Dr Simon Hills PhD

Research Development Advisor

Research and Enterprise

Contact details
Telephone: +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 86231
Email: 
Room RDA Cluster, Courtyard Complex, Manawatu
Ph: 86231 / / Room 1.27, AgHort Block A, Manawatu
Ph: 85672

Professional

Professional Biography

My primary research interest is the study of the ecology and evolution of New Zealand marine molluscs. In particular I aim to uncover the processes that led to the patterns of extant biodiversity. Integration across multiple lines of evidence is critical to my approach to this research, and I work with data derived from genetics, morphology, ecology and palaeontology. The core of my expertise is systematics and phylogenetics with complementary interests in palaeobiology and community ecology. I also have valuable experience with project design and analysis with next generation sequencing methods, particularly using the Illumina platforms. My work involves gathering specimens and data from the field, curation of specimen collections, data generation in a molecular biological laboratory, and computer-based analysis using a wide variety of software packages. In addition to my primary focus, I am involved in collaborations looking at stick insect speciation using genomic data, and viral phylogenetics

 

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Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Evolutionary Biology) - Massey University (2010)
  • Master of Science (Genetics) - Massey University (2004)
  • Bachelor of Science (Genetics) - Massey University (2000)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Systematics, specation, biodiversity and community ecology of New Zealand marine molluscs

Invertebrate genomics

New Zealand marine ecology

Integration across evolutionary biology, ecology and paleontology

Thematics

Resource Development and Management

Area of Expertise

Field of Research Codes
Animal Systematics and Taxonomy (060301): Biogeography and Phylogeography (060302): Biological Sciences (060000): Ecology (060200):
Environmental Monitoring (050206): Environmental Science and Management (050200): Environmental Sciences (050000):
Evolutionary Biology (060300): Genetics (060400): Genomics (060408): Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology) (060205): Molecular Evolution (060409): Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis (060309): Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics (060411)

Keywords

phylogenetics and systematics

molecular rate and divergence time inference

population genetics, demografic inference and phylogeography

integration of molecular and paleontological data

New Zealand marine molluscs

genomics and next-generation sequencing 

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

PositionCurrentCompleted
Project Leader30

Current Projects

Project Title: Monitoring the environmental effects of 1080 pest control in the Southern Horopito area

Date Range: 2016 - 2018

Funding Body: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Project Team:

Project Title: Connect Tairawhiti

Date Range: 2016 - 2018

Funding Bodies: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; Eastland Energy Community Trust

Project Team:

