Dr Angela (Ang) McGaughran

Angela (Ang) McGaughran

Senior Lecturer

Qualifications: BSc, MSc University of Waikato, PhD Massey University

Personal Website:

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


  • Elahe (Eli) Parvizi (in progress; based with me at Waikato). Genomics Aotearoa Project: Invasomics for biosecurity: predicting and validating inherent invasiveness using high-priority exemplar species.
  • Amy Vaughan (in progress; based with Manpreet Dhami at Maanaki Whenua - Landcare Research). Genomics Aotearoa Project: Invasomics for biosecurity: predicting and validating inherent invasiveness using high-priority exemplar species.

PhD students

  • Vanessa de Araujo Barbosa (in progress). Assessing dispersal pathways and connectivity of aquatic insect populations in fragmented landscapes: an integrated study. [Chief Supervisor]
  • Nigel Binks (in progress). Vertebrate predator effects on belowground invertebrate metacommunities from forest fragments to pasture. [Co-supervisor]

MSc students

  • Paige Matheson (in progress). Using population genomic data to inform biological invasions. [Chief Supervisor]
  • Nicola Pyper (in progress). Comparing environmental DNA sampling with netting data for invasive catfish. [Chief Supervisor]

Summer Scholars

  • Chloe Flemming (Summer 2021/2022). Do life history traits of blowflies correspond to their invasive status? [Chief Supervisor]
  • Tessa Hamer (Summer 2020/2021). Assessing biodiversity and population genetic structure of forest soil insects. [Chief Supervisor]

Research Interests

I'm especially interested in how evolution shapes changes in DNA, how populations rapidly evolve novel genetic solutions to stress, how they become different from each other when isolated in different habitats (i.e., how biodiversity is distributed), and how we can make functional inferences from genomics/genetics research that can inform species management plans.

Why should we care about this? Because understanding species diversity and resilience when their environment changes is crucial as we try to conserve Earth's diversity, manage crops, and control biological invasions, in an ever-changing world. My research speaks directly to these issues by allowing us to predict how species might respond (e.g., adapt, move, go extinct) when faced with extreme pressures.

For example, in my current position as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand), my research group is comparing invasive and non-invasive populations of blowflies to work out what it takes to become a successful invader. We're using advanced genomic tools to unlock the secrets hidden in 'invasive DNA' – comparing gene sequences of native blowflies from across New Zealand to invasive blowflies that have invaded from Australia and Europe. These invasive/non-invasive genome pairs will help us identify the signatures underlying biological invasion.

Please see my personal website ( for an up-to-date list of publications and more information.


Antarctica; Biology; Genetics

Population genomics
Biological invasion