James is a born and bred Aucklander who discovered the joys of nature in every other corner of New Zealand from a young age, including the beautiful islands of the Hauraki Gulf. James advises and collaborates with ZIP on the scientific aspects of their research on predator ecology and eradication.
He completed his PhD at the University of Auckland studying the invasion ecology of rats on islands, and is now an academic at the same university but remains committed to keeping his hands dirty with fieldwork. He undertook the preliminary studies of mice on subantarctic Antipodes Island for the Million Dollar Mouse eradication project completed in 2016. As well as advising ZIP James also advises Predator Free New Zealand and manages the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge project on high-tech solutions to small mammal pest control – a national collaborative project of New Zealand universities and crown research institutes.
James also maintains a number of international offshore island research havens where he regularly works on helping other countries eradicate introduced mammalian predators from islands. These include places such as Tetiaroa (French Polynesia) and Fernando de Noronha (Brazil).