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Waikato Women Professors


Professor Roberta Farrell

Role: Professor of Biological Sciences
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
Department: Biological Sciences


Faculty Profile

Research Expertise

  • Biochemistry and Biotechnology.
  • Special areas of research are fundamental and applied studies on:
    • Enzymes; activity and production; Cellulose, lignin and resin degradation and modification; Fungal ecology and Biocontrol Research and Products;
    • Study of deterioration of Antarctic Historic Huts and artefacts;
    • Antarctic microbial biodiversity and bioprospecting.

Teaching Areas/Programmes

  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology

Academic and Professional Leadership Roles

  • Appointment Adjunct Professor, North Carolina State University, USA, 2008-continuing
  • Appointment Board New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology, 2008 - 2011
  • Invitation Key Note Lecture Intergovernmental Meeting of Experts on Biological Prospecting in the Antarctic Treaty Area, Baarn, The Netherlands, 3 – 5 February 2009
  • Appointment Associate Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics, University of Western Cape, South Africa.
  • Appointed Director ZyGEM Ltd, 2005 – continuing


  • Named "2011 Influencers of New Zealand", by Unlimited Magazine, Auckland, NZ
  • Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in recognition for services to biochemical research, 2009
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Missouri-St Louis, 2009
  • Hamilton New Zealand Kudos Science Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2008
  • Contributing author of a chapter in the co-authored book Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, which received the Zayed International Prize for the Environment in the category of “Scientific Achievements in the Environment” (, 2006
  • Elected Fellow of Royal Society of New Zealand, 2005
  • Appointed Judge, The Wolf Foundation Prize, 2002 & 2003
  • Elected Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science, 1990

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