Evolution research

Massey has researchers working on evolution-related topics across our areas of expertise. Our areas of expertise and applications include heritable changes across successive generations of biological populations, speciation, phylogeny, adaptation, evolutionary ecology and genetics, experimental evolution, parasitology and infectious disease.

Research expertise

Ancient DNA

DNA technologies have expanded evolutionary studies by including ancient DNA from extinct species and populations in analyses. Our dedicated ancient DNA laboratory handles all types of degraded genetic material including herbarium and museum specimens.

Contact

Bioinformatics and biostatistics

We have expertise in developing and implementing statistical methods for applications in the biological, ecological and health sciences, with expertise in linear and logistic regression, bioinformatics, medical statistics and nutrition.

Our researchers using techniques from areas such as computer science, contemporary genomics and statistics to decipher large biological systems such as DNA, RNA and chromatin information, including modelling genome dynamics. One focus is establishing how genetic variation is distributed within and between individuals and determining how this diversity changes over evolutionary time.

Contact

Coevolution and mutualism

This is the study of interdependency between plants and animals, including pollination and seed-dispersal mutualisms and the exploitation of plants for food (herbivory and seed predation). We study chemical communication between individuals and among species to understand the evolution of species interactions.

Contact

Comparative genomics

Understanding the genome is central for studies ranging from disease and cancer to fundamental questions in evolution. By unravelling the information in genomes and why selection favours one genotype we are learning to unlock the secrets of life’s building blocks.

We work on the genetics of diversification, reverse evolution and rules of genetic evolution and evolutionary relationships among species.

Contact

Molecular and evolutionary ecology

Our research investigates the evolutionary and ecological processes that determine the structure and functioning of populations and communities. We use genetic/genomic tools in combination with environmental DNA sampling, field surveys, and experiments to address questions on population connectivity, local adaptation, trophic interactions, and the distribution of genetic diversity in natural populations and communities.

Contact

Speciation, hybridisation and adaptation

We study the process of evolution by natural selection and the origin of new lineages by hybridisation. Population genetics are used to estimate gene flow, population size changes, historical distribution and species boundaries.

We are especially interested in the underlying ecological, evolutionary and genetic mechanisms that drive diversification and have particular expertise in adaptive radiation – the rapid splitting of a single lineage into a range of niche adapted types.

Contact us

Systematics and taxonomy in animals

This is the study of the diversification of living forms, and the relationships among living things through time. We also focus on the identification, description, and naming of organisms.

Contact

Study

Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.

Research degrees

Search for an expert

Search our staff database for an expert or area of expertise.

Expertise search

Research projects

Resources

3D Imaging Gallery

This digital gallery allows you to explore some of New Zealand’s fauna through 3D models, wildlife images and audio. View our insects, birds, and reptiles from all angles.

Find out more

Facilities

Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium (MPN)

The Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium houses more than 40,000 flora specimens.

The majority of our collection comes from New Zealand, but there are also many specimens from around the world. The majority of our material is from the North Island from the Volcanic Plateau, to Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki and south to Wellington.

Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium (MPN)

Departments and staff

Find out more about the departments and staff involved in evolution research at Massey.

You may also be interested in research in

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey