Speakers and their biographies will
be listed when they are received

Keynote Speakers

IanFergusonDr Ian Ferguson is the Departmental Science Advisor at the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries. He was Chief Scientist of Plant & Food Research, and formerly HortResearch, for 10 years from 2003. Prior to that he was leader of the HortResearch Postharvest Group and is a leading NZ and international researcher in plant science, horticulture and postharvest science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and has been a member of many NZ Government funding and review panels and bodies, including the Peak Panel for the National Science Challenges, the  Marsden Council and the Rutherford Discovery Fellowship panel. He is Joint Editor-in-Chief of the leading international journal Postharvest Biology & Technology, and is involved in a number of international collaborations, including  Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand, and a 15 year collaboration with Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. Dr Ferguson was awarded a membership of the NZ Order of Merit in the 2010 New Year’s Honours list for contributions to horticultural science. In 2013, he was given a National Friendship Award by the Chinese Government, and a Westlake Friendship Award by the Zhejiang Provincial Government.

MartynJeggoProfessor Martyn Jeggo qualified as a veterinary surgeon in the UK in 1972 and after a short four-year spell in general practice worked overseas in North Yemen. He returned to the UK and joined the high containment Pirbright Laboratories.  In 1986 he joined the Animal Production and Health Section of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division to establish a veterinary laboratory support program. For 18 years he worked within the framework of UN programs of support for animal health in the developing world with research related projects in some 150 countries. In 2002 he became Director of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory. Although retiring in 2013, he continues on a part time basis as the Director of the Australian Centres for Emerging Infectious Diseases, a One Health consortium based in Victoria, Australia. He has championed the concept of One Health for the past six years and organized the first International Conference on One Health that took place in Melbourne, Australia in 2011. He will chair the Organizing Committee of the 4th  International One Health Congress which will again be held in Melbourne in 2016.

DMurdochProfessor David Murdoch, is a clinical microbiologist and infectious diseases physician, and Head of Pathology at the University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand. His research interests include the epidemiology, diagnosis and prevention of respiratory tract infections, pneumococcal disease, legionellosis, bloodstream infections, and the role of vitamin D in infectious diseases. He has a particular interest in the microbial etiology of pneumonia and is the laboratory director of the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) project which is focussed on determining the causes of severe pneumonia in children from developing countries.


JosephOKeefeDr Joseph O'Keefe has a wide range of experience in diagnostic operations and test validation, with specialist expertise in biocontainment and virology.  He graduated from Massey University’s veterinary school in 1985.  Following five years in clinical practice he completed PhD in veterinary molecular virology from Massey and post-doctoral studies in gene therapy research at the Wistar Institute, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  He is currently the Manager Ministry of Primary Industry’s Animal Health Laboratory at Wallaceville, and has a post-graduate diploma in public management from Victoria University.  He is New Zealand’s OIE Focal Point Representative for Laboratories and a New Zealand’s representative on the International Veterinary Biosafety Workgroup, an international panel focussed on the development and management of high level biocontainment facilities.  For the last 18 months he has been seconded as Director of the National Biocontainment Laboratory Project.  This work aims to redevelop the high level biocontainment facilities at Wallaceville to provide a national facility for high risk, in vitro, animal and human disease diagnostics that meets international best practice in biocontainment and has capacity to respond to national emergencies.



Speakers and their biographies will be listed when they are received.

JackieBenschopJackie Benschop BVSc (Dist), PhD, MANZCVSc, is a senior lecturer at mEpiLab, Hopkirk Institute, Massey University. Her professional interests include disease at the human-animal interface, best teaching and learning practice, facilitating cross-sector collaboration and the communication of science. Current projects include leptospirosis, salmonellosis, VTEC, cryptosporidiosis, and anti-microbial resistance.





KrunoKruno Bojanic is a PhD student in veterinary sciences based at mEpiLab, Massey University, Palmerston North. He comes from Croatia where he obtained a DVM degree in 2006. After graduating Kruno worked at Rudjer Boskovic Institute in Zagreb, Croatia as a research assistant in aquatic sciences for one year, followed by a general rotating and a small animal internal medicine internships at the Veterinary Faculty of Zagreb University and the University College Dublin in Ireland, respectively. Kruno also had experience in general practice for over 2 years before coming to New Zealand where in 2012 he started a PhD in epidemiology on Campylobacter species in dogs and cats and significance to public health.


