Hazel M. Chapman

Hazel M. Chapman research ecologist with particular interests in plant-animal interactions, tropical forest conservation/restoration and the ecology of plant invasions.

Hazel M. Chapman


Hazel M. Chapman

Associate Professor

Current Positions

  • Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Founder and Director, Nigerian Montane Forest Project
  • PI of the Ngel Nyaki Smithsonian CTFS_Forest Geo long term forest plot
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  • Ph.D. Dept. of Botany, University of Otago, New Zealand, Advisor: Professor Peter Bannister
  • M.Sc. in Ecology and Conservation University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
  • BSc (Hons) Undergraduate, Botany Department, University of St Andrews, Scotland. Mentors Professors. Robert Crawford and Richard Abbott.


  • Afromontane ecology, conservation science & forest restoration.
  • Forest community response to global change
  • Ecosystem services, especially as relates to plant-animal interactions such as seed dispersal and pollination.
  • Knowledge sharing & capacity building in Africa for conservation and environmental management.
  • Plant invasion ecology, especially as relates to hybridization, rapid evolution and adaptation, epigenetics and plant-animal interactions.


  • Visiting Reader, Biology Dept, Gombe State University, Nigeria. 2015
  • Visiting lecturer Gombe State University 2007-2015
  • Visiting Lecturer Federal University of Technology, Yola 2004-2007
  • Represented New Zealand for New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Academy of science of South Africa (ASSAf) Poverty Reduction meeting in Pretoria 2016
  • Developed from nothing the Nigerian Montane Forest Project in Taraba State Nigeria.
    The station employs 36 fulltime staff, has good facilities and satellite internet. It is a research base for Nigerian and international researchers and postgraduate students. It is a key destination for Nigerian scientists in all stages of their careers and has a major impact in bringing environmental awareness to all age groups and across society from local nursery school children to top Nigerian researchers. We accommodate hundreds of undergraduate students annually.
  • Funding is primarily from Taraba State Government, Chester Zoo, the A. G. Leventis Foundation, Nexen Nigeria Inc and Rufford Foundation. 2003-present
  • Oversaw the building of a field station, training and management of over 20 field assistants; established long term monitoring of tree phenology, seed dispersal and forest restoration 2003-present
  • Found funding from TY Danjuma for a 20ha CTFS ForestGeo plot at Ngel Nyaki forest Nigeria 2015
    Advisor to undergraduate Nigerian students based at the NMFP field station for their work experience 2006-present.
  • Field research in Svalbard as part of NERC funded post doctoral fellowship 1992-1994


Professional Services

I am an Associate Editor (Subject editor) of

  • The African Journal of Ecology (AJE) 2016-present
  • COGENT- Environment (Open Source) 2016-present
  • Bima Journal of Science and Technology (Nigerian) 2015-present
  • Mentor for BSc and MSc student research projects, Taraba State University, Gombe State University and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Nigeria.
  • Chair of the UC School of Biological Sciences Annual Biology Conference – 2017-current
  • Represented New Zealand for New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Academy of science of South Africa (ASSAf) Poverty Reduction meeting in Pretoria. 2016
  • Blogs for ALERT – the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers. Massive superhighway imperils Nigeria’s environment’ and  China’s rapacious appetite for timber is devastating West Africa’s woodland’ 2017
  • Chair of the Taraba State UN_REDD Technical Committee 2010-14
  • Worked with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) to interact with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment on the revision of the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan (NBSAP) for Nigeria. 2012
  • Invited participation in the Wildlife Conservation Society ‘Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee conservation action planning group’ Calabar meeting. 2009.
  • Raised $50,000 US and organised the building of a nursery school for 300 children from Yelwa village nearby the Nigerian Montane Forest Project, Taraba State. 2008.
  • Seconded onto the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) Taraba State Community Forestry Advisory Committee (2004-2007)
  • Contract with Birdlife International GEF funded botanical survey of Tchabal Mbabo, Cameroon 2004