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Author Archives: debre80p

Mystery of extinct fish unravelled

Nearly 100 years after its last confirmed sighting, University of Otago researchers, including Genetics Otago member Dr Nic Rawlence, have revealed the genealogical story of the upokororo or New Zealand grayling.

Read more via the University of Otago News

Publication details

Ancient DNA from the extinct New Zealand grayling (Prototroctes oxyrhynchus) reveals evidence for Miocene marine dispersal
Lachie Scarsbrook, Kieren J. Mitchell, Matthew D. McGee, Gerard P. Closs, and Nicolas J. Rawlence
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

Efficient species monitoring method proves worth in Otago study

Genetic information is a critical part of conservation research but has proven invasive and costly – until now. Find out more about how Genetics Otago Member Dr Clare Adams has used eDNA to help monitor pāua colonies.

Full story in this media release.

PhD candidate Jordon Lima on reclaiming te reo Māori

PhD candidate and Genetics Otago member Jordon Lima believes that learning te reo Māori enables her and her whānau to reclaim and restore more than just their language, but also their culture, tikanga and Māori way of thinking.

Read more from the University of Otago Communications Office.

Researchers scoop top national awards at Queenstown conference

Genetics Otago researcher Associate Professor Aniruddha Chatterjee, of the Department of Pathology, received the Thermo Fisher Scientific Award for excellence in molecular biology during Queenstown Research Week.

Read more on the University of Otago Bulletin Board.

Congratulations Aniruddha!

Talented early career researchers recognised

Six University of Otago researchers, including Genetics Otago member Dr Anna Gosling, (Anatomy), have had their efforts recognised with Early Career Researcher Awards. These awards recognise outstanding research achievements by early career staff.

Read more on the University of Otago Bulletin Board.

Congratulations Anna!


Parental experience helps future generations handle adverse environments

Genetics Otago Member and lead authour Dr Sheri Johnson along with her team, have found that zebrafish fathers who were exposed to low oxygen levels in water passed information on to their offspring to help them cope in such conditions.

Find out more via the University of Otago News.

Publication details:

Paternal hypoxia exposure primes offspring for increased hypoxia resistance.

Alexandria Ragsdale, Oscar Ortega Recalde, Ludovic Dutoit, Anne A. Besson, Jolyn H. Z. Chia, Tania King, Shinichi Nakagawa, Anthony Hickey, Neil J. Gemmell, Timothy Hore and Sheri L. Johnson

BMC Biology

DOI: 10.1186/s12915-022-01389-x

PhD graduate encourages Pacific peoples to pursue passion for science

Genetics Otago member, Dr Jaye Moors, is honoured to be the first Pacific student to graduate with a PhD in Biochemistry from Otago, but she certainly hopes she’s not the last.

Read more in the University of Otago postgraduate bulletin board.

Congratulations Jaye!

DNA reveals history of Aotearoa’s manu

Pascale Lubbe, a PhD candidate in the Department of Anatomy, and Genetics Otago member is the lead author of a paper detailing the evolutionary history of kōkako, huia, and tīeke saddlebacks which were previously shrouded in mystery.

Read more in the University of Otago media release

Publication Details:
Mitogenomes resolve the phylogeography and divergence times within the endemic New Zealand Callaeidae (Aves: Passerida)

Pascale Lubbe, Nicolas J. Rawlence, Olga Kardailsky, Bruce C. Robertson, Robert Day, Michael Knapp, Nicolas Dussex
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

Trial of world-first gene therapy for Batten disease

Genetics Otago researcher, Associate Professor Stephanie Hughes and her team have been involved in a breakthrough gene-therapy treatment trial for children diagnosed with Batten disease.

Read more in the University of Otago media release

Genetics Otago researchers receive over $8 million in HRC funding

10 Genetics Otago members have collectively gained over $8 million in Health Research Council funding as lead and co-investigators in 2022 projects:

  • Associate Professor Keith Ireton (General Project Grant), ‘Role of polarized exocytosis in infection of host cells by pathogenic E. Coli’, $1,199,984.
  • Dr Matthew McNeil (General Project Grant), ‘Targeting metabolic dysregulation to eradicate drug resistant M. Tuberculosis’, $1,199,544.
  • Professor Stephen Robertson (Dr Laura Gumy & Associate Professor Phillip Wilcox CI’s)(General Project Grant), ‘Bringing precision to the diagnosis of complex neurodevelopmental disorders’, $1,199,831.
  • Associate Professor Logan Walker (Dr Vanessa Lau CI) (General Project Grant), ‘Improving genetic health through RNA diagnostics’, $1,190,889.
  • Associate Professor Michael Black (CI) (General Project Grant), ‘A single-cell transcriptomic approach to gastric cancer heterogeneity’, $1,199,413.
  • Professor Julia Horsfield (CI) (General Project Grant), ‘WNT signalling – a matter of degradation’, $1,199,533.
  • Dr Allamanda Faatoese (CI) (General Project Grant), ‘Understanding the impact of ruralityon health outcomes and healthcare delivery’, $1,199,916.

Read more on the University of Otago Bulletin Board.