Key leaders from the University of Waikato met with representatives from Genomics Aotearoa (GA) to discuss their ongoing partnership of collaborative research in genomics and bioinformatics.
Genomics science aims to increase understanding of the genetics of organisms to support agriculture or horticulture development and biosecurity or biodiversity outcomes, whereas bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field of science that combines biology, computer science, information engineering, mathematics and statistics to analyse and interpret biological data.
The current partnership between the University and GA is part of a wider collaboration with other New Zealand universities and Crown Research Institutes.
Genomics Aotearoa Director Dr Peter Dearden says their ongoing relationship strengthens their collaborative approach and provides more opportunities to increase research capability.
“This interdisciplinary research partnership is providing a New Zealand-wide focus on genomics for the first time,” says Dr Dearden.
Waikato University’s Associate Professor Maui Hudson has been involved in genomics research for a number of years.
He’s currently heading ‘Te Nohonga Kaitiaki’ – a project under Genomics Aotearoa where he’s developing guidelines for genomic research with taonga species.
“Genomics Aotearoa is utilising genomic information to improve human health, conservation efforts and breeding for primary production,” says Associate Professor Hudson.
“Some of these genomes belong to taonga species – native species that are of particular importance to Māori who are kaitiaki or guardians of toanga. Research practices of genomic researchers must therefore recognise Māori rights and interests in these species.”