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Genomics Aotearoa seminar series

Our seminar happens every second Friday. It's free to attend via zoom, just email for access.

Friday 10 September
Maja Adamska
Sponge (meta- and epi-)genomes as windows into animal evolution

Maja is Associate Professor in the Australian National University (ANU) Research School of Biology. She is interested in the evolutionary origin of key developmental processes, such as cell type specification, segregation of germ layers and axial patterning of embryos and adults.  Recent major research themes in her laboratory include regeneration of sponges and corals, in particular mechanisms regulating gene expression during this process, as well as sponge-bacterial symbiosis.

Friday 24 September
Travis Glare
Genomes of New Zealand entomopathogens- collected adventures of an amateur

Professor Travis Glare, Director of the Bio-Protection Research Centre (Lincoln University), Co-Director of Bioprotection Aotearoa (CoRE) and Director of the Research Management Office of Lincoln University. He researches fundamental questions that relate to the reduction of damage to plants by invertebrate pests, plant diseases and weeds. He leads a research team that investigates the biology, ecology and use of insect pathogens as control options for pest insects.

Friday 8 October
Stephen Robertson
The Clinical Genomics Diagnostic Project

Stephen is the Curekids Professor of Paediatric Genetics. He is a Paediatrician and Clinical Geneticist. He leads a research group at Otago and his research interests include genetic conditions that affect the development of children and ensuring equity in the delivery of clinical genomics across Aotearoa. 

Friday, 22 October 
Annette Lasham

Friday, 5 November    
Tom Oosting
The application of genomics in fisheries science: a population study of Australasian snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) in New Zealand           

Friday, 19 November
Joep de Ligt    
Covid-19 roundup 2021

Past seminars

For details on past talks, contact

  • 27 August, 2021, Libby Liggins (Massey University), Genomics observatories for discovery, conservation, and collective benefits.
  • 13 August, 2021, Mik Black (University of Otago), Aotearoa Genomic Data Repository project: building a Treaty-compliant data archive for New Zealand's taonga species.
  • 16 July, 2021, Eddy Dowle (University of Otago), Restless slumber: Transcriptional dynamics during winter diapause drives the rapid evolution of seasonality in a temperate fly.
  • 2 July, 2021, Neil Gemmell (University of Otago), Environmental DNA for biodiversity, biosecurity, global health and monster hunting.
  • 23 June 2021, Sergey Koren (National Human Genome Research Institute), The latest technologies applied to producing highly-contiguous, complete, telomere to telomere genome assemblies.
  • 18 June 2021, Maren Wellenreuther (University of Auckland), Going beyond SNPs: Inversions as facilitators of eco-evolutionary change.
  • 4 June 2021, Manpreet Dhami (Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research), Reflections on the giant genome of the giant weta.
  • 21 May 2021, Phil Lester (Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington), Genetic methods for the control of honey bee parasites and pathogens. 
  • 23 April 2021, Mike Bunce (Environmental Protection Authority), Exploring ecosystems with ancient and environmental DNA.
  • 9 April 2021, Miles Benton (ESR), The disruptive nature of portable sequencing for community empowerment.
  • 5 March 2021, Adam Rutherford (UCL, author), Genetics, race, and scientific bias: A history.


