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(B.For.Sci.(Hons), PhD., Dip. Ara Reo Māori)Phillip Wilcox (2022)

Kaiawhina Māori, Dept. Mathematics and Statistics
Kaikōkiri Māori, Genetics Teaching Programme
Affiliate, Bioethics Centre
Kaiawhina Māori, Genetics Teaching Programme (shared)

Office: Science III, room 221
Tel +64 3 479 7771


Ko tēnei tohoku pepeha tā te taha tohoku whaea:

Ko Moumoukai, Whakapunake nga maunga
Ko Te Wairoa hōpupu hōngenge mātangirau, Kopuawhara, nga Nuhaka nga awa
Ko Kahungunu, Tākitimu, Te Rākātō nga marae
Ko Tākitimu, Kurahaupo nga waka
Ko Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaaka, nga iwi
Ko Ngāi Te Rakatō, Ngāi Te Apatu, Te Whare Rau o Te Tahinga nga hapū

Ko au he Ahorangi Tuarua i Te Whare Wānanga o Otākou. Ko tohoku mahi nei: hei whakaake te ora o nga Māori katoa mai nga mahi ira putaiaio.

I am a quantitative geneticist and bioethicist based at the University of Otāgo in Aotearoa/New Zealand. I have worked at the interface of Māori bioethics and gene technologies, where I have developed tikanga (Māori ethics)-based frameworks and guidelines for researchers. I also undertake research on the genetics of inherited conditions in our people. Previously I have worked in the areas of genetics of tree species and statistical genetics method development. I also teach Māori-related content in graduate and undergraduate science courses, and run education programmes for Māori tauira (students) and pākeke (adults) on genomics and genetics that are taught in Māori learning environments. In the Department of Mathematics and Statistics I established and lead the post graduate Applied Sciences (Quantitative Genetics) programme.

For further information about my research and teaching, see:

Teaching responsibilities

I convene(d)/co-convene(d) the following papers: QGEN 401, AGRI 323, STAT 110.

I also teach in the following papers:

In my role as Kaikōkiri Māori, responsibilities include overseeing all Māori content taught in the Genetics Teaching Programme to ensure it is relevant and aligns with tikanga Māori, as well as ensuring graduate attributes are achieved regarding requisite cultural knowledge and capabilities.

Off-campus, I also teach genetics and genomics related content in Māori learning environments, primarily the Summer Internship of indigenous peoples in Genomics Aotearoa (SING Aotearoa), as well as a genetics/genomics module in the University of Otago Science Wānanga.

Research interests

I have a broad range of research interests.

Past research activities include

  • Impacts of genetic improvement on forest management practices
  • Forest tree genomics and development of genomic tools for tree breeding particularly radiata pine (Pinus radiata D.Don)
  • Linkage mapping of forest trees and other plant species.
  • Genetic basis for disease resistance in forest tree species

Ongoing interests include

  • Development and application of statistical methods for analyses of genomic information
  • Development and application of tikanga and Mātauranga Māori in genomic and genetic sciences
  • Culturally informed study design and data sovereignty, particularly 'omic data

Current research activities include

  • Culturally informed methods for precision medicine
  • Genomic resource development for enhancing Māori and Pacific health
  • Applications of genetic information in health


Lee, K., Vakili, S., Burden, H. J., Adams, S., Smith, G. C., Kulatea, B., Wright-McNaughton, M., Sword, D., … King, F., Wilcox, P., Merriman, T. R., Krebs, J. D., Hall, R. M., Murphy, R., Merry, T. L., & Shepherd, P. R. (2022). The minor allele of the CREBRF rs373863828 p.R457Q coding variant is associated with reduced levels of myostatin in males: Implications for body composition. Molecular Metabolism, 59, 101464. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2022.101464

Filoche, S., Stubbe, M. H., Grainger, R., Robson, B., Paringatai, K., Wilcox, P., Jefferies, R., & Dowell, A. (2021). How is family health history discussed in routine primary healthcare? A qualitative study of archived family doctor consultations. BMJ Open, 11(10), e049058. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049058

Ambler, J., Diallo, A. A., Dearden, P. K., Wilcox, P., Hudson, M., & Tiffin, N. (2021). Including digital sequence data in the Nagoya Protocol can promote data sharing. Trends in Biotechnology, 39(2), 116-125. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2020.06.009

Emde, A.-K., Phipps-Green, A., Cadzow, M., Gallagher, C. S., Major, T. J., Merriman, M. E., Topless, R. K., Takei, R., Dalbeth, N., … Stamp, L. K., … Wilcox, P. L., … Merriman, T. R., & Castel, S. E. (2021). Mid-pass whole genome sequencing enables biomedical genetic studies of diverse populations. BMC Genomics, 22, 666. doi: 10.1186/s12864-021-07949-9

Topless, R. K. G., Major, T. J., Florez, J. C., Hirschhorn, J. N., Cadzow, M., Dalbeth, N., Stamp, L. K., Wilcox, P. L., … Merriman, T. R. (2021). The comparative effect of exposure to various risk factors on the risk of hyperuricaemia: Diet has a weak causal effect. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 23(1), 75. doi: 10.1186/s13075-021-02444-8

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