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.

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Publications

Noble, A. J., Pearson, J. F., Boden, J. M., Horwood, L. J., Gemmell, N. J., Kennedy, M. A., & Osborne, A. J. (2021). A validation of Illumina EPIC array system with bisulfite-based amplicon sequencing. PeerJ, 9, e10762. doi: 10.7717/peerj.10762

Bhattarai, U. R., Doherty, J.-F., Dowle, E., & Gemmell, N. J. (2021). The adaptiveness of host behavioural manipulation assessed using Tinbergen's four questions. Trends in Parasitology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2021.01.006

Miller, A. K., Baker, C., Kitson, J. C., Yick, J. L., Manquel, P. E. I., Alexander, A., & Gemmell, N. J. (2021). The Southern Hemisphere lampreys (Geotriidae and Mordaciidae). Reviews in Fish Biology & Fisheries. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11160-021-09639-x

Macey, J. R., Pabinger, S., Barbieri, C. G., Buring, E. S., Gonzalez, V. L., Mulcahy, D. G., … Urban, L., … Prost, S., … Gemmell, N. J. (2021). Evidence of two deeply divergent co-existing mitochondrial genomes in the Tuatara reveals an extremely complex genomic organization. Communications Biology, 4, 116. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01639-0

Olmedo-Rojas, P., Jeunen, G.-J., McGaughran, A., Terauds, A., Lamare, M., Gemmell, N., & Fraser, C. (2021). Environmental drivers of diversity in Antarctic terrestrial plants and animals: Using genomic approaches to discover broad-scale patterns. Proceedings of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference: Connecting through change. (pp. 134-135). Retrieved from https://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nzasc21

Chapter in Book - Research

Gemmell, N. J., Todd, E. V., Goikoetxea, A., Ortega-Recalde, O., & Hore, T. A. (2019). Natural sex change in fish. In Current topics in developmental biology. (pp. 71-117). Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/bs.ctdb.2018.12.014

Thomas, J. T., Liu, H., Todd, E. V., & Gemmell, N. J. (2018). Sex change in fish. In P. Swanson & M. K. Skinner (Eds.), Encyclopedia of reproduction (Vol.6): Comparative reproduction. (2nd ed.) (pp. 192-197). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809633-8.20555-4

Sawaya, S. M., Bagshaw, A. T., Buschiazzo, E., & Gemmell, N. J. (2012). Promoter microsatellites as modulators of human gene expression. In A. J. Hannan (Ed.), Tandem repeat polymorphisms: Genetic plasticity, neural diversity and disease. (pp. 41-54). Austin, TX: Landes Bioscience.

Vargas Jentzsch, I. M., Bagshaw, A., Buschiazzo, E., Merkel, A., & Gemmell, N. J. (2008). Evolution of microsatellite DNA. In Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020847

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Journal - Research Article

Noble, A. J., Pearson, J. F., Boden, J. M., Horwood, L. J., Gemmell, N. J., Kennedy, M. A., & Osborne, A. J. (2021). A validation of Illumina EPIC array system with bisulfite-based amplicon sequencing. PeerJ, 9, e10762. doi: 10.7717/peerj.10762

Macey, J. R., Pabinger, S., Barbieri, C. G., Buring, E. S., Gonzalez, V. L., Mulcahy, D. G., … Urban, L., … Prost, S., … Gemmell, N. J. (2021). Evidence of two deeply divergent co-existing mitochondrial genomes in the Tuatara reveals an extremely complex genomic organization. Communications Biology, 4, 116. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01639-0

Miller, A. K., Baker, C., Kitson, J. C., Yick, J. L., Manquel, P. E. I., Alexander, A., & Gemmell, N. J. (2021). The Southern Hemisphere lampreys (Geotriidae and Mordaciidae). Reviews in Fish Biology & Fisheries. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11160-021-09639-x

Bhattarai, U. R., Doherty, J.-F., Dowle, E., & Gemmell, N. J. (2021). The adaptiveness of host behavioural manipulation assessed using Tinbergen's four questions. Trends in Parasitology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.pt.2021.01.006

Jeunen, G.-J., Lamare, M. D., Knapp, M., Spencer, H. G., Taylor, H. R., Stat, M., … Gemmell, N. J. (2020). Water stratification in the marine biome restricts vertical environmental DNA (eDNA) signal dispersal. Environmental DNA, 2(1), 99-111. doi: 10.1002/edn3.49

