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Professor Neil Gemmell

Professor Neil GemmellBSc (Hons), PhD

Professor Neil Gemmell is the AgResearch Chair in Reproduction and Genomics at the University of Otago. He is also Director of the associated Centre for Reproduction and Genomics, based at Invermay. He leads the Evolutionary Genomics Group, which applies recent advances in genomic technology to the fields of ecology, population, conservation and evolutionary biology.

Neil's specific research interests lie in three reproduction-based areas: the analysis of mating systems through molecular approaches; asymmetric fitness effects of mtDNA mutations, explored through competitive fertilization experiments and theoretical modeling; and the evolution of microsatellites, using bioinformatics and comparative molecular genetics.

Neil obtained an Honours degree in Biochemistry at Victoria University of Wellington, before completing a PhD at Australia's La Trobe University, researching population and evolutionary genetics in platypus. He undertook postdoctoral research at Cambridge University and later Leicester University. In 1998, he returned to New Zealand to take up at position lecturing in genetics at the University of Canterbury. Neil was appointed to his current role in 2008.


Scriver, M., von Ammon, U., Pochon, X., Arranz, V., Stanton, J.-A. L., Gemmell, N. J., & Zaiko, A. (2024). Environmental DNA–RNA dynamics provide insights for effective monitoring of marine invasive species. Environmental DNA, 6, e531. doi: 10.1002/edn3.531 Journal - Research Article

Pearman, W. S., Morales, S. E., Vaux, F., Gemmell, N. J., & Fraser, C. I. (2024). Host population crashes disrupt the diversity of associated marine microbiomes. Environmental Microbiology, 26, e16611. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.16611 Journal - Research Article

Scriver, M., von Ammon, U., Youngbull, C., Pochon, X., Stanton, J.-A. L., Gemmell, N. J., & Zaiko, A. (2024). Drop it all: Extraction-free detection of targeted marine species through optimized direct droplet digital PCR. PeerJ. Advance online publication. doi: 10.7717/peerj.16969 Journal - Research Article

Bhattarai, U. R., Poulin, R., Gemmell, N. J., & Dowle, E. (2024). Genome assembly and annotation of the mermithid nematode Mermis nigrescens. Genes Genomes Genetics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/g3journal/jkae023 Journal - Research Article

Clark, A. C., Edison, R., Esvelt, K., Kamau, S., Dutoit, L., . . ., Alexander, A., & Gemmell, N. J. (2024). A framework for identifying fertility gene targets for mammalian pest control. Molecular Ecology Resources, 24, e13901. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.13901 Journal - Research Article

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