Professor Andrew Allan   Dr Allan has been a plant researcher for 30 years, studying the physiology, cell biology, and genetic makeup of crop plants. Much of his research focuses on new apple and kiwifruit varieties, understanding how the plants will behave in different environments or with different horticultural practices.  He is currently focussed on plant signal transduction, with a recent direction towards projects on transcriptional regulation of anthocyanins, carotenoids and chlorophyll in fruits, flowers and vegetables.  Professor Allan, an expert in plant molecular physiology, is the Director of the Joint Graduate School in Plant and Food Science, which was established by The University of Auckland and Plant & Food Research in 2010.  The graduate school seeks to coordinate postgraduate teaching and research between UOA and PFR.

Professor Andrew Allan

Dr Allan has been a plant researcher for 30 years, studying the physiology, cell biology, and genetic makeup of crop plants. Much of his research focuses on new apple and kiwifruit varieties, understanding how the plants will behave in different environments or with different horticultural practices.  He is currently focussed on plant signal transduction, with a recent direction towards projects on transcriptional regulation of anthocyanins, carotenoids and chlorophyll in fruits, flowers and vegetables.  Professor Allan, an expert in plant molecular physiology, is the Director of the Joint Graduate School in Plant and Food Science, which was established by The University of Auckland and Plant & Food Research in 2010.  The graduate school seeks to coordinate postgraduate teaching and research between UOA and PFR.

Dr Cherie Blenkiron   Originally from the UK and trained at the Universities of Nottingham, Edinburgh and Cambridge, Cherie arrived in New Zealand in 2009. Her area of interest is in non-protein coding RNAs, regulators of many processes that can be disrupted during the initiation and development of cancers. She joined the NETwork! team in 2012 and has been involved in the unravelling of the molecular biology behind the disease

Dr Cherie Blenkiron

Originally from the UK and trained at the Universities of Nottingham, Edinburgh and Cambridge, Cherie arrived in New Zealand in 2009. Her area of interest is in non-protein coding RNAs, regulators of many processes that can be disrupted during the initiation and development of cancers. She joined the NETwork! team in 2012 and has been involved in the unravelling of the molecular biology behind the disease

Dr David Chagne   A Senior Scientist with Plant and Food Research since 2004, Dr Chagné’s research focuses on the application of genetic mapping and genomics to elucidate the genetic control of important plant characters, with a strong underpinning interest in the study of DNA variations in plant genomes.David has catalogued single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the apple and pear genomes and identified markers linked to significant traits, including fruit antioxidant content, red flesh and peel, crispness and aroma and further designed a SNP assay that has been used to accurately predict fruit quality of young apple seedlings using genome-wide selection, years before they first set fruit.  He is also an honorary senior research fellow at the University of Otago.

Dr David Chagne

A Senior Scientist with Plant and Food Research since 2004, Dr Chagné’s research focuses on the application of genetic mapping and genomics to elucidate the genetic control of important plant characters, with a strong underpinning interest in the study of DNA variations in plant genomes.David has catalogued single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the apple and pear genomes and identified markers linked to significant traits, including fruit antioxidant content, red flesh and peel, crispness and aroma and further designed a SNP assay that has been used to accurately predict fruit quality of young apple seedlings using genome-wide selection, years before they first set fruit.  He is also an honorary senior research fellow at the University of Otago.

 
Dr Katrina Claw   Katrina (Diné) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Washington in the Department of Pharmaceutics. Dr. Claw also works with the Northwest-Alaska Pharmacogenomics Research Network. She obtained her BS in biology and BA in anthropology at Arizona State University; her PhD in genome sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA in 2013, where she was also a National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellow. Her research interests include human genetics and genomics, pharmacogenomics, health disparities, and the ethical and social implications of genomic research relating to Native American and other indigenous populations around the world. She is Diné (Navajo) and grew up on the Navajo Nation in Many Farms, Arizona.

Dr Katrina Claw

Katrina (Diné) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Washington in the Department of Pharmaceutics. Dr. Claw also works with the Northwest-Alaska Pharmacogenomics Research Network. She obtained her BS in biology and BA in anthropology at Arizona State University; her PhD in genome sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA in 2013, where she was also a National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellow. Her research interests include human genetics and genomics, pharmacogenomics, health disparities, and the ethical and social implications of genomic research relating to Native American and other indigenous populations around the world. She is Diné (Navajo) and grew up on the Navajo Nation in Many Farms, Arizona.

