Find out more about the people behind Cawthron Institute.

Jonathan Banks

Senior Scientist – Microbial Source Tracking and Freshwater Ecology


  • PhD (Evolutionary Biology). Lincoln University, 2004
  • MAppSc (First Class Honours, Behavioural Ecology). Lincoln University, 1998
  • BPharm. University of Otago, 1988

Role at Cawthron

 Jonathan is a senior scientist whose area of expertise and research interests include:

  • tracing the source of faecal contamination of marine and freshwaters by genetically identifying host-specific bacteria 
  • characterising aquatic invertebrate communities 
  • using genetics to measure water quality.

Technical skills, experience and interests

  • Associate editor of the New Zealand Journal of Zoology
  • The louse Forficuloecus banksi that parasitises the mulga parrot is named after him
  • Systematics and taxonomy of birds and invertebrates 
  • Evolutionary relationships between hosts and their parasites
  • Detection of the presence of fish in lakes and streams from DNA shed into the water.

Professional affiliations

  • Ornithological Society of New Zealand
  • Editorial Board Member Systematic Biology

Publication links

+64 3 548 2319
[email protected]