Johnson, S. L., Borziak, K., Kleffmann, T., Rosengrave, P., Dorus, S., & Gemmell, N. J. (2020). Ovarian fluid proteome variation associates with sperm swimming speed in an externally fertilising fish. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jeb.13717

Feng, S., Stiller, J., Deng, Y., Armstrong, J., Fang, Q., Reeve, A. H., … Robertson, B. C., … Jamieson, I. G., … Rutherford, K. M., Gemmell, N. J., Dussex, N., … Zhang, G. (2020). Dense sampling of bird diversity increases power of comparative genomics. Nature, 587, 252-257. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2873-9

Ferreira, S., Ashby, R., Jeunen, G.-J., Rutherford, K., Collins, C., Todd, E. V., & Gemmell, N. J. (2020). DNA from mollusc shell: A valuable and underutilised substrate for genetic analyses. PeerJ, 8, e9420. doi: 10.7717/peerj.9420

Ortega-Recalde, O., Goikoetxea, A., Hore, T. A., Todd, E. V., & Gemmell, N. J. (2020). The genetics and epigenetics of sex change in fish. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences, 8, 47-69. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-021419-083634

Dussex, N., Kutschera, V. E., Wiberg, R. A. W., Parker, D. J., Hunt, G. R., Gray, R. D., … Gemmell, N. J. (2020). A genome-wide investigation of adaptive signatures in protein-coding genes related to tool behaviour in New Caledonian and Hawaiian crows. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.15775

Peart, C. R., Tusso, S., Pophaly, S. D., Botero-Castro, F., Wu, C.-C., Aurioles-Gamboa, D., … Gemmell, N. J., … Wolf, J. B. W. (2020). Determinants of genetic variation across eco-evolutionary scales in pinnipeds. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 4, 1095-1104. doi: 10.1038/s41559-020-1215-5

Karelitz, S., Lamare, M., Patel, F., Gemmell, N., & Uthicke, S. (2020). Parental acclimation to future ocean conditions increases development rates but decreases survival in sea urchin larvae. Marine Biology, 167, 2. doi: 10.1007/s00227-019-3610-5

Lamar, S. K., Gemmell, N. J., & Nelson, N. J. (2020). Genome sequencing of an archaic reptile both answers and asks questions. Zoology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.zool.2020.125862

Goikoetxea, A., Damsteegt, E. L., Todd, E. V., McNaughton, A., Gemmell, N. J., & Lokman, P. M. (2020). An in vitro ovarian explant culture system to examine sex change in a hermaphroditic fish. PeerJ, 8, e10323. doi: 10.7717/peerj.10323

Gemmell, N. J., Rutherford, K., Prost, S., Tollis, M., Winter, D., Macey, J. R., … Gardner, P. P., … Dussex, N., Taylor, H., Abe, H., Bond, D. M., … Ngatiwai Trust Board. (2020). The tuatara genome reveals ancient features of amniote evolution. Nature. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2561-9

Osborne, A. J., Pearson, J. F., Noble, A. J., Gemmell, N. J., Horwood, L. J., Boden, J. M., … Kennedy, M. A. (2020). Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of heavy cannabis exposure in a New Zealand longitudinal cohort. Translational Psychiatry, 10, 114. doi: 10.1038/s41398-020-0800-3

Hendriksen, R. S., Munk, P., Njage, P., van Bunnik, B., McNally, L., Lukjancenko, O., … The Global Sewage Surveillance project consortium, including Jeunen, G.-J., Gemmell, N., … Aarestrup, F. M. (2019). Global monitoring of antimicrobial resistance based on metagenomics analyses of urban sewage. Nature Communications, 10(1), 1124. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08853-3

Thomas, J. T., Todd, E. V., Muncaster, S., Lokman, P. M., Damsteegt, E. L., Liu, H., … Gemmell, N. J. (2019). Conservation and diversity in expression of candidate genes regulating socially-induced female-male sex change in wrasses. PeerJ, 7, e7032. doi: 10.7717/peerj.7032

