UCSC-MHIRT New Zealand is based in the laboratory of Dr. Neil Gemmell. The Gemmell lab uses molecular and genetic techniques to explore population, conservation and evolutionary biology. A recurring theme is that of reproduction, including the study of mating systems and mate choice, sperm-egg interactions, sperm function, sex determination, sex allocation, and inter-sexual genomic conflict. Other interests include the evolution of the mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA, and the processes that lead to speciation.

Examples of past UCSC-MHIRT New Zealand projects:

  • Changes in gene expression in the brain and gonads during sex change in a marine fish
  • Investigating the protein composition of ovarian fluid in salmon
  • Investigating the role of the neuropeptide kisspeptin in placentation and early pregnancy
  • Developing real-time PCR assays for enhanced marine biocontrol of invasive species