CURRENT LAB MEMBERS
David Broderick- PhD student
I am interested in how the microbiome can influence severity of disease, particularly through its interaction with the immune system. I am currently studying this in the context of bronchiolitis, an inflammatory airway condition which is common in infants, and in which the consequences can range from a patient recovering without assistance to being potentially fatal in extreme cases.
Michael Hoggard- PhD student
I received my Bachelor’s degrees in arts (BA) and science (BSc (Hons)) from the University of Auckland with majors in philosophy, ecology, and biomedical science. I am currently a PhD candidate with a research focus on processes and interactions in both the human and microbial aspects of the chronic inflammatory mucosal condition, chronic rhinosinusitis. More generally, my research interests focus on host-microbial interactions at the ecosystem level, and in the application of principles of ecological theory to better understand the nature of microbial roles in both health and disease.
Anna Lau- Microbiology Group Teaching & Research Technician
I am a teaching and research technician in the microbiology group. I have a passion for student learning and look after the Stage 3 undergraduate microbiology labs. When I am not teaching I enjoy managing the research labs of Mike Taylor and Gavin Lear, and working on my own research projects. My research areas have included wastewater treatment, type 2 diabetes, Antarctic extremophiles, soil, fungi and food microbiology.
Christian Lux- PhD student
Hi, my name is Christian and I have been part of the team since May 2017. I've made my way from Germany in order to contribute to the chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) project. I am investigating the role of the sinus microbiome in CRS and within the scope of my PhD studies I will examine variation of the nasal microbiota in an animal model of CRS under antibiotic treatment.
Akarsh Mathrani- PhD student
My project investigates the link between type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the gut microbiota. Past studies suggest that plaque-forming human amylin plays a role in the onset of T2D. Utilising metagenomic and bioinformatic techniques, I am studying changes in the gut microbiome of transgenic mouse models (predisposed to T2D) as they progress from healthy to prediabetic to frank T2D. These analyses should enable elucidation of the interplay between amylin, T2D, the gut microbiome and potential therapy offered by prebiotics.
Tyler Regtien- MSc student
I recently completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Biological Sciences, and have just joined the lab for my MSc thesis. My MSc research will explore the role of the airway microbiome in paediatric bronchiectasis, a lung disease that is relatively common in New Zealand.
Associate Professor Mike Taylor- Principal Investigator
I have had my own research group at the University of Auckland since 2007, and while I have broad interests across microbial ecology my research mostly focuses on host-microbe interactions. Auckland is a fantastic place to conduct research on host-associated microbiota, and I have productive collaborations both within the School of Biological Sciences and just down the road at the Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences and Auckland City Hospital (including Starship Children’s Hospital). Our marine sponge research has benefitted from our close proximity to the ocean, while the many endangered birds in this country – while unfortunate - provide ample opportunity for interesting studies in that area.
Anna Vesty- PhD student (Department of Surgery)
My background is in clinical diagnostic microbiology, which to date is largely culture-based. The research I am involved in utilises molecular, DNA-based techniques to study oral bacterial and fungal communities in the context of head and neck cancer – a collaborative effort between The Department of Surgery and The School of Biological Sciences. Specifically, I study how oral microbes are associated with radiotherapy treatment outcomes in this group of patients, in terms of oral mucositis and dental decay.
Brett Wagner- PhD student (Department of Surgery)
I obtained my M.Sc. from the University of Auckland and am now a Ph.D. candidate studying with both the School of Medicine, Department of Surgery and the School of Biological Sciences. My thesis focuses on the role of the human sinonasal microbiome in chronic rhinosinusitis, and how to better understand the role of the sinonasal microbiome during health and disease. My research interests include host-microbiome interactions, and microbial community stability and response to disturbance.
Annie West - PhD student
I completed my MSc and BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Waikato, and am now undertaking a PhD in the Taylor Lab. My project investigates the impact of exudative cloacitis on the gut microbiome of the endangered kākāpō. Exudative cloacitis is a major current priority of the Kākāpō Recovery Programme, interfering greatly with management of this species, including translocation between islands. Understanding the potential relationship between the gut microbiota and prevalence of cloacitis should aid in the treatment and conservation of these critically endangered New Zealand parrots.
Giselle Wong- PhD student
My research focuses on the gut microbiome and autism spectrum disorder. For my PhD project, in collaboration with investigators at the Centre for Brain Research, I am currently working on a mouse model of autism and the influence of a treatment towards the gut microbiome.
FORMER LAB MEMBERS
Dr Ingela Dahllof (Visiting Scientist, 2018) - University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Yao-Chin Liu (MSc student 2017)
Carmen Astudillo-Garcia (PhD student, 2013-2017) - Watercare
Jesse Baker (MSc student 2017)
Lianne Cowie (MSc student 2010)
Anne Delaunay (Intern, 2017) – Universite de Rennes, France
Dr Manpreet Dhami (BSc Hons student 2008, PhD student 2009-2012) – Stanford University, USA
Dr Peter Deines (Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow, 2009-2011) – Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany
Johannes Denk (undergraduate intern, 2010) - Germany
Dr Melissa Dsouza (BTech student, 2009, PhD student 2011-2014) – University of Chicago, USA
Alysha Jurgeleit (MSc student, 2013) – Fort Richard lab supply company
Dr Janine Kamke (MSc student, 2008)
Elahe Kia (MSc student 2014, research assistant 2015-2017) – Bond University, Australia
Yao-Chin (Jonathan) Liu (MSc student 2017)
Michael Mawdsley (MSc student 2011) – Lanzatech, USA
Kyle Meyer (MSc student & Fulbright Fellow 2010) – University of Oregon, USA
Dr Danielle Middleton (Postdoctoral Fellow, 2014-2016) – Landcare Research
Elena Perry (Fulbright Fellow 2016) – California Institute of Technology, USA
Jeremy Raynes (summer student 2013) – University of Auckland
Dr Susanne Schmitt (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Postdoctoral Fellow 2008-2010) – Germany
Dr Rachel Simister (PhD student 2009-2012) – University of British Columbia, Canada
Chris Smith (BSc Hons student 2016) – Plant & Food Research
Jessica Taylor (MSc student 2013) – University of New South Wales, Australia
Dr David Waite (BSc Hons student 2010, PhD student 2011-2014) – University of Queensland, Australia
Laura Ward (MSc student 2013) – University of Auckland
Rose Williams (MSc student 2013) – Landcare Research