Ortega-Recalde, O., Day, R. C., Gemmell, N. J., & Hore, T. A. (2019). Zebrafish preserve global germline DNA methylation while sex-linked rDNA is amplified and demethylated during feminisation. Nature Communications, 10, 3053. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10894-7

Jeunen, G.-J., Knapp, M., Spencer, H. G., Taylor, H. R., Lamare, M. D., Stat, M., … Gemmell, N. J. (2019). Species‐level biodiversity assessment using marine environmental DNA metabarcoding requires protocol optimization and standardization. Ecology & Evolution, 9, 1323-1335. doi: 10.1002/ece3.4843

Dobelmann, J., Alexander, A., Baty, J. W., Gemmell, N. J., Gruber, M. A. M., Quinn, O., … Lester, P. J. (2019). The association between mitochondrial genetic variation and reduced colony fitness in an invasive wasp. Molecular Ecology, 28, 3324-3338. doi: 10.1111/mec.15159

Todd, E. V., Ortega-Recalde, O., Liu, H., Lamm, M. S., Rutherford, K. M., Cross, H., Black, M. A., Kardailsky, O., … Hore, T. A., … Gemmell, N. J. (2019). Stress, novel sex genes, and epigenetic reprogramming orchestrate socially controlled sex change. Science Advances, 5(7), eaaw7006. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7006

Jeunen, G.-J., Knapp, M., Spencer, H. G., Lamare, M. D., Taylor, H. R., Stat, M., … Gemmell, N. J. (2019). Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding reveals strong discrimination among diverse marine habitats connected by water movement. Molecular Ecology Resources, 19, 426-438. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12982

Parry, D. A. D., Bruce Fraser, R. D., Alibardi, L., Rutherford, K. M., & Gemmell, N. (2019). Molecular structure of sauropsid β-keratins from tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). Journal of Structural Biology, 207, 21-28. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2019.04.008

Adams, C. I. M., Knapp, M., Gemmell, N. J., Jeunen, G.-J., Bunce, M., Lamare, M. D., & Taylor, H. R. (2019). Beyond biodiversity: Can environmental DNA (eDNA) cut it as a population genetics tool? Gene, 10(3), 192. doi: 10.3390/genes10030192

Stovall, W. R., Taylor, H. R., Black, M., Grosser, S., Rutherford, K., & Gemmell, N. J. (2018). Genetic sex assignment in wild populations using genotyping‐by‐sequencing data: A statistical threshold approach. Molecular Ecology Resources, 18(2), 179-190. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12767

Stoffel, M. A., Humble, E., Paijmans, A. J., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Chilvers, B. L., Dickerson, B., … Gemmell, N. J., … Robertson, B. C., … Hoffmann, J. I. (2018). Demographic histories and genetic diversity across pinnipeds are shaped by human exploitation, ecology and life-history. Nature Communications, 9(1), 4836. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06695-z

Martinez, B., Khudyakov, J., Rutherford, K., Crocker, D. E., Gemmell, N., & Ortiz, R. M. (2018). Adipose transcriptome analysis provides novel insights into molecular regulation of prolonged fasting in northern elephant seal pups. Physiological Genomics, 50(7), 495-503. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00002.2018

Blanchoud, S., Rutherford, K., Zondag, L., Gemmell, N. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2018). De novo draft assembly of the Botrylloides leachii genome provides further insight into tunicate evolution. Scientific Reports, 8, 5518. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23749-w

Zavodna, M., Bagshaw, A., Brauning, R., & Gemmell, N. J. (2018). The effects of transcription and recombination on mutational dynamics of short tandem repeats. Nucleic Acids Research, 46(3), 1321-1330. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx1253

Renart, J., San Mauro, D., Agorreta, A., Rutherford, K., Gemmell, N. J., & Quintanilla, M. (2018). Evolutionary history of the podoplanin gene. Gene Reports, 13, 28-37. doi: 10.1016/j.genrep.2018.08.005

Dussex, N., Taylor, H. R., Stovall, W. R., Rutherford, K., Dodds, K. G., Clarke, S. M., & Gemmell, N. J. (2018). Reduced representation sequencing detects only subtle regional structure in a heavily exploited and rapidly recolonizing marine mammal species. Ecology & Evolution, 8, 8736-8749. doi: 10.1002/ece3.4411

