Dr Anne C. Gaskett

Lecturer - Behavioural Ecology

Lecturer - Behavioural Ecology

Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour

Phone: +64 9 3737599 x89509
Thomas Building extension - Room 110N-1020
Email: a.gaskett@auckland.ac.nz

Research Interests

1. Pollination by sexual deception in orchids

Diverse and enigmatic, orchids and their pollinators make fascinating research subjects. I investigate how orchids lure insects into acting as pollinators, and how deception by orchids affects pollinator behaviour and ecology. The orchids of New Zealand and Australia are renowned for their wide range of unusual pollination systems involving sexual, food and brood-site deception and I use a range of experimental field and laboratory techniques to understand the evolution of mimicry, sensory exploitation and other forms of pollinator deception. A youtube clip about my orchid research.


2. Moss ecology and animal behaviour

Surprisingly, several mosses employ insects and other arthropods in their reproduction. Studying these ancient moss lineages gives insight into the early origins of complex plant-animal interactions, and crucially, how ecological networks can survive in a changing world.


3. Plant-animal interactions, chemical ecology, colour, signaling & mimicry

I am also interested or working on many other types of plant-animal interactions especially those involving scents, behavioural manipulation, or ancient groups such as basal angiosperms. Please contact me for further details of potential student projects or collaborations.


I coordinate BIOSCI 323: Plant Diversity, and lecture in behavioural ecology in BIOSCI 104: NZ Ecology & Conservation, BIOSCI 207: Adaptive Design, and postgraduate BIOSCI 735: Advanced Behavioural Ecology. I aim to create a welcoming, inspiring, and intellectually challenging teaching environment.

Selected Recent Publications

Kaczorowski R, Seliger A, Gaskett A, Wigsten S, Raguso R. (2012). Corolla shape vs. size in flower choice by a nocturnal hawkmoth pollinator’. Functional Ecology 26(3): 577-587.

Gaskett, AC (2012). Floral shape mimicry and variation in sexually deceptive orchids with a shared pollinator. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106: 469–481.

Gaskett AC (2011). Orchid pollination by sexual deception: pollinator perspectives. Biological Reviews. 33-75. 2011.

M E Herberstein, J M Schneider, A M Harmer, Gaskett AC, K Robinson, K Shaddick, D Soetkamp, P D Wilson, S Pekar, M A Elgar (2011). Sperm storage and copulation duration in a sexually cannibalistic spider. Journal of Ethology 29: 1. 9-15.

Gaskett AC & Herberstein ME (2010). Colour mimicry and sexual deception by Tongue orchids (Cryptostylis). Naturwissenschaften 97(1): 97-102.

Gaskett AC, Winnick CG & Herberstein ME (2008). Orchid sexual deceit provokes ejaculation. American Naturalist 171(6): E206-E212.

Gaskett AC (2007). Spider sex pheromones: emission, reception, function & structures. Biological Reviews 82: 27-48.

Gaskett AC, Conti E & Schiestl FP (2005). Variation in floral odour & heterostyly in two species of Primula. Journal of Chemical Ecology 31(5): 1223-1228.

Herberstein ME, Gaskett AC, Schneider JM, Vella NGF, Elgar MA (2005). Limits to male copulation frequency: Sexual cannibalism & sterility in St Andrews Cross spiders (Araneae, Araneidae). Ethology 111: 1050-1061.

Gaskett AC, Downes B, Herberstein ME & Elgar MA (2005). Changes in male mate choice in a sexually cannibalistic orb-web spider (Araneae: Araneidae). Behaviour. 141: 1197-1210.