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.

^ Top of page

Publications

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. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/bs.ctdb.2018.12.014

Hendriksen, R. S., Munk, P., Njage, P., van Bunnik, B., McNally, L., Lukjancenko, O., … The Global Sewage Surveillance project consortium, including 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

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

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

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2019.04.008

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. 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

^ Top of page

Journal - Research Article

Hendriksen, R. S., Munk, P., Njage, P., van Bunnik, B., McNally, L., Lukjancenko, O., … The Global Sewage Surveillance project consortium, including 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

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2019.04.008

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. Advance online publication. 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

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

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. Advance online publication. 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

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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00002.2018

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

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

Wu, C., Jordan, M. D., Newcomb, R. D., Gemmell, N. J., Bank, S., Meusemann, K., Dearden, P. K., … 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

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 of London: Series 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

Koepfli, K.-P., Paten, B., the Genome 10K Community of Scientists, O'Brien, S. J., also, & Gemmell, N. (2015). The Genome 10K Project: A way forward. Annual Review of Animal Biosciences, 3, 57-111. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-090414-014900

Dowling, D., Tompkins, D. M., & Gemmell, N. J. (2015). The Trojan Female Technique for pest control: A candidate mitochondrial mutation confers low male fertility across diverse nuclear backgrounds in Drosophila melanogaster. Evolutionary Applications, 8(9), 871-880. doi: 10.1111/eva.12297

Johnson, S. L., Dunleavy, J., Gemmell, N. J., & Nakagawa, S. (2015). Consistent age-dependent declines in human semen quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ageing Research Reviews, 19, 22-33. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2014.10.007

Will, M., McCowan, T., & Gemmell, N. J. (2015). Broad-scale genetic patterns of New Zealand abalone, Haliotis iris, across a distribution spanning 13° latitude and major oceanic water masses. Genetica, 143, 487-500. doi: 10.1007/s10709-015-9847-0

Osborne, A. J., Pearson, J., Negro, S. S., Chilvers, B. L., Kennedy, M. A., & Gemmell, N. J. (2015). Heterozygote advantage at MHC DRB may influence response to infectious disease epizootics. Molecular Ecology, 24, 1419-1432. doi: 10.1111/mec.13128

Sawaya, S., Boocock, J., Black, M. A., & Gemmell, N. J. (2015). Exploring possible DNA structures in real-time polymerase kinetics using Pacific Biosciences sequencer data. BMC Bioinformatics, 16, 21. doi: 10.1186/s12859-014-0449-0

More publications...