Johnson, S. L., Zellhuber-McMillan, S., Gillum, J., Dunleavy, J., Evans, J., Nakagawa, S., & Gemmell, N. J. (2018). Evidence that fertility trades off with early offspring fitness as males age. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 285(1871), 20172174. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2174

Todd, E. V., Liu, H., Lamm, M. S., Thomas, J. T., Rutherford, K., Thompson, K. C., … Gemmell, N. J. (2018). Female mimicry by sneaker males has a transcriptomic signature in both the brain and gonad in a sex-changing fish. Molecular Biology & Evolution, 35(1), 225-241. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msx293

Lee, S. L. J., Horsfield, J. A., Black, M. A., Rutherford, K., & Gemmell, N. J. (2018). Identification of sex differences in zebrafish (Danio rerio) brains during early sexual differentiation and masculinisation using 17α-methyltestoterone. Biology of Reproduction, 99(2), 446-460. doi: 10.1093/biolre/iox175

Bartlett, M. J., Steeves, T. E., Gemmell, N. J., & Rosengrave, P. C. (2017). Sperm competition risk drives rapid ejaculate adjustments mediated by seminal fluid. eLIFE, 6, e28811. doi: 10.7554/eLife.28811

Wu, C., Jordan, M. D., Newcomb, R. D., Gemmell, N. J., Bank, S., Meusemann, K., Dearden, P. K., … Grosser, S., … Buckley, T. R. (2017). Analysis of the genome of the New Zealand giant collembolan (Holacanthella duospinosa) sheds light on hexapod evolution. BMC Genomics, 18, 795. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-4197-1

Lee, S. L. J., Horsfield, J. A., Black, M. A., Rutherford, K., Fisher, A., & Gemmell, N. J. (2017). Histological and transcriptomic effects of 17α-methyltestosterone on zebrafish gonad development. BMC Genomics, 18, 557. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-3915-z

Bagshaw, A. T. M., Horwood, L. J., Fergusson, D. M., Gemmell, N. J., & Kennedy, M. A. (2017). Microsatellite polymorphisms associated with human behavioural and psychological phenotypes including a gene-environment interaction. BMC Medical Genetics, 18, 12. doi: 10.1186/s12881-017-0374-y

Geßner, C., Nakagawa, S., Zavodna, M., & Gemmell, N. J. (2017). Sexual selection for genetic compatibility: The role of the major histocompatibility complex on cryptic female choice in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Heredity, 118, 442-452. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2016.116

Liu, H., Todd, E. V., Lokman, M. P., Lamm, M. S., Godwin, J. R., & Gemmell, N. J. (2017). Sexual plasticity: A fishy tale. Molecular Reproduction & Development, 84(2), 171-194. doi: 10.1002/mrd.22691

Tourmente, M., Hirose, M., Ibrahim, S., Dowling, D., Tompkins, D. M., Roldan, E. R. S., & Gemmell, N. J. (2017). mtDNA polymorphism and metabolic inhibition affect sperm performance in conplastic mice. Reproduction, 154(4), 341-354. doi: 10.1530/rep-17-0206

Grosser, S., Abdelkrim, J., Wing, J., Robertson, B. C., & Gemmell, N. J. (2017). Strong isolation by distance argues for separate population management of endangered blue duck (Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos). Conservation Genetics, 18(2), 327-341. doi: 10.1007/s10592-016-0908-4

Gessner, C., Johnson, S. L., Fisher, P., Clarke, S., Rutherford, K., Symonds, J., & Gemmell, N. J. (2017). Male-female relatedness at specific SNP-linkage groups influences cryptic female choice in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284(1859), 20170853. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0853

Wolff, J. N., Gemmell, N. J., Tompkins, D. M., & Dowling, D. K. (2017). Introduction of a male-harming mitochondrial haplotype via 'Trojan Females' achieves population suppression in fruit flies. eLIFE, 6, e23551. doi: 10.7554/eLife.23551

Nyegaard, M., Sawai, E., Gemmell, N., Gillum, J., Loneragan, N. R., Yamanoue, Y., & Stewart, A. L. (2017). Hiding in broad daylight: Molecular and morphological data reveal a new ocean sunfish species (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae) that has eluded recognition. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 182(3), 631-658. doi: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlx040

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