Revel Drummond   Dr Drummond is a molecular biologist working in the field of plant developmental biology, with most of his time spent actively designing experiments and carrying them out in the laboratory and glasshouse.  His research at Plant and Food Research, since joining in 2007, is focused on the discovery and functional characterisation of genes involved in strigolactone (SL) hormone biology.  More recently he has developed particular technical expertise in LED lighting systems for optimised plant growth and in CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.

Revel Drummond

Dr Drummond is a molecular biologist working in the field of plant developmental biology, with most of his time spent actively designing experiments and carrying them out in the laboratory and glasshouse.  His research at Plant and Food Research, since joining in 2007, is focused on the discovery and functional characterisation of genes involved in strigolactone (SL) hormone biology.  More recently he has developed particular technical expertise in LED lighting systems for optimised plant growth and in CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.

 Alexi Drummond   Alexei completed his BSc (1996) and PhD in Bioinformatics (2002) at the University of Auckland. He then spent 3 years at the University of Oxford doing post-doctoral research in the Department of Statistics and the Department of Zoology before returning to the University of Auckland in 2005 to take up a Lecturership in Bioinformatics in the Department of Computer Science. Alexei’s research interests are centered around probabilistic models of molecular evolution and population genetics.

 Alexi Drummond

Alexei completed his BSc (1996) and PhD in Bioinformatics (2002) at the University of Auckland. He then spent 3 years at the University of Oxford doing post-doctoral research in the Department of Statistics and the Department of Zoology before returning to the University of Auckland in 2005 to take up a Lecturership in Bioinformatics in the Department of Computer Science. Alexei’s research interests are centered around probabilistic models of molecular evolution and population genetics.

 
Dr Keolu Fox   Keolu Fox earned a Ph.D. in Debbie Nickerson's lab in the University of Washington's Department of Genome Sciences. He focused on the application of next-generation genome sequencing to increase compatibility for blood transfusion therapy and organ transplantation. He has a strong background in using genomic technologies to understand human variation and disease. Keolu’s research interests include genome sequencing technologies, genome editing, and indigenizing/democratizing medical research. I am keenly interested in introducing mobile genome sequencing technologies in Indigenous spaces to: 1) re-cast the relationship indigenous communities have with emerging biomedical technologies; and 2) empower Indigenous communities as citizen scientists. Currently I am a postdoc in Alan Saltiel's group at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. My current work focuses on using genome editing technologies to investigate the molecular events involved in chronic inflammatory states resulting in obesity and catecholamine resistance.

Dr Keolu Fox

Keolu Fox earned a Ph.D. in Debbie Nickerson's lab in the University of Washington's Department of Genome Sciences. He focused on the application of next-generation genome sequencing to increase compatibility for blood transfusion therapy and organ transplantation. He has a strong background in using genomic technologies to understand human variation and disease. Keolu’s research interests include genome sequencing technologies, genome editing, and indigenizing/democratizing medical research. I am keenly interested in introducing mobile genome sequencing technologies in Indigenous spaces to: 1) re-cast the relationship indigenous communities have with emerging biomedical technologies; and 2) empower Indigenous communities as citizen scientists. Currently I am a postdoc in Alan Saltiel's group at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. My current work focuses on using genome editing technologies to investigate the molecular events involved in chronic inflammatory states resulting in obesity and catecholamine resistance.

Dr Kimiora Henare   Kimiora (Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa) is an HRC Eru Pomare Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, based at the University of Auckland. He earned his MHSc in Pathology in 2006, and PhD in Biomedical Science in 2014; both at the University of Auckland. His main research interests include the role of the immune system in cancer and how the immune system can be reinvigorated to fight cancer.  Specifically, he is the principal investigator for an HRC-funded project exploring the potential of re-educating macrophages as strategy for cancer therapy. Kimiora also carries out dual biomedical/cultural advisory roles with two nationwide multidisciplinary research projects involving tissue collection, biobanking, genomic research and related data.   

Dr Kimiora Henare

Kimiora (Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa) is an HRC Eru Pomare Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, based at the University of Auckland. He earned his MHSc in Pathology in 2006, and PhD in Biomedical Science in 2014; both at the University of Auckland. His main research interests include the role of the immune system in cancer and how the immune system can be reinvigorated to fight cancer.  Specifically, he is the principal investigator for an HRC-funded project exploring the potential of re-educating macrophages as strategy for cancer therapy. Kimiora also carries out dual biomedical/cultural advisory roles with two nationwide multidisciplinary research projects involving tissue collection, biobanking, genomic research and related data.