RudiBuenoRudolfo Bueno is a Scientist in the Animal Health Laboratory, IDC&R, Wallaceville specialising in molecular and serological diagnosis of a range of animal diseases mainly FMD and other vesicular diseases, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), Leptospirosis and malignant catarrhal fever. I am veterinarian by training from the University of the Philippines and on my final stage of obtaining a Masters degree in Veterinary Studies at Massey University.  Previous work includes demonstrating and describing the distribution of OSHV-1 infection in Pacific oyster tissues using in situ hybridization and presently involve in validating several PCR assays and ELISAs for FMD diagnosis in Deer. I am also in the process of evaluating the application and practicality of available technology in laboratory automation and robotics as part of disease incursion preparedness such as foot and mouth disease. Other interests are identifying, developing and validating assays that could complement classical tests to facilitate trade and travel in New Zealand, an example is PCR for Babesia gibsoni in dogs.


CiricMilica Ciric obtained her MSc in molecular biology and physiology at University of Belgrade, Serbia. She completed her PhD thesis in the rumen microbiology group at AgResearch, in collaboration with the Institute of Fundamental Sciences at Massey University, New Zealand. Her PhD project focused on the development of a metasecretome selection method using next-generation sequencing and phage display. She recently joined the Bacteriology and Aquatic Animal Diseases team at the Animal Health Laboratory in Wallaceville, where she is using next-generation sequencing technologies to elucidate gut microbiome of King salmon.



RickCloughRichard Clough qualified as a veterinary surgeon at Massey University in 1972, and in 1974 went to practise in Canada. In 1999 and 2004 he graduated with MSc and PhD (University of Manitoba) in Biochemistry/molecular biology at Winnipeg’s two teaching hospitals. Following this he returned to NZ to the  Investigation and Diagnostic Centre and Response, Wallaceville. His main interests there are in diagnostics of vesicular diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease. He is also involved in diagnostics of malignant catarrhal fever, small ruminant lentiviruses, and of hemoparasites such as canine Babesias and Anaplasma phagocytophylum.



Collins-EmersonJulie Collins-Emerson is a Senior Research Officer within the mEpiLab group in the Hopkirk Institute, Massey University. She graduated from the Australian National University with a BSc (Hons) majoring in zoology and genetics  and  completed a PhD in molecular genetics at Massey Uni, 1991 that involved the characterisation of a Rhizobium loti nodulation mutant.  This work was followed by a postdoc in leptospirosis research; a field in which she maintained an active interest since.  As part of the mEpiLab team and, as manager of the mEpiLab laboratory, she is also involved with the food safety and zoonoses research projects undertaken in the lab.  In addition, 13 years’ experience as a QA auditor for a GLP-accredited, Massey-associated company, has fostered a keen interest in quality management and processes.


EddyDowleEddy Dowle is working in the Coastal and Freshwater Group at the Cawthron Institute. She completed her PhD at Massey University studying ecological systems using High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS). Currently she is focusing on extending HTS techniques into new areas around environmental monitoring. In particular she is focusing on developing new genetic techniques for the monitoring of Salmon farms and Freshwater systems throughout New Zealand.




JennyDraperJenny Draper is a specialist in bacteriology & aquatic animal diseases at the Animal Health Laboratory in Wallaceville, part of the Ministry for Primary Industries (formerly known as MAF). She obtained her Ph.D. in Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the home of the UCSC Genome Browser. She has over 12 years experience in bioinformatics and molecular microbiology, which she is now using to help identify exotic and emerging animal diseases in New Zealand.




NigelFrenchNigel French is Professor of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health at Massey University, New Zealand.  He is Director of the Infectious Disease Research Centre (www.idrec.ac.nz) at Massey University and Head of the Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health laboratory in the Hopkirk Research Institute (http://mepilab.massey.ac.nz/), specializing in research and training in molecular epidemiology, food and water safety and the control of infectious diseases.  Prior to joining Massey University in 2004, Nigel held a number of academic positions at the University of Bristol and, between 1996 and 2004, at the University of Liverpool, where he was Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology.  



