Our scientists

Meet our talented scientists who are at the leading edge of genetic, reproductive and technological dairy-focused research.

They tackle some big challenges and exciting opportunities in agriculture, and work hard to improve farmers’ lives.

We’re always on the lookout for more talent. So, if you’re skilled in reproductive technology, quantitative genetics, statistics or machine learning join us.

Meet some our research scientists.


Education

ZhenZhong Xu

PhD in Animal Science, Massey University.

Bachelor of Agricultural Science, China Agricultural University.

Masters of Agricultural Science, Massey University.

About Zhenzhong

Zhenzhong leads research in male and female reproduction. He oversees areas such as artificial insemination, semen production and processing, and sperm survival in vitro.

Education 

Rachel Bloxham2

Bachelor of Animal Science (Hons), major in Animal Genetics and Improvement, Massey University

About Rachel

Rachel manages the Animal Evaluation Unit (AEU). She makes sure data from the AE system and LIC’s genomic evaluation system is accessible and available for farmers and the dairy industry.


Education

Steve Davis

PhD in Science, University of Nottingham (Animal Physiology).

Masters of Science, University of Nottingham.

Bachelor of Science, University of Nottingham.

About Steve

Steve leads the genomics team, which aims to identify specific genetic variation that’s of value to the dairy industry.

Education


PhD in Animal Breeding, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Masters of Science in Animal Breeding, University of Guelph, Canada.

Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Hons,) University of Guelph, Canada.

About Anne

Anne is a quantitative geneticist and animal breeder who’s carried out research in milk colour, gestation length and calving difficulty. She’s currently developing models for genomic selection.

Education

Danhui Yang

PhD in Biochemistry, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Masters of Science in Biology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China.

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Lanzhou University, China.

About Danhui 

Danhui is a senior scientist in the semen team. Her main focus is to better understand the biochemical and physiological changes in sperm cells during in-vitro storage at ambient temperature.

Education

Masters of Philosophy, Massey University.Mike Keehan

Bachelor of Technology (Hons), Massey University. 

About Mike

Mike’s responsible for bioinformatics within Strategy and Growth. This includes productionisation and quality assurance for genomic selection, high performance computing strategy and software engineering.

Education    

Thomas Lopdell

Masters of Science in Bioinformatics, University of Auckland.

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Bioinformatics, University of Auckland.

About Thomas

Thomas is a PhD student enrolled at the University of Auckland and is involved in the sequencing project with the Genomic Selection group.

Education

Kathryn SandersGraduate Diploma in Social Policy, Waikato (in progress).

Graduate Diploma in Secondary teaching, Waikato.

Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (Hons), Waikato.

About Kathryn

Kathryn’s been involved in a broad range of research including semen allocation, fertility and mastitis. More recently, she’s been working on establishing associations between animal traits and genomic information.

Education

Lorna McNaughton

PhD in Reproductive Physiology, Massey University.

Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) in Animal Science, Massey University.

About Lorna

Lorna joined LIC in 2003 to work on the Friesian Jersey Crossbred QTL discovery trial and is currently working in the female fertility area.

Education

PhD in Biochemistry, University of Otago.

Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Cellular and Molecular Biology), University of Canterbury.

Bachelor of Science (Biology), University of Waikato.

About Matt

Matt is involved in the development and utilisation of very large-scale bovine DNA and RNA sequence datasets. He’s also led the development of CRISPR Cas9-based methods to identify causal variants using mammary cell culture.

Education

Ric Sherlock

Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Hons), Massey University.

About Ric

Ric is involved in the ongoing development of our genomic selection programme and its integration into the breeding scheme. He also manages our genomic resource and is interested in managing and maintaining diversity in the population.


About Vivienne

Vivienne Bennett

Vivienne came to LIC in 1985 to create a library from a shelf of books and a card catalogue. She’s passionate about providing outstanding service to all LIC staff.

Education

PhD in Animal Genomics at University of Liege, Belgium (pending).Chad Harland

Masters of Science (Biochemistry), University of Canterbury.

Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry), University of Canterbury.

About Chad

Chad works with large whole genome datasets to help improve the rate of genetic gain in dairy cattle. His PhD thesis looked at the rates and properties of de novo (new) variants in dairy cattle at the University of Liege, Belgium.

Education

PhD in Computer Science, University of Waikato.Grant Anderson

Master of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, University of Waikato.

Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, University of Waikato.

About Grant

Grant works in the Analytics group, and has recently been analysing and investigating data from in-line milk meters.

Education

PhD in Molecular Reproductive Biology, University of Cambridge (UK).

Bachelor of Science (Hons), Lincoln University.

About Christine

Christine trained as a molecular biologist and is currently involved in characterising large genomic variants and sex chromosome genetics.