Stephen Pawson



Dr Stephen Pawson (Steve) is a forest entomologist with a strong interest in protecting natural biodiversity. He has specialises in the interaction between plantation management, landscape ecology and invertebrate biodiversity. Steve also supports industry efforts to develop quarantine methods that maintain market access for export wood products.


  • PhD (Zoology), University of Canterbury - 2006
  • M. Appl. Sc (1st class Hon.), Lincoln University - 2002
  • B.Sc (Conservation and Biology), Lincoln University - 2000
  • B.PRTM, Lincoln University - 1999

Research capabilities

  • Forest Entomology
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Conservation biology
  • Quarantine and market access for export wood products
  • Forest health
  • Impacts of invasive species

Career highlights

  • Research Leader - Entomology, Scion 2011-present
  • STIMBR-PGP research programme on quarantine and market access 2011-present
  • IUFRO 8.02.02 (Forest biodiversity and resilience), Working Party Coordinator, 2010-present.
  • TRANZFOR Fellow 2009-2011, research exchange to France.

Selected papers

Pawson, S. M., and M. K.-F. Bader. 2014. LED lighting increases the ecological impact of light pollution irrespective of colour temperature. Ecological Applications 24:1561-1568.

Pawson, S. M., N. Williams, I. Gear, and J. W. Armstrong. 2014. Reducing biosecurity business risks for logs and timber. New Zealand Journal of Forestry 59:36-42.

Pawson, S. M., A. Brin, E. G. Brockerhoff, D. Lamb, T. W. Payn, A. Paquette, and J. Parrotta. 2013. Plantation forests, climate change and biodiversity Biodiversity and Conservation 22:1203-1227.

Webster, C. R., Flaspohler, D. J., Pawson, S. M. and Brockerhoff, E. B. (In Press) Ecologically sustainable bioenergy communities: Species selection and habitat considerations.

Pawson, S. M., Brockerhoff, E. G., Watt, M. S. and Didham, R. K. (2011) Maximising biodiversity in plantation forests: insights from long-term changes in clearfell-sensitive beetles in a Pinus radiata plantation.Biological Conservation, 144, 2842-2850.DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.08.001

Pawson, S. M., Ecroyd, C. E., Seaton, R., Shaw, W. B. and Brockerhoff, E. G. (2010) New Zealand’s exotic plantation forests as habitats for threatened indigenous species  New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 34, 342-355.

Pawson, S. M., McCarthy, J., Ledgard, N. J. and Didham, R. K. (2010) Density-dependent impacts of exotic conifer invasion on grassland invertebrate assemblage. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47, 1053-1062.

McCarthy, J.K., Hood, I. A., Brockerhoff, E. G., Carlson, C., Pawson, S. M., Forward, M., Walbert, K. and Gardner, J. F., 2010. Predicting sapstain and degrade in fallen trees following storm damage in a Pinus radiata forest. Forest Ecology and Management 260: 1456-1466

Brockerhoff, E.G., Jactel, H., Carnus, J.M. and Pawson, S.M. (2010) The role of forest biodiversity in the sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services, In K. Okabe and I. Thompson (eds) Proceedings, International Symposium for the Convention on Biological Diversity - The role of biodiversity in the sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services in agro-forestry, fisheries, and forestry. Tokyo, Japan, April 26-28, 2010, pp. 62-70.

Pawson, S. M., Brockerhoff, E. G. and Didham, R. K. (2009) Native forest generalists dominate carabid assemblages along a stand-age chronosequence in an exotic Pinus radiata plantation. Forest Ecology and Management, 258S, S108-S116.

Pawson, S. M. and Watt, M. S. (2009) An experimental test of a visual-based push-pull strategy for control of wood boring phytosanitary pests. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 11, 239-245.

Pawson, S. M., Watt, M. S. and Brockerhoff, E. G. (2009) Using differential responses to light spectra as a monitoring and control tool for Arhopalus ferus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and other exotic wood boring pests.Journal of Economic Entomology, 102, 79-85.

Brockerhoff, E. G., Shaw, W.B., Hock, B., Kimberley, M., Paul, T., Quinn, J., and Pawson, S.M. (2008). Re-examination of recent loss of indigenous cover in New Zealand and the relative contributions of different land uses. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 32, 115-126.

Pawson, S.M., Brockerhoff, E.G., Meenken, E.D. and Didham, R.K. (2008) Non-native plantation forests as alternative habitat for native forest beetles in a heavily modified landscape, Biodiversity and Conservation, 17, 1127-1148.

Pawson, S.M. and Armstrong, K.F. (2007) A morphological and molecular comparison of island and mainland populations of Megadromus speciosus (Coleoptera: Carabidae) from the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist, 30, 13-24.

Pawson, S.M., Brockerhoff, E.G., Didham, R.K. and Norton, D.A. (2006) Clearfell harvest impacts on biodiversity: Past research and the search for size thresholds. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 36, 1035-1046.

Pawson, S.M., Emberson, R.M., Armstrong, K.F and Paterson, A.M. (2003) Phylogenetic revision of the endemic New Zealand carabids genus Oregus Putzeys 1868 (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Broscini).  Invertebrate Systematics 17 625-640.