 

Associate Professor Maui Hudson  Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine, Ngā Puhi  Maui is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato.  He is an interdisciplinary researcher with extensive experience across a diverse range of research areas including traditional medicine, indigenous research ethics, interface between indigenous knowledge and science, Maori economic development and Maori health.  Maui has been a member of a number of national and institutional ethics committees and was part of the team that developed Te Ara Tika: Guidelines on Maori Research Ethics – A framework for researchers and ethics committee members. He is the principal investigator for Te Mata Ira, a research project exploring Maori views on Genomic research and biobanking, and is a co-convener of the SING-Aotearoa programme. 

Associate Professor Maui Hudson Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine, Ngā Puhi

Maui is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato.  He is an interdisciplinary researcher with extensive experience across a diverse range of research areas including traditional medicine, indigenous research ethics, interface between indigenous knowledge and science, Maori economic development and Maori health.  Maui has been a member of a number of national and institutional ethics committees and was part of the team that developed Te Ara Tika: Guidelines on Maori Research Ethics – A framework for researchers and ethics committee members. He is the principal investigator for Te Mata Ira, a research project exploring Maori views on Genomic research and biobanking, and is a co-convener of the SING-Aotearoa programme. 

 
Elena Hilario   With more than 15 years at Plant and Food Research, Elena’s main research interests are next generation sequencing technologies (genome sequencing, genotyping by sequencing) and molecular biology.  Her strengths are in the development of new methodologies and establishing published ones to support PFR efforts acquiring high quality genomic sequencing data.

Elena Hilario

With more than 15 years at Plant and Food Research, Elena’s main research interests are next generation sequencing technologies (genome sequencing, genotyping by sequencing) and molecular biology.  Her strengths are in the development of new methodologies and establishing published ones to support PFR efforts acquiring high quality genomic sequencing data.

Moe Milne   Moe is of Ngati Hine and Ngapuhi descent and lives in Matawaia, Northland with her husband George and their extended family. Moe has been a psychopaedic nurse, general and psychiatric nurse and most of her health work has been in the area of mental health and addictions. From 1988 she taught in Māori language schools and became a resource teacher, working with 14 schools to implement the Māori language curriculum. She later moved back into health and worked in management until 1995, when she began work with the Health and Disability Commissioner, protecting and promoting consumer rights. Moe has been a member of the Health Research Council and is an advisor and interviewer on four research projects which have Māori as the lead investigator including Te Mata Ira.

Moe Milne

Moe is of Ngati Hine and Ngapuhi descent and lives in Matawaia, Northland with her husband George and their extended family. Moe has been a psychopaedic nurse, general and psychiatric nurse and most of her health work has been in the area of mental health and addictions. From 1988 she taught in Māori language schools and became a resource teacher, working with 14 schools to implement the Māori language curriculum. She later moved back into health and worked in management until 1995, when she began work with the Health and Disability Commissioner, protecting and promoting consumer rights. Moe has been a member of the Health Research Council and is an advisor and interviewer on four research projects which have Māori as the lead investigator including Te Mata Ira.

Dr Kate Parker   Kate is project manager of the NETwork! Project. Prior to joining the team, Kate was Director of Business Operations, for Proacta, a biotechnology start-up company that focuses on the development of new treatments for oncology that were initially developed at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre. Kate has also worked with Auckland UniServices, focusing on commercializing technologies invented at the University of Auckland. Before moving to New Zealand, Kate worked at GlaxoSmithkline in the UK as a member of the Business Projects Team, advising the R&D business on strategic and operational issues. She also spent 5 years at ISO Healthcare consulting (now part of the Monitor Group) and 6 years at CMR International, a not for profit research organization that advises the pharmaceutical industry on issues in international drug development. She has PhD in drug development from the University of Wales(Cardiff) and an MSc in Clinical Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen.

Dr Kate Parker

Kate is project manager of the NETwork! Project. Prior to joining the team, Kate was Director of Business Operations, for Proacta, a biotechnology start-up company that focuses on the development of new treatments for oncology that were initially developed at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre. Kate has also worked with Auckland UniServices, focusing on commercializing technologies invented at the University of Auckland. Before moving to New Zealand, Kate worked at GlaxoSmithkline in the UK as a member of the Business Projects Team, advising the R&D business on strategic and operational issues. She also spent 5 years at ISO Healthcare consulting (now part of the Monitor Group) and 6 years at CMR International, a not for profit research organization that advises the pharmaceutical industry on issues in international drug development. She has PhD in drug development from the University of Wales(Cardiff) and an MSc in Clinical Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen.