ZoeGrangeZoe Grange is a final year PhD candidate in wildlife disease ecology funded by the Allan Wilson Centre and based at mEpiLab, Massey University, Palmerston North. She completed an undergraduate degree in Biomedical sciences at the University of Surrey, UK, followed by an MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London where her thesis focused on the determinants of parasite prevalence and intensity in wood mice. Pursuing her interest in population disease ecology research, she moved to New Zealand and commenced her PhD in 2011. Her current research requires a multidisciplinary approach, involving fieldwork through to microbiology and genomic analysis, to aid in understanding the ecology and epidemiology of bacterial transmission in critically endangered translocated takahē populations.


RGuptaRita Gupta is a Second Incharge/ Scientific Officer, Molecular Virology Section, LabPlus, Auckland City Hospital. She did her PhD in Molecular Medicine and Patholog at the University of Auckland. Her PhD research was on Anti-Cancertherapy with Angiostatic cytokines, chemokines and Milk Bioactives. This was followed by few Postdoctoral research fellowships and Molecular Medicine and Physiology. For the past seven, she has enjoyed the role of developing, validating and running molecular virology assays at LabPlus. She is happy contributing towards clinical decisions make through our range of molecular virology tests.



HaHye Jeong Ha was qualified as a veterinarian in South Korea in 1997. Following five years in clinical practice and as a food safety veterinarian she joined Massey University to complete her Masters in Conservation Biology investigating the prevalence of avian viruses in New Zealand. Then she returned to Korea and worked several years for National Veterinary Research & Quarantine Service. She was involved in various research and responses regarding avian viral diseases, including Avian Influenza. This was followed by working as a researcher in toxicology, establishing Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) for pharmacological agents in food and animal feedstuff, implementing new analytical tests for various pharmacological agents, and investigating bacterial susceptibility and antibiotic efficacy in food producing animals. On return to New Zealand, she completed her PhD in Veterinary Pathology at Massey University. Currently, she is working as a Senior Scientist in bacteriology & aquatic animal diseases at the Animal Health Laboratory, Ministry for Primary Industries.


RichardHallRichard Hall is the principal investigator of the ESR Virus Hunters project – an ESR research group based at the National Centre in Biosecurity & Disease, Wallaceville, Upper Hutt. He is a virologist, specialising in the use of molecular (DNA) techniques for the detection of viruses, particularly in regard to the use of metagenomics and high-throughput sequencing to discover new, rare or unexpected viruses in human, animals and the environment. Richard also provides support for the ESR Clinical Virology Reference Laboratory and WHO National Influenza Centre, including research on influenza and other respiratory viruses, and response to novel infectious disease events such as the 2009 influenza pandemic. Richard has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Otago and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in genomics with AgResearch.


DavidHaymanDavid Hayman qualified as a veterinary surgeon in the UK in 2002 and spent four-years working as a field veterinarian for wildlife projects, largely in the tropics, and in general practice in the UK. He took time out half way through these four years to complete an MSc in Conservation Biology. In 2007 he was awarded a Cambridge Infectious Diseases Consortium fellowship at the University of Cambridge and initiated a research project on viral infections with zoonotic potential within bat populations in W. Africa. Two further fellowships, one a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship (PhD) at Cambridge and the other a David H Smith Conservation Research Fellowship (post-doctoral) at Colorado State University and University of Florida, allowed him to continue his research on infection dynamics within bat populations. David’s research has included studies on viruses of human health concern and fungal infections of conservation concern. He is particularly interested in research at interfaces, whether they are between species or research disciplines. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health at Massey University within the mEpiLab.


SueHuangSue Huang is a virologist in New Zealand with a PhD degree in virology from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA.  She is the Director of the WHO National Influenza Centre and WHO National Poliomyelitis Laboratory.  Dr Huang is responsible for the national surveillance of influenza in New Zealand and also the Principal Investigator of the SHIVERS (Southern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance) project.




JarosPatricia Jaros, Dr.med.vet., MVS, is a PhD student based at mEpiLab, Massey University, Palmerston North, and has just recently submitted her thesis.  Her PhD research focused on the epidemiology of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 and STEC O26 in New Zealand slaughter cattle, and the source attribution of human illness.  She will continue her research on STEC O157 as a postdoc funded by the Allan Wilson Centre at Massey University.




