Doctor Nicholas Wu

Doctor Nicholas WuDr Nicholas Wu joined the HIE in February 2022 as a research fellow within the Plants, Animals and Interactions theme. Nicholas earned his BSc (Technology) in Biological Sciences from the University of Waikato, New Zealand, followed by a BSc (1st-class Honours) in Zoology and a PhD in Ecological Physiology at The University of Queensland. From 2019–2021, he was appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Sydney, and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Western Sydney University.

At the HIE, Nicholas is working on an ARC Linkage project under the supervision of Dr Christopher Turbill and A/Prof Justin Welbergen. The project aims to develop predictive models of vulnerability to white-nose syndrome (WNS) for populations of Australian bats by gaining critical information about their risk of exposure and sensitivity to mortality from developing WNS.

Beyond research, Nicholas is also experienced with digital illustrations and graphic design, where he incorporates them to disseminate his research to both the scientific and public community. Nicholas is also a council member for the Society for Research on Amphibians and Reptiles in New Zealand, a professional member of the Outreach, Education and Diversity Focus Group for the Society for Experimental Biology, and the British Ecological Society Review College.

Area of research

Nicholas is broadly interested in the diversity of form and function from an ecological and evolutionary framework, particularly in species with unique biology. However, his main research focus is on how changing environments constrain the physiology and life history of organisms while understanding the mechanisms for how they cope with environmental stressors. Nicholas' work primarily utilise vertebrates like reptiles, amphibians, fish and bats as model systems, and he approaches his research from an integrative perspective, from molecular to whole-organism to macroecological responses.

  • 2021: Young Scientist Award in Animal Section
  • 2021: Irene Manton Poster Award
  • 2020: Company of Biologists Travel Fund
  • 2019: Company of Biologists Scientific Meeting Grant
  • 2018: Irene Manton Poster Award
  • 2018: School of Biological Sciences Travel Award
  • 2018: Fellows Initiative Natural Sciences
  • 2018: Company of Biologists Travel Fund
  • 2017: ANZSCPB Student 1st Prize
  • 2017: Finalist — Fresh Science national competition
  • 2017: Peter Rankin Trust Fund for Herpetology
  • 2017: Candidate Development Award
  • 2017: SEB Annual Meeting Travel Grant
  • 2016: World Congress of Herpetology student support scheme
  • 2014–2018: Australian Postgraduate Award
  • 2013: School of Biological Science Honours Prize
  • 2012: Research contract for BSc (Tech) study award
  • 2011–2012: The University of Waikato Summer Research Scholarship
Selected publications

Full publication list is provided in Google Scholar

Deme GG, Wu NC, Hao X, Sun B, (2023) 'Environmental seasonality and latitude drive clutch size diversity in female lizards across populations', Ecological Indicators, vol.154, art. no.110490

Wu NC, 'Pathogen load predicts host functional disruption: A meta-analysis of an amphibian fungal panzootic', Functional Ecology, vol.37, no.4, pp 900-914

Wu NC, Rusli MU, Broderick AC, Barneche DR, (2022) 'Size scaling of sea turtle reproduction may reconcile fundamental ecology and conservation strategies at the global scale', Global Ecology and Biogeography, (in press)

Wu NC, Seebacher F, (2022) 'Physiology can predict animal activity, exploration, and dispersal', Communications Biology, vol.5, p 109

Wu NC, Rubin AM, Seebacher F, (2022) 'Endocrine disruption from plastic pollution and warming interact to increase the energetic cost of growth in a fish', Proceedings of the Royal Society B, vol.289, 20212077

Wu NC, Seebacher F, (2020) 'Effect of the plastic pollutant bisphenol A on the biology of aquatic organisms: A meta-analysis', Global Change Biology, vol.26, pp 3821–3833

Wu NC, Cramp RL, Ohmer MEB, Franklin CE, (2019) 'Epidermal epidemic: unravelling the pathogenesis of chytridiomycosis', Journal of Experimental Biology, vol.222, Article jeb191817

Clemente CJ, Wu NC, (2018) 'Body and tail-assisted pitch control facilitates bipedal locomotion in Australian agamid lizards', Journal of the Royal Society Interface, vol.15, Article 20180276

Wu NC, Cramp RL, Franklin CE, (2018) 'Body size influences energetic and osmoregulatory costs in frogs infected with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis', Scientific Reports, vol.8, no.1, 3739

Wu NC, Waas JR, (2017) 'No evidence for across-population scent discrimination in tuatara (Sphenodon)', Journal of Herpetology, vol.51, no.2, pp 178–185

Wu NC, Alton LA, Clemente CJ, Kearney MR, White CR, (2015) 'Morphology and burrowing energetics of semi-fossorial skinks (Liopholis spp.)', Journal of Experimental Biology, vol.218, pp 2416–2426

Wu N, Górski K, Daniel AJ, (2013) 'Abundance of larval native and non-native fishes in floodplain habitats of the lower Waikato River, New Zealand', Inland Waters, vol.3, pp 359–368