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I’m a PhD student with Associate Professor Ceridwen Fraser, Dist. Prof. Neil Gemmell, and Dr Sergio Morales at the University of Otago, Dunedin. My PhD research focuses on large macroalgae around New Zealand, examining the adaptive and bigeographical significance of the microbiome - trying to understand how genetic, environmental, and geographic factors can interact to shape the microbiome.
Prior to starting at the University of Otago, I was based at Massey University in Albany, New Zealand. I completed my Bachelors and Master degrees there, researching population genomics and mitochondrial genome structure in Isocladus armatus, an endemic isopod. I worked with Prof. James Dale, Dr Nikki Freed, and Dr Sarah Wells.
Prior to joining the University of Otago, I worked on a range of research projects at Massey University. I worked with Libby Liggins, Dave Aguirre, and Vanessa Arranz to develop a pipeline to create custom metabarcoding databases - called MARES. For this project we developed a set of tools and built on some of those previously developed to create databases of COI sequences for marine metabarcoding.
During this time, I was also involved in the Ira Moana project, developing analysis pipelines for re-use of genetic data and helping to compile metadata from previous publications.
While I completed my undergraduate and masters degree, I also studied the role that read length plays in characterizing communities with metagenomics. For this research, we found that community characterization success depended critically on i) kingdom ii) read length, and iii) sequencing technology.