Emeritus Professor Roberta Farrell

Roberta Farrell

Emeritus Professor

Qualifications: MSc PhD Ilinois FRSNZ FIAWS

Research Supervised


Jurgens, Joel (2010). Fungal biodiversity of extreme environments and their biochemical strategies of lignocelluloseis utilization.

Stahlhut, Dirk (2009). Identification of decay fungi and factors affecting wood decay in "leaky buildings" in NZ & strategies for improved detection and control.

Fraser, D. Scott (2008). Effects on forest ecosystems of pulp and paper waste.

Robson, Lisa (2008). Gene expression and ophiostoma species. [pictured]

Duncan, Shona (2007). Cellulose degradation in Antarctic historic huts.


Hingston, Erina (2006). The Manipulation of Cell Wall Polysaccharide Gene Expression.

Gutierrez-Zamora, Maria-Luisa (2005). Bioremediation of fuel-contaminated soils from Antarctica.

Ripi, Jonni (2004). Identification of Genes and Promoters Relevant to Pineapple Fruit Ripening.

Kuy, Sulee (2004). Bovine Milk Factors and Intestinal Integrity.

Robson, Lisa (2004). Microbial Abundance and Diversity surrounding Mummified Seals in Miers Valley, Antarctica.

Wilcocks, Sandra (2004). Extracellular Protein Expression by Ophiostoma sp.

Research Interests

  • NZ Sapstain Fungi
  • Bio Fibres and Fungi for use in Wood, Pulp and Paper Industries
  • Sapstain Fungi
  • Antarctic Research
  • Ganga

Honours, distinctions, membership of committees (since 2005):

  • 2010
    • Nature Asia-Pacific highlights PNAS publication 'Highly specialized microbial diversity in hyper-arid polar desert'; see
  • 2009
    • Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Missouri-St Louis
    • Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in recognition for services to biochemical research.
    • Invitation Key Note Lecture Intergovernmental Meeting of Experts on Biological Prospecting in the Antarctic Treaty Area 3 - 5 February 2009, Baarn, The Netherlands
  • 2008
    • Hamilton New Zealand Kudos Science Entrepreneur of the Year Award
    • Appointment Adjunct Professor, North Carolina State University, USA.
    • Appointment Board New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology (three years).
    • Invitation Keynote Lecture Bio-08, Grahamstown,South Africa, 23 January 08
  • 2007
    • Appointment Panel Member Royal Society of New Zealand Travel Grants Committee
    • Appointment Associate Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics, University of Western Cape, South Africa.
    • Invitation Sir Holmes Miller Lecture 2007, Wellington Branch New Zealand Antarctic Society
    • Invitation Keynote Lecture Hokkaido University, 19 October 2007.
  • 2006
    • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment received the Zayed International Prize for the Environment in the category of "Scientific Achievements in the Environment" (
    • Member 50th Anniversary of Scott Base Conference Organising Committee, a joint partnership of Antarctica New Zealand and the Royal Society of New Zealand
    • Appointed Director ZyGEM Ltd
  • 2005
    • Elected Fellow of Royal Society of New Zealand
    • Invitation Speaker II International Colloquium on Eucalyptus Pulp, Concepción, Chile, 22 - 26 May 2005
    • Invitation Keynote Speaker China Paper/China Forest 2005 Beijing, China 22 - 24 Sept 2005
    • Invitation Plenary Lecture AWIS (Association for Women in Sciences), 5th National Conference, 8 July 2005.
    • Appointed Director ZyGEM Ltd

Recent Publications

  • Arenz, B. E., Blanchette, R. A., & Farrell, R. L. (2014). Fungal diversity in Antarctic soils. In D. Cowan (Ed.), Antarctic Terrestrial Microbiology: Physical and Biological Properties of Antarctic Soils (pp. 35-54). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-45213-0_3

  • Chan, Y., Van Nostrand, J. D., Zhou, J., Pointing, S. B., & Farrell, R. L. (2013). Functional ecology of an Antarctic Dry Valley. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(22), 8990-8995. doi:10.1073/pnas.1300643110 Open Access version:

  • Subasinghe, R., Clearwater, M., Peters, L., Monk, C., Farrell, R., Gould, N., & Vanneste, J. (2013). Investigation of host cell wall degrading strategies of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa). In 1st International Symposium on Bacterial Canker of Kiwifruit (Psa). Conference held at Mt Maunganui, New Zealand.

  • Thwaites, J. M., Reay, S. D., Schirp, A., Grinter, W. A., & Farrell, R. L. (2013). Ophiostomatoid fungi and blue-stain in New Zealand. In K. A. Seifert, Z. W. de Beer, & M. J. Wingfield (Eds.), Ophiostomatoid Fungi: Expanding Frontiers (pp. 113-118). The Netherlands: CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre.

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Contact Details

Email: [email protected]