PhilLesterPhil Lester is an ecologist and entomologist working at Victoria University of Wellington. He and his research group work with social insects including ants, bees and wasps and ants. Central to this research is how pathogens influence the abundance and population dynamics of pollinators and invasive species.





DongmeiLiDongmei Li got her BSc and MSc in Shanxi Agricultural University, China and PhD in the University of Adelaide, Australia in 2002. She has worked on the areas of Insect Molecular Biology, Genetics, Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Ecology in the University of Adelaide and CSIRO, Australia for over ten years. She joined the Entomology team at PHEL, Ministry of Primary Industries as a Scientist in August 2013, currently she is working on incest molecular diagnostics and method development for rapid Insect ID.



JOhnMackayJohn Mackay is the technical director of dnature diagnostics & research ltd,  a specialist molecular diagnostic company. He has over 20 years experience in the development of PCR assays and more than 15 of these with real-time PCR. He developed the industry test for the devastating  kiwifruit disease Psa and a similar duplex assay for the oyster disease Bonamia. As well as developing assays for others, dnature also uses qPCR and high resolution melting for a range of applications in their own lab  – from truffles to bees to plant viruses. DNA in a range of nature = dnature.



JohnMcCallumJohn McCallum is a research scientist at Plant and Food Research, currently leading the 'Genomics for Breeders' Programme for the Kiwifruit Breeding Team. His PhD and postdoctoral research were in plant secondary metabolism but since then has widened to include genomics and genetic mapping. His major research has been on the genetic analysis of flavour and flowering traits in onion and more recently on bioinformatics of assay design. They are now using these approaches to scale up genetics and diagnostic marker discovery for the kiwifruit breeding programme at PFR.



Price_carterMarian Price-Carter is a scientist with AgResearch at the Hopkirk Research Institute in Palmerston North, who uses molecular techniques to distinguish important bacterial pathogens in NZ.  For her doctorate from the University of Utah, she studied the di-sulfide coupled folding of marine toxins.  As a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Utah she switched gears and used genetic techniques to answer questions about the lifestyle of Salmonella.




DavidPulfordDavid J Pulford is a senior scientist in Virology at MPI's Animal Health Laboratory (Wallaceville). David graduated in Zoology at University College London and then worked in the Institute for Animal Health, UK (Compton Laboratory) working on porcine coronavirus research that resulted in a PhD in molecular virology from Reading University. David has developed extensive experience with recombinant vaccine development focusing on virus expression systems and profiling the immunological characteristics of candidate vaccines. Recently David contributed in the development of MPI's readiness for exotic Arbovirus incursions into New Zealand and had key roles in laboratory investigations for recent responses to Theileria orientalis (ikeda) and Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy.

AndrewSoepnelAndrew Soepnel is a scientist working across Immunology and Molecular Biology departments at Waikato Hospital. He is a recent MSc (laboratory science) graduate with distinction from Massey University. His fourth year masters project adapted and validated PCR of blood samples for the detection of pathogenic Leptospira and enteroviruses, with a focus on optimal laboratory workflow by consolidating in-house PCRs. He has a special interest in laboratory information systems.





AngelaToddAngela Todd is a Scientist in the Virus Identification Reference Laboratory at National Centre in Biosecurity and Disease, Wallaceville, Upper Hutt. She specialises in the molecular testing of clinical specimens for respiratory viruses. In addition to routine diagnostic testing she oversees the development and validation of real-time assays in the laboratory as well as having an involvement in several research projects. Her particular area of interest is the molecular biology and epidemiology of enteroviruses. She is also part of the SHIVERS (Southern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance) project.




DanTompkinsDan Tompkins is a Research Leader with Landcare Research, specializing in disease ecology and pest management. Key past research includes showing how orally-delivered live microbial vaccines can protect wildlife against natural disease challenge (working with bovine tuberculosis in possums), and demonstrating that interactions between parasites and herbicides cause developmental malformations in native New Zealand fish. Current research includes developing novel fertility control solutions for pests (the 'Trojan Female Technique'), and applying metagenomic 'pathogen discovery' approaches to wildlife disease issues. Dan is an IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group member and Council Member at Large for the Wildlife Disease Association.


For any questions regarding the programme for the Workshop please contact Richard.
For questions on the organisation of the Workshop please contact Susan.