171.
External Funding
  • 2021: Birds New Zealand Research Fund: Understanding egg trait variation and viability in kākāpō (Strigops habroptilus).
  • 2019: Natural Environment Research Council Urgency Grant: A unique opportunity to study fertility and maternal investment in the critically endangered kākāpō.
  • 2016: Irish Research Council Ulysses Fund: Seed funding for collaborations between Irish and French research groups.
  • 2016: Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship: Project studying collective intelligence in small passerines.
  • 2014: Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences Junior Research Fellowship.

Course Designer & Lecturer for the Massive Open Online Course ‘Introduction to Animal Behaviour’ (Wageningen University / This course is ranked in the top 25 online science courses of all time by Class Central. 

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