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

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

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

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

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

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1038/s41559-020-1215-5

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

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

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1038/s41559-020-1215-5

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

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

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

Osborne, A. J., Negro, S. S., Chilvers, B. L., Robertson, B. C., Kennedy, M. A., & Gemmell, N. J. (2016). Genetic evidence of a population bottleneck and inbreeding in the endangered New Zealand sea lion, Phocarctos hookeri. Journal of Heredity, 107(5), 392-402. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esw015

Wolff, J. N., Tompkins, D. M., Gemmell, N. J., & Dowling, D. K. (2016). Mitonuclear interactions, mtDNA-mediated thermal plasticity, and implications for the Trojan Female Technique for pest control. Scientific Reports, 6, 30016. doi: 10.1038/srep30016

Zondag, L. E., Rutherford, K., Gemmell, N. J., & Wilson, M. J. (2016). Uncovering the pathways underlying whole body regeneration in a chordate model, Botrylloides leachi using de novo transcriptome analysis. BMC Genomics, 17, 114. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2435-6

Dussex, N., Robertson, B. C., Salis, A. T., Kalinin, A., Best, H., & Gemmell, N. J. (2016). Low spatial genetic differentiation associated with rapid recolonization in the New Zealand fur seal Arctocephalus forsteri. Journal of Heredity, 107(7), 581-592. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esw056

Salis, A. T., Easton, L. J., Robertson, B. C., Gemmell, N., Smith, I. W. G., Weisler, M. I., Waters, J. M., & Rawlence, N. J. (2016). Myth or relict: Does ancient DNA detect the enigmatic Upland seal? Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution, 97, 101-106. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.12.012

Abe, H., & Gemmell, N. J. (2016). Evolutionary footprints of short tandem repeats in avian promoters. Scientific Reports, 6, 19421. doi: 10.1038/srep19421

Smith, L. M., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Duncan, E. J., Black, M. A., Gemmell, N. J., Dearden, P. K., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2016). Striatal mRNA expression patterns underlying peak dose L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in the 6-OHDA hemiparkinsonian rat. Neuroscience, 324, 238-251. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.03.012

Todd, E. V., Black, M. A., & Gemmell, N. J. (2016). The power and promise of RNA-seq in ecology and evolution. Molecular Ecology, 25(6), 1224-1241. doi: 10.1111/mec.13526

Rosengrave, P., Montgomerie, R., & Gemmell, N. (2016). Cryptic female choice enhances fertilization success and embryo survival in Chinook salmon. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 283(1827), 20160001. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0001

Flynn, T., Signal, B., Johnson, S. L., & Gemmell, N. J. (2016). Mitochondrial genome diversity among six laboratory zebrafish (Danio rerio) strains. Mitochondrial DNA, 27(6), 4364-4371. doi: 10.3109/19401736.2015.1089536

Liu, H., Lamm, M. S., Rutherford, K., Black, M. A., Godwin, J. R., & Gemmell, N. J. (2015). Large-scale transcriptome sequencing reveals novel expression patterns for key sex-related genes in a sex-changing fish. Biology of Sex Differences, 6, 26. doi: 10.1186/s13293-015-0044-8

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