Our people

Sarah Walters,

PhD student

Lizard  Flat Cartoon

Sarah Walters

PhD Candidate

My doctoral work leads the way in employing genomic techniques to decode the evolutionary complexities of our indigenous gecko fauna. Building on my background in Zoology and Forensic Science, my ongoing research in evolutionary genomics satisfies both my investigative curiosity and deep passion for nature. Aotearoa presents an unparalleled opportunity for studying evolutionary processes. Focused particularly on sex determination and speciation, I hope to increase our knowledge of Aotearoa geckos while contributing to our understanding of the fundamental principles driving evolutionary dynamics.

Co-supervised by the amazing Jo Monks and Bruce Robertson

Co-supervised by the amazing Jo Monks and Bruce Robertson

Angus Davis

MSc candidate

My main areas of interest are alpine ecology, herpetology, and conservation genomics. I am particularly interested in harnessing the power of genomics to aid the conservation of threatened species. My master’s project aims to use genomic techniques to resolve two New Zealand skink species complexes. By carrying out genome-wide analyses of each population and species, I hope to fully characterise the complexes' genetic diversity and evolutionary history, allowing more informed management decisions for these species.

Co-supervised by the mighty Jo Monks

Harrison Irving

MSc Candidate

I have always been interested in animals’ genetics and what makes them unique. I have a deep passion for conservation. Currently, my project focuses on sequencing the genome of the robust skink (Oligosoma alani), marking the first genome sequencing of any New Zealand skink.

We will then uncover the genetic diversity within this threatened species and ultimately inform conservation management.

Co-supervised by the legendary Bruce Robertson and Jo Monks

Ludovic Dutoit Group Leader

I have a range of research interests within evolutionary genomics.

I am using population genomics, as well as transcriptomics and eDNA to approach research questions in Ecology and Evolution. I have specific interests in understanding genomic signatures of sexual conflict, the speciation process, and the evolutionary forces shaping genomic variation both in a fundamental context and within the realm of conservation biology.

contact: ludovic.dutoit@otago.ac.nz