  • 20 November, 2020, Jemma Geoghegan (University of Otago), Tracking COVID-19 in New Zealand using genomics.
  • 6 November, 2020, Andrew Veale (Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research), Assembling the platinum quality genome of the stoat to manage this invasive species in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • 23 October, 2020, Leah Kemp (ESR), Clinical genomics and the need for speed, scalability, portability, reproducibility and interpretability.
  • 9 October, 2020, Dan Tompkins (Predator Free 2050), Synthetic biology considerations at the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • 25 September, 2020, Tom Harrop (University of Otago), Genetic diversity and biocontrol in Argentine stem weevils.
  • 11 September, 2020, Tammy Steeves (University of Canterbury), A matchmaker’s guide to critically endangered New Zealand birds with implications for conservation breeding programmes worldwide.
  • 28 August, 2020, Cris Print and team (University of Auckland), Our current challenges in cancer genomics - and what experts in primary industry and environmental genomics can teach us.
  • 14 August, 2020, Andrew Hess (AgResearch), Imputation to whole genome sequence from a primary industry perspective.
  • 31 July, 2020, David Winter (Massey University), Genomic epidemiology of the 2019 aspergillosis outbreak in kākāpō.
  • 17 July, 2020, Lara Urban (University of Otago), Leveraging statistical genomics for the conservation of the critically endangered kākāpō.
  • 3 July, 2020, Maui Hudson (University of Waikato), Developing guidelines for genomic research with taonga species.
  • June 19, 2020, Annabel Whibley (University of Auckland), Evolutionary genomics of colour patterns: tales of snapdragons and butterflies.
  • 5 June, 2020, David Chagné (Plant & Food Research), Genome-wide patterns of genetic differentiation and demographic history in mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium) grown on indigenous Māori land.
  • 22 May, 2020, Carmen Astudillo-Garcia & Kim Handley (University of Auckland), Fighting salinity like a microbe: Understanding salinity tolerance mechanisms in a dynamic estuarine system.
  • 8 May, 2020, Greg Jones & Basharat Bhat (University of Otago), Developing an online epigenome-wide analysis tool: Lessons learnt along the way.
  • 24 April, 2020, Joseph Guhlin (University of Otago), Applying natural language processing methods to biological sequences.
  • 2 April, 2020, Peter Dearden (Director of Genomics Aotearoa), What the honeybee genome might teach us about human health.


15-17 September, 2021
NZ Research Software Engineering Conference, online
6-8 October, 2021
Genetics Society of AustralAsia (GSA), online
21-22 October, 2021
MapNet conference, Christchurch
15-18 November, 15 2021
Metagenomics Summer School, Auckland 

Expression of Interest:
22-26 November, 2021
Otago Bioinformatics Spring School, Dunedin
8-9 December, 2021
Queenstown Research Week, Queenstown
9-11 February, 2021
eResearch 2022, Christchurch
SINGAotearoa workshop

10-12 March, 2022
Rosaceae Genomics Conference, Nelson 

hosted by Plant & Food Research

Bioinformatics training

Using genomic information to improve human health, protect endangered wildlife and develop primary production requires bioinformatics – the software tools and analytic methods that help us interpret genomic data. Genomics Aotearoa aims to build bioinformatics capability in the New Zealand research community through training and disseminating new techniques. Resources can be found here:

We run regular workshops and training programmes. For information on upcoming training, see

Genomics Aotearoa training session

Genomics Aotearoa training session

Or contact us if you would like to discuss hosting a workshop at your institution:
Ngoni Faya
Training Coordinator
+64 22 317 1364

We work with the Bioinformatics Capability project team and a group of talented training associates.


Genomics workflows: How CWL can streamline your research

In March 2020, ESR and Genomics Aotearoa researcher Joep de Ligt collaborated with NeSI to deliver a training webinar on genomics workflows. He summarised the benefits of adopting a workflow practice and demonstrated what an effective CWL (Common Workflow Language) workflow can look like. Attendees learned how workflows can help with generating reusable code, using resources more effectively (such as HPC platforms), and creating work that is reproducible.

See the webinar recording and teaching material:–-genomics-workflows-how-cwl-can-streamline-your-research

Visiting speakers

Nancy Moran, NZ Microbial Ecology Consortium conference
Leading US evolutionary biologist and entomologist, Professor Moran, spoke at a New Zealand Microbial Ecology Consortium conference, supported by Genomics Aotearoa. Here she considers using microbial communities to address today's environmental challenges.

Wook Ahn, NZ workshops on the transition of genomics research into routine clinical service
Dr Ahn is the Bioinformatics training lead for the National Health Service (NHS) Scientist Training Programme, and operational lead for the Genome Informatics Section at Guys and St Thomas' Hospital, London.  He presented at workshops in New Zealand, outlining the processes he has used in developing clinical expertise in genomic-based health care.

Guidelines for genomic research with Māori

Te Mata Ira: Guidelines for genomic research with Māori

Vision Mātauranga

Te nohonga kaitiakithis project will develop guidelines for genomic research with taonga species