Research Outputs

Journal

Morgan-Richards, M., Hills, SFK., Biggs, PJ., & Trewick, SA. (2016). Sticky genomes: Using NGS evidence to test hybrid speciation hypotheses. PLoS ONE. 11(5)
[Journal article]Authored by: Biggs, P., Hills, S., Morgan-Richards, M., Trewick, S.
Munday, JS., Vaatstra, BL., Dunowska, M., Laurie, RE., & Hills, S. (2016). Genomic characterization of a novel Epsilonpapillomavirus associated with pigmented papillomas in a red deer (Cervus elaphus). Virus Genes. 52(5), 633-639
[Journal article]Authored by: Dunowska, M., Hills, S., Munday, J.
Munday, JS., Dunowska, M., Laurie, RE., & Hills, S. (2016). Genomic characterisation of canine papillomavirus type 17, a possible rare cause of canine oral squamous cell carcinoma. Veterinary Microbiology. 182, 135-140
[Journal article]Authored by: Dunowska, M., Hills, S., Munday, J.
Munday, JS., Thomson, N., Dunowska, M., Knight, CG., Laurie, RE., & Hills, S. (2015). Corrigendum to 'Genomic characterisation of the feline sarcoid-associated papillomavirus and proposed classification as Bos taurus papillomavirus type 14' [Vet. Microbiol. 177 (2015) 289-295] DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2015.03.019. Veterinary Microbiology. 180(1-2), 168
[Journal article]Authored by: Dunowska, M., Hills, S., Munday, J.
Ohneiser, SA., Hills, SF., Cave, NJ., Passmore, D., & Dunowska, M. (2015). Canine parvoviruses in New Zealand form a monophyletic group distinct from the viruses circulating in other parts of the world. Veterinary Microbiology. 178(3-4), 190-200
[Journal article]Authored by: Cave, N., Dunowska, M., Hills, S.
Munday, JS., Thomson, N., Dunowska, M., Knight, CG., Laurie, RE., & Hills, S. (2015). Genomic characterisation of the feline sarcoid-associated papillomavirus and proposed classification as Bos taurus papillomavirus type 14. Veterinary Microbiology. 177(3-4), 289-295
[Journal article]Authored by: Dunowska, M., Hills, S., Munday, J., Thomson, N.
Munday, JS., Thomson, N., Dunowska, M., Knight, CG., Laurie, RE., & Hills, S. (2014). Genomic characterisation of the feline sarcoid-associated papillomavirus and proposed classification as Bos taurus papillomavirus type 14. Veterinary Microbiology.
[Journal article]Authored by: Hills, S., Munday, J.
Dunowska, M., Munday, JS., Laurie, RE., & Hills, SFK. (2014). Genomic characterisation of Felis catus papillomavirus 4, a novel papillomavirus detected in the oral cavity of a domestic cat. Virus Genes. 48(1), 111-119
[Journal article]Authored by: Dunowska, M., Hills, S., Munday, J.
Munday, JS., Dunowska, M., Hills, SF., & Laurie, RE. (2013). Genomic characterization of Felis catus papillomavirus-3: A novel papillomavirus detected in a feline Bowenoid in situ carcinoma. Veterinary Microbiology. 165(3-4), 319-325
[Journal article]Authored by: Dunowska, M., Hills, S., Munday, J.
Gibb, GC., & Hills, SFK. (2013). Intergenerational mutation rate does not equal long-term evolutionary substitution rate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110(8)
[Journal article]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SFK., Crampton, JS., Trewick, SA., & Morgan-Richards, M. (2012). DNA and Morphology Unite Two Species and 10 Million Year Old Fossils. PLoS ONE. 7(12)
[Journal article]Authored by: Hills, S., Morgan-Richards, M., Trewick, S.
Hills, SFK., Trewick, SA., & Morgan-Richards, M. (2011). Phylogenetic information of genes, illustrated with mitochondrial data from a genus of gastropod molluscs. BIOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY. 104(4), 770-785
[Journal article]Authored by: Hills, S., Morgan-Richards, M., Trewick, S.
Hills, SFK., Trewick, SA., & Morgan-Richards, M. (2011). Phylogenetic information of genes, illustrated with mitochondrial data from a genus of gastropod molluscs. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 104(4), 770-785
[Journal article]Authored by: Hills, S., Morgan-Richards, M., Trewick, S.
Hills, SFK., Stevens, MI., & Gemmill, CEC. (2010). Molecular support for Pleistocene persistence of the continental Antarctic moss Bryum argenteum. Antarctic Science. 22(6), 721-726
[Journal article]Authored by: Hills, S.
McComish, BJ., Hills, SFK., Biggs, PJ., & Penny, D. (2010). Index-free de novo assembly and deconvolution of mixed mitochondrial genomes. Genome Biology and Evolution. 2(1), 410-424
[Journal article]Authored by: Biggs, P., Hills, S.
Stevens, MI., Hunger, SA., Hills, SFK., & Gemmill, CEC. (2007). Phantom hitch-hikers mislead estimates of genetic variation in Antarctic mosses. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 263(3-4), 191-201
[Journal article]Authored by: Hills, S.
White, WT., Hills, SF., Gaddam, R., Holland, BR., & Penny, D. (2007). Treeness triangles: Visualizing the loss of phylogenetic signal. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 24(9), 2029-2039
[Journal article]Authored by: Hills, S.

