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Upcoming events hosted by or involving Genetics Otago will be listed here. Please check back regularly for updates. A calendar of events that may be of interest to our members can be found at the bottom of this page and in the sidebar of other pages on this site, please note that this includes events hosted outside of Genetics Otago.

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VISG Seminar Series

The Virtual Institute of Statistical Genetics (VISG) Hub is a key part of Genetics Otago, providing a platform for researchers to collaborate and exchange knowledge and expertise in statistical genetics. The VISG Hub hosts seminars, workshops, and other events to promote statistical genetics research and foster collaboration between researchers.

We’re excited to announce our monthly genetics research seminars, aimed at connecting researchers in the field. The seminars will commence in May 2023 and will be hosted by GO’s Virtual Institute of Statistical Genetics (VISG) Hub along with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Otago. These seminars will be available in person or via Zoom, and all are welcome.

Date: 3rd Thursday of the month
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm


  • May: Associate Professor Phil Wilcox, University of Otago
  • June: Professor Mik Black, University of Otago
  • July: Dr Ludovic Dutoit, University of Otago – please note that this seminar will be held on the 27th of July rather than the 20th due to ICG.
  • August: Dr Setegn Alemu, AgResearch
  • September: Ee Cheng Oi, Abacus Bio
  • October: Franziska Weik, Beef + Lamb NZ Genetics – Cancelled
  • November: Dr Jane Symonds and Dr Megan Scholtens, Cawthron – please note that this seminar will be held on the 17th of November rather than the 16th due to the Genetics Otago Annual Symposium.

Zoom Details
If you would like the Zoom details for this event, please contact us.

Next Seminar

The next seminar will be held on Friday the 17th of November, 11 am in Biochemistry Seminar Room G13 and will be given by Dr Jane Symonds and Dr Megan Scholtens, Cawthron Institute.

Title: Environmental resilience in aquatic species

Abstract: The New Zealand aquaculture sector faces growing vulnerability due to climate change, with marine heatwaves already causing elevated summer mortality rates in Greenshell mussels and king (Chinook) salmon. To tackle these challenges, selective breeding and genomic selection offer long-term solutions. Temperature challenge models, implemented in controlled tank environments, have been developed for both species. So far, this approach has been applied successfully to test more than 230 pedigree king salmon families and 21 Greenshell mussel families. Heritabilities for time to death at elevated temperature were high (0.34 to 0.48) suggesting that selection for improved thermotolerance is possible.

Megan Scholtens

Megan is a geneticist within the Aquaculture Group at Cawthron and is involved in a number of research projects across the ‘Shellfish Aquaculture’ and ‘Finfish Climate Change Adaptation’ platforms. Megan specialises in the application of genetic and genomic methodologies to enhance the understanding of how genes affect traits such as growth, development, behaviour, reproduction and immunity to improve the efficiency, resilience and survivability of aquatic species. In addition, Megan contributes to research activities of the Aquaculture team by integrating the experimental biology with commercial production to help provide solutions for clients and deliver tangible outcomes for the aquaculture industry.

Jane Symonds

Jane is a Senior Scientist and Team Leader in the Aquaculture Group at Cawthron. Jane’s focus is the application of research to enhance sustainable commercial production with a specific interest in king salmon farming and selective breeding. She has over 30 years of experience in this field. As a science programme leader she oversees a wide range of multi-disciplinary collaborative projects with internal and external partners, including salmon feed efficiency, genomics, behaviour, health, physiology, microbiomics, climate change adaptation, data science and developing trials to selectively breed resilient and efficient king salmon. Implementation of research for sustainable and profitable aquaculture development is a key driver for Jane. Dr Symonds is also a Senior Adjunct Researcher at the University of Tasmania and helps supervise multiple post-graduate students.

If you have any questions about this seminar series please contact us.

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Calendar of Events

The below is a calendar of events hosted by GO as well as events hosted by others that may be of interest to our members. If you have an event you would like us to include please contact us here.

Intermediate Shell for Bioinformatics @ Online
Sep 27 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This online workshop is hosted by Genomics Aotearoa and NeSI, and is for New Zealand researchers interested in progressing their abilities with Shell.

