The health and wellbeing of plants, animals and humans is to a large extent determined by the microbes with which they co-exist. Our microbiology and molecular biology expertise spans the University, with researchers working across evolutionary, fundamental, natural, mathematical and veterinary sciences.

Research expertise

Clinical microbiology

Our microbiological research focusses on the clinical aspects of antimicrobial resistance. Key pathogens we investigate include Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium, Chlamydia trichomatis, and human papilloma virus.



Massey University staff are working on world-leading collaborative research covering a range of areas related to infectious diseases and their transfer between the environment, animals and humans.

We have a broad range of specialists in animal, human and environmental health who are researching trends and solutions to emerging national and international public health issues caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites or viruses.


Food microbiology

Our expertise is in biofilm development and control with a focus on the dairy industry. Fundamental studies include an understanding the role of ions in biofilm development, the genomic comparison of thermophilic bacteria and their relationship to biofilm structure and spore formation and the formation and control of highly heat-resistant spores.


Microbial biotechnology

Particular research is being undertaken in the areas of methanogens and greenhouse gas mitigation. Other specialities include prokaryotic evolution and bacteriocins.


Molecular biology

We have a large number of people working in this area. We are using cutting-edge techniques to investigate microbial interactions, how to minimize their detrimental effects and to better exploit their beneficial effects.

Areas of speciality include gaining a better understanding of antibiotic resistance, bacteriophage technologies for vaccine development, medical diagnostics, and display technologies.

We use molecular, fluorescent, and flow cytometry techniques to explore cell biology, including cell shape, protein behaviour, and DNA segregation.


Molecular plant-microbe interactions

We have expertise in research and applications to both pathogens and mutualistic/beneficial endophytes. We use genomics-based technologies in our work to determine how these microorganisms cause plant diseases and trigger plant defences and pathogenic and mutualistic microbe-host interactions in plants and animals.


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Research projects


    Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre

    The MMIC facility is available for use by organisations such as researchers, Crown Research Institutes, other teaching institutions, hospitals and commercial clients. We offer transmitted light and fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy and image analysis and have a professional team of specialists to help you with your microscopy needs.

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    Nutrition Laboratory

    Specialists at Massey University's Nutrition Laboratory provide consultancy for your food business, including nutritional testing of food products including for shelf life, food safety and product formulation.

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    Research centres

      Centre for Metabolic Health Research

      The Centre for Metabolic Health Research facilitates interdisciplinary research in metabolic health, with key aspects being the prevention of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the maintenance of mobility and functionality throughout the lifecycle. 

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      The EpiCentre is the largest veterinary epidemiology training and research centre in Australasia. It is widely considered to be one of the leading groups in the world. We have expertise in the understanding and control of disease in animal populations, the transmission of disease from animals to humans, and hazards in food of animal origin.

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      Infectious Disease Research Centre (IDReC)

      The Centre engages in applied research concerning multi-host pathogens and fundamental research regarding pathogen evolution and disease emergence. We cover the spectrum of population-based infectious disease research from microbiology, through population genetics, epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, disease ecology, statistics, mathematical modelling, and public health.

      Infectious Disease Research Centre

      Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory

      Our research seeks to understand the molecular basis of plant-pathogen interactions so that we can better inform disease resistance breeding programmes in crop and tree species of relevance to New Zealand.

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      The mEpiLab's works to improve the health of New Zealanders by developing and applying new techniques to inform decision making and guide the prevention and control of infectious disease.

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