Thesis

Hills, SF. (2010). Evolution in a marine gastropod: rocks, clocks, DNA and diversity: a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Evolutionary Biology. (Doctoral Thesis)
[Doctoral Thesis]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SFK. (2004). A cDNA subtraction approach to isolate male-specific genes from Ceratitis capitata : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Genetics at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. (Master's Thesis)
[Masters Thesis]Authored by: Hills, S.

Conference

Hills, SFK., & Crampton, JS.Geology and Genes V 2014 : a meeting of mudstone and molecules.. In Geoscience Society of New Zealand miscellaneous publication. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington: Geoscience Society of New Zealand
[Conference Other]Authored by: Hills, S.Edited by: Hills, S.
Hills, SF., & Crampton, JS. (2012, January). Marrying Molecules and Morphology in Marine Molluscs. Presented at The 16th Annual New Zealand Phylogenetics Meeting. Kaikoura, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SF. (2011, November). Population, Species and Community Evolution in Molluscs on the East Coast of New Zealand: Where did they come from and where are they going?. Presented at 14th Annual New Zealand Molecular Ecology Conference. Akitio, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SF., Crampton, JS., Trewick, SA., & Morgan-Richards, M. (2011, September). Old Shell, New Snail: Correspondence Between Fossil and Extant Species.. Presented at 15th Evolutionary Biology Meeting at Marseilles. Marseilles, France.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SFK., Trewick, S., & Morgan-Richards, M. (2010, June). Calibrating molecular trees with an excellent fossil record. Presented at Evolution 2010. Portland State University, Oregon, USA.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SF. (2010, February). Can uneven extinction lead to basal branch contraction in molecular clock analysis?. Presented at New Zealand Phylogenetics Meeting. Skotel Alpine Resort, Whakapapa Village.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Gibb, GC., & Hills, SF. (2009). BioTechniques: Fundamental Techniques in Molecular Biotechnology.. Poster session presented at the meeting of BioEd, Christchurch
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SFK., Morgan-Richards, M., Trewick, S., & Crampton, J. (2009, February). Enhancing molecular analysis with rigorous paleontological sampling probabilities. Presented at New Zealand Geology and Genes meeting. Arts Centre, Christchurch.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SF. (2009, February). Calibrating Molecular Clocks with a Wealth of Paleontological Data. Presented at New Zealand Phylogenetics Conference. Edward Percival Field Station, Kaikoura.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SF. (2008, February). Snails Through Time: Molecular analysis of New Zealand Marine Gastropods. Presented at New Zealand Phylogenetics Conference. Whitianga, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SF. (2008, November). The Strange Case of Alcithoe wilsonae and Teremelon knoxi. Presented at Eleventh Annual New Zealand Molecular Ecology Meeting. Lake Okataina Outdoor Centre, Rotorua.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Morgan Richards, M., Hills, SF., Marshall, B., & Crampton, JS. (2008). Reconciling morphological divergence and genetic differentation: two examples. In Proceedings of the Speciation in Molluscs, NHM Meeting(pp. 10). : The Malacologiest: The Bulletin of the Malacological Society of London
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Hills, S., Morgan-Richards, M.
Hills, SF. (2007, December). Rates and modes of evolution in New Zealand marine gastropods. Presented at Tenth Annual New Zealand Molecular Ecology Meeting. Edward Percival Field Station, Kaikoura.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SF. (2007, June). Fossils, morphology and genetics: evolution in a group of marine molluscs. Presented at Evolution 2007. Christchurch, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.
Hills, SF. (2006, December). Rates and Modes of Evolution in New Zealand Gastropods. Presented at Molluscs 2006. University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Hills, S.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

PositionCurrentCompleted
CoSupervisor10

Teaching

199.204 Animal Behaviour

199.312 Behavioural Ecology

199.317 Animal Biodiversity

162.103 Introductory Biology

Current Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

  • Michael Gemmell- PhD
    Genetic and Phenotypic Lineages in Neogastropod Molluscs: A Journey Through Time and Morphospace

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