This workshop will include:

  • An overview of the Shell, UNIX and Linux.
  • Downloading data from a remote source and checking data integrity.
  • Recap navigating files and directories, and commands used in routine tasks.
  • Inspecting and manipulating data, part 1 (the head, less, grep, and sed commands).
  • Inspecting and manipulating data, part 2 (using awk and bioawk to process text).
  • Automating file processing.
  • Challenges: solve example molecular biology problems using shell scripts.

This workshop assumes some familiarity with Shell. You will need to be able to do the following tasks via command line:

  • Navigating files and directories.
  • An understanding of full versus relative paths.
  • Working with files and directories (examining files, creating, copying, moving and removing).
  • Use a command line-based text editor such as nano.

And have a basic understanding of:

  1. File/directory permission in Linux.
  2. For loops (preferred, not required).

If you lack the above skills, you can use these sites as a refresher – Introduction to Command Line Carpentries lesson

Setup: This is a fully online, hands-on workshop. The workshop material will be run on the NeSI High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms – there is no need to install any software for this workshop. Instructions on how to access the NeSI HPC service will be sent out with the confirmation letter to registrants one week prior to the workshop.

You can view the workshop material, including the objectives and content, here:

Participants must have their own machine to work on and plan to participate actively in the workshop. You will require a working web browser.

Australian Epigenetics Alliance Group Semina @ Online
Sep 27 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Prof Kennerson is a Professor of Neurogenetics/Neurosciences with the ANZAC Research Institute, Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) and the School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia. She heads the Translational Gene Discovery and Functional Genomics Inherited Peripheral Neuropathies Program at the ANZAC Research Institute. Her team has discovered several neuropathy genes and is doing pioneering research to investigate the role of structural variation and its role in new disease mechanisms for hereditary neuropathies. Her research program includes functional studies for recent gene (ATP7A and PDK3) and SV mutation (CMTX3 and DHMN1) discoveries using induced pluripotent stem cell derived motor neurons and animal models (C. elegans). Marina is a board member of the Charcot-Marie-Tooth and Related Neuropathies Consortium (CMTR), Chair of the Asian Oceanic Inherited Neuropathy Consortium (AOINC) serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the CMT Research Foundation, USA and is Deputy Director (Research) of the SLHD Institute of Precision Medicine and Bioinformatics.

AEpiA-27 Sept[64]

SEMINAR: The power of sharing detailed methods – credit, preservation, and reproducibility @ Online
Oct 13 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

We warmly invite you to attend our Genomics Aotearoa seminar, online on Friday, October 13 at 3pm.

We welcome Dr Gabriel Gasque (Head of Outreach, to talk about the power of sharing detailed methods – credit, preservation, and reproducibility.

Please invite colleagues to join our genomics community and take part in this seminar. Look forward to seeing you there. Questions and discussions are welcome.

Join from PC, Mac, iOS, or Android:

About Gabriel
Dr Gabriel Gasque is an advocate of open science and experimental reproducibility and integrity. With more than 10 years of experience in the field, Gabriel is an expert in scientific dissemination, communication and publication.
Gabriel currently serves as Head of Outreach at, a technology company whose goals are to foster scientific advancement through collaboration between researchers and promote transparency, reproducibility, integrity, and experimental accountability through the sharing and publication of detailed research protocols. Before joining, Gabriel was a senior editor and team manager at PLOS Biology, the flagship journal of the Public Library of Science (PLOS).

Gabriel earned his PhD in Biochemistry from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and was awarded the Weizmann Prize from the Mexican Academy of Sciences for the best doctoral thesis in 2006. He conducted postdoctoral research at Columbia University and the Rockefeller University in the United States, as a Latin American PEW fellow.”

M&I Departmental Seminar: Dr Chase L. Beisel @ Biochemistry Seminar room G13
Oct 15 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

World-leading CRISPR-Cas researcher, Prof. Dr. Chase Beisel, is visiting the Department of Microbiology and Immunology on a Chaffer fellowship. He will be giving a seminar on October 15th from 1-2 pm in Biochemistry BIG13. Please see the attached flyer for details on this presentation.

2023_1016 Chase Beisel[42]

CANCELLED: Genomics Aotearoa Seminar: Understanding Reproduction and Development in Honeybees @ Online
Oct 27 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

SEMINAR: Understanding Reproduction and Development in Honeybees

Tēnā koutou katoa
We warmly invite you to attend our Genomics Aotearoa seminar, online on Friday, October 27 at 3pm.

