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 of our research scientists.

Bevin Harris


PhD in Animal Breeding and Statistics, Iowa State University USA.

Masters of Agricultural Science (First Class Hons.) in Animal Breeding, Massey University.

Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Massey University.

About Bevin

Bevin's interests lie in developing and implementing statistical methods for integrating genomic information into large scale genetic evaluation systems. 

He helps provide software tools that maximise the benefits from our breeding scheme and for specialised mating plans for customers. Bevin also undertakes analysis of data for our gene discovery program.

Actively involved in leading a small group that is using advanced analytical and learning models to interrogate and interpret data from the on-farm automated data capture of animals and the environment.


ZhenZhong Xu

PhD in Animal Science, Massey University.

Masters of Agricultural Science, Massey University.

Bachelor of Agricultural Science, China Agricultural University.

About Zhenzhong

Zhenzhong leads research in male and female reproduction. He oversees areas such as artificial insemination, semen production and processing, and cow fertility on farm.


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.


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’s research background is in dairy science. He is currently carrying out research into the development of heat tolerant dairy cattle and also the development of facial eczema-related diagnostics.


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.


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.


Thomas Lopdell

PhD in Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

Masters of Science in Bioinformatics, University of Auckland.

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

About Thomas

Thomas’ research is based around understanding the genetics that control cattle traits such as growth and milk production. This research is centred around the use of RNA-seq technology to understand gene expression in the mammary gland. More recently, he has also begun investigating the use of techniques such as ChIP-seq and ATAC-seq to highlight regions of the genome that are significant for the cattle traits mentioned above. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify genetic variants that can be used to improve the accuracy of genomic predictions of animal performance.


Kathryn Sanders

Scientist (Statistics).

PhD in Bioinformatics and Genetics, Massey (in progress).

Graduate Diploma in Secondary teaching, Waikato.

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

About Kathryn

Kathryn has been involved in a broad range of research including semen allocation, and analysis of milk composition, fertility and mastitis traits. 

More recently, she has been involved in establishing associations between animal traits and genomic information, and is currently a PhD candidate at Massey University. 

For her PhD, she is looking at how we can improve genomic prediction of new and existing traits in NZ dairy cattle using fine milk composition data.


Lorna McNaughton

PhD in Reproductive Physiology, Massey University.

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

About Lorna

Lorna started with the Research and Development group in 2003, after completing a PhD in dairy cattle reproduction.   Lorna’s areas of research include:

  • female reproduction
  • heifer live weight targets & the impact of reaching targets on reproduction and milk production
  • OAD milking
  • genetic variation in methane production.



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 to attempt to discover variants impacting a variety of bovine traits.

He splits his time between LIC and Massey University, where Matt holds a professorship at the AL Rae Centre in Ruakura, Hamilton.

Matt supervises a number of graduate students as part of these academic activities, and also currently leads an externally-funded MBIE Endeavour research programme as part of a collaboration between LIC, the University of Auckland, Massey University, and NZAEL.


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.



Master of Animal Sciences, major in Animal Breeding and Genetics, Wageningen University and Research Centre. 

Bachelor of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University and Research Centre. 


Esther works in the quantitative genetics team and provides technical support to both our International as well as our Livestock Selection team.

Rosemary Thresher.jpg


BSc (Hons) Biochemistry 

PhD in Human Genetic Disease,  Imperial College, London University

About Rosemary

Rosemary trained in molecular biology and microbiology. Her key interest is in identifying or developing diagnostic tests relevant to NZ dairy animals and working with her team to find inventive and practical solutions to support the high though-put testing in the Animal Health Laboratory.


PhD in Animal Genomics at University of Liege, Belgium.

Chad Harland

Masters of Science (Biochemistry), University of Canterbury.

Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry), University of Canterbury.

About Chad

Chad works at the intersection of biology and computing on large scale whole genome datasets. His current focuses are on the effects of de novo and familial variation on individuals and populations, and on the utilisation of the bovine microbiome to improve animal health and welfare.


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 working on LIC’s satellite pasture measurement product, SPACE™.

Christine Couldrey.png


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.



PhD in Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

About Mohammad

Mohammad started in the Research and Development group in 2018.

Mohammad’s areas of interest include the designing and application of statistical models in genetic evaluations, mainly focused on simultaneous incorporation of genomic, pedigree and performance data in genomic evaluation of the dairy cattle population.

Andrew Wallace


PhD in Computational Chemistry, University of Canterbury

Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and in Philosophy, University of Canterbury

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computer Science, University of Canterbury

About Andrew

Andrew joined the team in 2019. He utilizes the NeSI supercomputing facilities to analyse whole-genome-sequence data of cattle and of microorganisms relating to dairy cow health.

Mubashir Qasim.jpg


PhD in Economics, University of Waikato

Master of International Development, major in Economics and Statistics, International University of Japan.

Bachelor in Mathematics, University of Punjab

About Mubashir

Mubashir’s research background is in data science and economics. His areas of interest include a broad range of end-to-end data analytics using a variety of stochastic and deterministic approaches.

Hieu Trinh.JPG


PhD in Biophysics and Imagine at University Montpellier, France

Biomathematics, bioinformatics, and computational biology Engineering at INSA Lyon, France

About Hieu

Hieu is part of the Analytics group and work on broad range of projects involving Artificial Intelligence in general and Computer Vision specifically.

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PhD in Microbiology & Immunology, University of Otago

Bachelor of Science (First Class Hons), University of Otago

About Megan

Megan works in the Animal Health group and is involved in the development and assessment of diagnostic tests for infection, disease exposure and health status for dairy animals.