 
Dr Cris Print   Cris is a Kiwi medical scientist who completed an MBChB at Auckland Medical School. Over the last 10 years Cris has become increasingly interested in the conservative use of bioinformatics to improve our understanding of pathology. He is especially keen on work that brings bioinformatic information together with clinicopathological information and traditional cell biology/transgenic studies. Cris is a keen believer in collaboration between Universities and Pharmaceutical / Biotechnology companies, and has had successful collaborations with several companies including Pfizer Global research and a biotechnology company he co-founded in Japan named GNI Ltd. Most of the work Cris' laboratory undertakes involves collaboration with researchers from other discplines, such as the Bioenginering Institute. 

Dr Cris Print

Cris is a Kiwi medical scientist who completed an MBChB at Auckland Medical School. Over the last 10 years Cris has become increasingly interested in the conservative use of bioinformatics to improve our understanding of pathology. He is especially keen on work that brings bioinformatic information together with clinicopathological information and traditional cell biology/transgenic studies. Cris is a keen believer in collaboration between Universities and Pharmaceutical / Biotechnology companies, and has had successful collaborations with several companies including Pfizer Global research and a biotechnology company he co-founded in Japan named GNI Ltd. Most of the work Cris' laboratory undertakes involves collaboration with researchers from other discplines, such as the Bioenginering Institute. 

Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl  Ngāi Tahu, Rangitāne ki Wairau  Dr Ruckstuhl is the Associate Dean Māori at the Otago Business School. She is a cross-disciplinary policy researcher in the areas of Māori language, small business, sci-tech innovation, and ‘social licence’ in the mining industry. She contributed a chapter to The Routledge Handbook of Bioarchaeology in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, examining Māori knowledge frameworks in the context of two case studies that involved the return of kōiwi tāngata (ancestral remains). She is currently leading a research team in a national science challenge – Science for Technological Innovation - looking at how sci-tech can better connect with Māori. Katharina has a number of governance, research and other roles for Ngāi Tahu, at both a pan-tribal and for her local hapū of Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki.

Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl
Ngāi Tahu, Rangitāne ki Wairau

Dr Ruckstuhl is the Associate Dean Māori at the Otago Business School. She is a cross-disciplinary policy researcher in the areas of Māori language, small business, sci-tech innovation, and ‘social licence’ in the mining industry. She contributed a chapter to The Routledge Handbook of Bioarchaeology in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, examining Māori knowledge frameworks in the context of two case studies that involved the return of kōiwi tāngata (ancestral remains). She is currently leading a research team in a national science challenge – Science for Technological Innovation - looking at how sci-tech can better connect with Māori. Katharina has a number of governance, research and other roles for Ngāi Tahu, at both a pan-tribal and for her local hapū of Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki.

Dr Nick Roskruge   Nick Roskruge is of Ātiawa, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Tama-ariki descent and a senior lecturer and major leader in horticulture and Māori resource & environmental management in the Institute of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University in Palmerston North.  Nick is also a research fellow with Lincoln, on the Māori advisory board to several other research institutes and a member of the Statutory Decision Committee for HSNO with the Environmental Protection Authority (Prior to this Tumuaki (Chair) of Ngā Kaihautu Tīkanga Taiao the Statutory Māori reference group for the EPA).  In 2013 Nick was the recipient of a Fulbright award and spent several months in the USA based at Cornell University (upstate New York) and involved with a number of other state universities around ethnobotany and potato genomic programmes. Nick is involved in a wide range of Māori centric projects, the most well-known being the National Taewa Māori project, and also Tahuri Whenua (National Māori Horticultural Collective).

Dr Nick Roskruge

Nick Roskruge is of Ātiawa, Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Tama-ariki descent and a senior lecturer and major leader in horticulture and Māori resource & environmental management in the Institute of Agriculture and Environment at Massey University in Palmerston North.  Nick is also a research fellow with Lincoln, on the Māori advisory board to several other research institutes and a member of the Statutory Decision Committee for HSNO with the Environmental Protection Authority (Prior to this Tumuaki (Chair) of Ngā Kaihautu Tīkanga Taiao the Statutory Māori reference group for the EPA).  In 2013 Nick was the recipient of a Fulbright award and spent several months in the USA based at Cornell University (upstate New York) and involved with a number of other state universities around ethnobotany and potato genomic programmes. Nick is involved in a wide range of Māori centric projects, the most well-known being the National Taewa Māori project, and also Tahuri Whenua (National Māori Horticultural Collective).

 
Professor Peter Shepherd   Peter Shepherd is a Professor at the University of Auckland where his research focusses on type-2 diabetes and cancer. He is also deputy director of the Maurice Wilkins centre which is a NZ wide research group focussing on diabetes, cancer and infectious disease research. 

