Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Uni of Otago – AgResearch Centre Head Appointed

University of Otago – AgResearch Centre Head Appointed

A top New Zealand scientist has been chosen to lead a new joint AgResearch and University of Otago centre pursuing reproduction and genomics research.

Professor Neil Gemmell has been appointed to the AgResearch Chair in Reproduction and Genomics, a professorial post established as one of the University’s Leading Thinkers initiatives.

As holder of the Chair, Professor Gemmell will be the first Director of the new Centre for Reproduction and Genomics, which brings together the expertise of AgResearch and University scientists.

The Centre is expected to be an international leader in reproduction and genomics research. It will have a particular focus on livestock and human reproduction; livestock and human health and disease; and the control of mammalian reproduction.

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg says that Professor Gemmell was selected from a strong field of applicants from around the world.

“Professor Gemmell has an impressive research background which blends ecology, conservation and evolutionary biology with recent developments from the human genome project.”

Through his use of new technologies he has made significant international contributions to his fields of study, says Professor Skegg.

AgResearch General Manager of Applied Biotechnologies Dr Jimmy Suttie says AgResearch and its predecessor organisations have a long history of working with Otago University. “We are delighted to have a research leader of Professor Gemmell’s calibre taking up the position and believe it will strengthen our already significant relationship.

“Previous collaborations with the University in genomics and reproduction research, such as the identification of and development of markers for the booroola and inverdale prolificacy genes in sheep, have helped New Zealand sheep farmers become more productive.

“We look forward to many more such collaborations with the Centre for Reproduction and Genomics under Professor Gemmell’s leadership.”

Professor Gemmell’s past and current research projects include studying mating systems and mate choice, sperm-egg interactions, sperm function, sex determination, sex allocation, and inter-sexual genomic conflict.

Currently based in the University of Canterbury’s School of Biological Sciences, he will take up his new position in the first half of next year.

Professor Gemmell says he is looking forward to building on the existing research strengths of University of Otago and AgResearch scientists to create a centre that is internationally recognised for its research excellence.

“I am very excited to be leading a Centre that has great potential to build research capacity and add significant value to AgResearch, the University and New Zealand as a whole,” Professor Gemmell says.

“We will be well placed to take advantage of the recent flood of data from various international genome projects. By applying powerful comparative analytical techniques we can use this knowledge to great effect in discovering ways to enhance human and animal reproduction and health.”

The Centre will start from a strong position due to the previous longstanding and highly successful research collaborations between the University and AgResearch, he says.

Professor Skegg says the appointment now cements this relationship between two of the three largest research organisations in New Zealand.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Voluntary Administration: Renaissance Brewing Up For Sale

Renaissance Brewing, the first local company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, is up for sale after cash flow woes and product management issues led to the appointment of voluntary administrators. More>>


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>


Media Mega Merger: Full Steam Ahead For Appeal

New Zealand's two largest news publishers have confirmed they are committed to pursuing their appeal against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>


Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>