In 2002 Phil Lester visited Tokelau for the first time to assist with the problems that the local community on Nukunonu atoll were having with the yellow crazy ant.
This visit led to the development of a collaborative project in 2005-2006 between Pacific Biosecurity (as Victoria University at the time) and Flybusters / AntiAnts.
The project delivered an invasive ant awareness programme and developed and implemented control options for yellow crazy ants on Nukunonu and Fakaofo atolls, and was led by Dr Kirsti Abbott and funded by the Critical Ecosystems Partnerships Fund (CEPF) and the National Geographic Society.
Lester PJ, Gruber MAM. 2016. Booms, busts and population collapses in invasive ants. Biological Invasions 18(11):3091-3101.
Gruber MAM, Burne AR, Abbott KL, Pierce RJ, Lester PJ. 2012. Population decline but increased distribution of an invasive ant genotype on a Pacific atoll. Biological Invasions:1-14.
Lester P, Abbott K, Sarty M, Burns K. 2009. Competitive assembly of South Pacific invasive ant communities. BMC Ecology 9(1):3.
Sarty M, Abbott K, Lester P. 2007. Community level impacts of an ant invader and food mediated coexistence. Insectes Sociaux 54:166 - 173.
McNatty A, Abbott K, Lester P. 2009. Invasive ants compete with and modify the trophic ecology of hermit crabs on tropical islands. Oecologia 160(1):187-194.
Abbott KL, Greaves SNJ, Ritchie PA, Lester PJ. 2007. Behaviourally and genetically distinct populations of an invasive ant provide insight into invasion history and impacts on a tropical ant community. Biological Invasions 9(4):453-463.
Abbott KL, Sarty M, Lester PJ. 2006. The ants of Tokelau. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 33:157-164.
Sarty M, Abbott K, Lester P. 2006. Habitat complexity facilitates coexistence in a tropical ant community. Oecologia 149:465 - 473.
Lester PJ, Tavite A. 2004. Long-legged ants, Anoplolepis gracilipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), have invaded Tokelau, changing composition and dynamics of ant and invertebrate communities. Pacific Science 58(3):391-401.