Professor Peter Shepherd

Peter Shepherd is a Professor at the University of Auckland where his research focusses on type-2 diabetes and cancer. He is also deputy director of the Maurice Wilkins centre which is a NZ wide research group focussing on diabetes, cancer and infectious disease research. 

Michael Steedman   Ko Maungakiekie te maunga Ko Waitemata te moana Ko Mahuhu-ki-te-rangi te waka Ko Orakei te marae No Ngati Whatua ahau Ko Michael Steedman toku ingoa He mihi kau ana ki a koutou katoa  Michael Steedman is the Kaiarahi within the Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland.  Michael has a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and supports the recruitment and retention of Maori students across the Faculty of Science.   

Michael Steedman

Ko Maungakiekie te maunga
Ko Waitemata te moana
Ko Mahuhu-ki-te-rangi te waka
Ko Orakei te marae
No Ngati Whatua ahau
Ko Michael Steedman toku ingoa
He mihi kau ana ki a koutou katoa

Michael Steedman is the Kaiarahi within the Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland.  Michael has a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and supports the recruitment and retention of Maori students across the Faculty of Science.

 

Dr Matthew Stott   Matthew is a research scientist at GNS exploring the geomicrobiology within New Zealand extreme environments, from undersea volcanoes to hot springs. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Western Australia and a special interest in the microbiology of acidic and elevated temperature environments. He has applied his research efforts to taxonomic, physiological and biotechnological applications including mineral processing and the bioremediation of industrial effluents.

Dr Matthew Stott

Matthew is a research scientist at GNS exploring the geomicrobiology within New Zealand extreme environments, from undersea volcanoes to hot springs. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Western Australia and a special interest in the microbiology of acidic and elevated temperature environments. He has applied his research efforts to taxonomic, physiological and biotechnological applications including mineral processing and the bioremediation of industrial effluents.

 
Dr Maren Wellenreuther   Maren is an Associate Professor at Lund University in Sweden and a Senior Scientist at Plant & Food Research. Maren’s research is rooted in evolutionary ecology and is unified by the goal of understanding how adaptive and non-adaptive evolutionary processes interact in nature. Research areas range from evolutionary ecology to genomics and focus on topics such as sexual selection, sexual conflict, local adaptation, polymorphism maintenance and population demography. Whenever possible, he employs complementary approaches at the genomic, phenotypic, ecological and environmental level. His research has societal relevance in relation to the diversity crisis, nature conservation, sustainable development, water and wildlife management and global change.

Dr Maren Wellenreuther

Maren is an Associate Professor at Lund University in Sweden and a Senior Scientist at Plant & Food Research. Maren’s research is rooted in evolutionary ecology and is unified by the goal of understanding how adaptive and non-adaptive evolutionary processes interact in nature. Research areas range from evolutionary ecology to genomics and focus on topics such as sexual selection, sexual conflict, local adaptation, polymorphism maintenance and population demography. Whenever possible, he employs complementary approaches at the genomic, phenotypic, ecological and environmental level. His research has societal relevance in relation to the diversity crisis, nature conservation, sustainable development, water and wildlife management and global change.

Dr Helen Wihongi   Dr Helen Wihongi (Ngati Porou, Ngapuhi, Te whānau a Apanui, Ngati Hine) is the Waitematā and Auckland DHB Research Advisor Maori. In her role she is responsible for establishing and strengthening relationships with Waitemata and Auckland DHB iwi and Maori partners. She is also involved with the review of clinical research applications across the Auckland and Waitemata DHB providing support researchers to address inequalities within clinical and community settings. Helen completed her doctorate in the Department of Psychology at Waikato University. Her discipline is community psychology with a focus on policy and the impact of policy on health populations, in particular Māori populations. Helen has a strong research and funding background. She sits on a number of clinical and research committees including the AUT Māori Research Facilitation Committee, the Auckland DHB Clinical Ethical Advisory Group and the Cartwright Working Party. 

Dr Helen Wihongi

Dr Helen Wihongi (Ngati Porou, Ngapuhi, Te whānau a Apanui, Ngati Hine) is the Waitematā and Auckland DHB Research Advisor Maori. In her role she is responsible for establishing and strengthening relationships with Waitemata and Auckland DHB iwi and Maori partners. She is also involved with the review of clinical research applications across the Auckland and Waitemata DHB providing support researchers to address inequalities within clinical and community settings. Helen completed her doctorate in the Department of Psychology at Waikato University. Her discipline is community psychology with a focus on policy and the impact of policy on health populations, in particular Māori populations. Helen has a strong research and funding background. She sits on a number of clinical and research committees including the AUT Māori Research Facilitation Committee, the Auckland DHB Clinical Ethical Advisory Group and the Cartwright Working Party.