We welcome Georgia Cullen (University of Otago) to talk about Understanding Reproduction and Development in Honeybees.

Please invite colleagues to join our genomics community and take part in this seminar. Look forward to seeing you there. Questions and discussions are welcome.

Join from PC, Mac, iOS, or Android:

About Georgia
Georgia is in the last six months of her PhD at the University of Otago, working with Professor Peter Dearden investigating honeybee reproduction and development, with a particular focus on the germline cell niche in queens.

Unlock the Future of Hi-C Data Generation with the Dovetail® TopoLink™ Assay @ Online
Nov 2 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Are you still using Hi-C to detect TADs and Loops?

​​If so, you’ll want to explore the groundbreaking Dovetail® TopoLink™ Assay. This innovative solution not only simplifies the Hi-C workflow but also tackles high sequencing costs and uneven genomic coverage. And the best part? The entire process can be completed in just one day without compromising data quality!

You Are Invited! 

Dovetail Genomics Webinar – Unlock the Future of Hi-C Chromatin Conformation Studies with the Dovetail® TopoLink™ Assay.

November 1st, 2023 07:00 PM PST 

In this webinar, you’ll gain insights into:

  • The limitations of traditional Hi-C workflows.
  • How Dovetail® TopoLink™ chemistry revolutionizes Hi-C data generation.
  • Why Dovetail® TopoLink™ data outperforms restriction enzyme-based Hi-C for chromatin conformation analysis.
  • Practical considerations for experimental setup and data analysis.


​​​Don’t miss this opportunity to stay ahead in your Hi-C research.
Join us and move your understanding of the 3D genome into the next dimension.

Biostatistical thinking for Health Researchers
Nov 20 all-day

Biostatistical thinking for Health Researchers – 20th November 2023
Unlock the power of biostatistics in health research through our one-day, hands-on workshop. Designed with the modern health researcher in mind, this interactive workshop aims to demystify the often complex realm of biostatistics.
Target audience: Health researchers and Postgraduate students (not biostatisticians)

Please refer to the attached posters for more details.
Biostatistical thinking for Health Researchers workshop Poster – Nov 2023

Kindly note, that you need to register for the Workshop. The early bird registration date has been extended to Sunday, 15th October 2023.

MapNet 2023 @ Dunedin, Invermay
Nov 22 @ 9:00 am – Nov 24 @ 5:00 pm

We are pleased to announce that MapNet will be held in Dunedin this November. Check out the flyer attached and website We will continue to update with sponsor and programme details.

Key dates:

Deadline for abstract submission – 25 October, 2023

Registration closes – 6 November, 2023

MapNet dates – 22-24 November, 2023

Causal Inference workshop
Nov 23 – Nov 24 all-day

Causal Inference workshop – 23rd and 24th November 2023
This in-person, two-day Causal Inference workshop presented by Professor Michael Hudgens, Professor of Biostatistics and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics UNC-Chapel Hill, on the Thursday and Friday after the conference.
Target audience: Health researchers, epidemiologists, biostatisticians

Please refer to the attached posters for more details.
Causal Inference workshop Poster – Nov 2023

Kindly note, that you need to register for the Workshop. The early bird registration date has been extended to Sunday, 15th October 2023.

FNA Perth 2023 @ Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre
Nov 23 – Nov 24 all-day

The Symposium “Functional Nucleic Acids: From Laboratory to Targeted Molecular Therapy” will be held on 23-24 November 2023 at Murdoch University Campus in Perth, Australia.

Don’t miss your chance to hear from global and industry pioneers in RNA Therapeutics at the 3rd International Symposium on Functional Nucleic Acids 23-24 November 2023 at Murdoch University, Perth.

For just $275.00(AUD) or a heavily discounted student rate of $75.00(AUD) you can hear the latest updates from around the world and build your networks.

See the attachment for announcement of Keynote speakers with more exciting speakers still to come. Your name could appear alongside these industry greats when you submit your abstract now.

Abstract submission deadline:
5pm Monday 30 October: Oral or Poster presentation.
Submit an abstract to be considered for an oral or poster.
Guidelines and submission details can be found on the website.
Please Note: Registration is required to submit an abstract.

We look forward to seeing you in Perth in November – REGISTER NOW!

FNA Keynote speakers 2023[81]