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Links to your school programme

This seminar links to NCEA Level 3 Achievement Standards:

  • AS 90716 Describe animal behaviour and plant responses in relation to environmental factors

About the presenters

Professor Walker, of the Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour Group, School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland, is Joint Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence. A Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Professor Walker teaches in the School of Biological Sciences. His research interests focus on the behaviour of animals in space and time, with particular emphasis on the magnetic sense and its use in long-distance navigation by animals. He has served on the Boards of two Crown Research Institutes, the New Zealand Government Science and Innovation Advisory Council, and as a co-opted member of the Society Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Useful resources for this seminar

Bird Migration Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Miranda Shorebird Centre

Global Flyway Network

USGS Alaska Science Centre: Pacific Shorebird Migration Project

BBC Radio4 World on the Move Great Animal Migrations

Magnetic Field of the Earth - GNS New Zealand

Resources Written for High School and Undergraduate Students

Department of Conservation Migration Education Kit

Online Talks, Lectures and Webinars

Radio NZ Interview - Professor Michael Walker talking about his research

Ready Steady Learn bFM - Interview with Professor Walker


Kalmijn AJ, Blakemore RP (1978) The magnetic behavior of mud bacteria. In Animal Migration, Navigation and Homing. Edited by Schmidt- Koenig K, Keeton WT. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 1978:354-355.
Kirschvink JL, Walker MM, Diebel CE. (2001) Magnetite-based magnetoreception. Curr Opin Neurobiol , 11:462-467.
Dennis TE, Rayner MJ, Walker MM (2007) Evidence that pigeons orient to geomagnetic intensity during homing Proc. R. Soc. B 274:(1614) 1153 - 1158
Schmidt-Koenig K, Walcott C (1978) Tracks of pigeons homing with frosted lenses. Anim Behav 26:480-486.
Schuler D, Frankel RB (1999) Bacterial magnetosomes: microbiology, biomineralization and biotechnological applications. App Microbiol Biotechnol 52:464-473.
Walcott C, Schmidt-Koenig K (1973) The effect on pigeon homing of anesthesia during displacement. The Auk, 90:281-286.
Walcott C (1978) Anomalies in the Earth’s Magnetic Field increase the scatter of pigeons’ vanishing bearings. In: Animal Migration, Navigation, and Homing. Edited by Schmidt-Koenig K, Keeton WT. Berlin: Springer Verlag; 1978: 143-151.
Walker MM, Diebel CE, Haugh CV, Pankhurst PM, Montgomery JC, Green, CR (1997) Structure and function of the vertebrate magnetic sense. Nature 390: 371-376
Walker MM. (1998) On a wing and a vector: a model for magnetic navigation by homing pigeons. J Theor Biol , 192:341-349.
Walker MM. (1999) Magnetic position determination by homing pigeons. J Theor Biol , 197:271-276.
Walker MM, Dennis TE, Kirschvink JL (2002) The magnetic sense and its use in long-distance navigation by animals Current Opinion in Neurobiology 12:735-744
Walker MM. (2008) A model for encoding of magnetic field intensity by magnetic-based magnoreceptor cells . J Theor Biol 250: 85-91