Envirotech Group, Cawthron Institute, Nelson
I have had a varied career initially working as a clinical pharmacist and then an interest in parasites and microbes led to post graduate studies on the parasites and commensals of penguins, seals, and parasitic wasps at Lincoln University, University of Illinois, and the University of Waikato. Catching 600 kg seals to collect their faeces was certainly a different set of challenges from pharmacy. My work at Cawthron includes using DNA based methods to identify host-specific gut bacteria and so understand the sources of contamination of aquaculture areas. Some of my other work uses DNA based methods to characterise the bacterial communities in shellfish hatcheries and to identify parasites of commercially important parasites, and monitoring water quality from environmental DNA (DNA collected from material shed in to the water rather than directly from the organism itself).