Our Research

The School of Biological Sciences operates cutting edge facilities and services supporting both academic groups and co-located companies. Many services are also available to external companies on a contract basis. Subject areas range from biomedical, microbial and plant biotechnology to environmental, ecological and conservation science.

Research Groups

Research in the School of Biological Sciences is conducted across the three research groups below as well as additional research centres and institutions.

Biomedical and Applied Biology


The aim of the BMA group is to understand the underlying biological mechanisms that enable organismal success in the face of physiological and pathological challenges. Using a range of model systems and molecular techniques we explore genetic and physiological responses that determine gene expression, proteomes and metabolic responses that are mediated by organelles, the microbiome and the body’s own cells. We want to know how this impacts organ function and whole animal survival. Within our group we have substantial expertise to focus on specific diseases and important economic targets, with the aim of translating these findings from the laboratory to the community.

Cellular, Molecular and Organismal Biology


The Cellular, Molecular and Organismal Biology (CMO) research grouping at the School of Biological Sciences brings together a large range of individual research teams who use cellular and molecular approaches to study the biology of diverse organisms.

Researchers in CMO use a powerful combination of genetics, “omics”, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology approaches to answer fundamental questions about life, with applications from Ecology to Biomedical Science.

Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour


Research within our group is integrative and multidisciplinary, involves a wide range of organisms (from viruses to whales), environments (terrestrial and marine), levels of biological organisation (molecules to ecosystems) and experimental approaches (from laboratory to field). We have a particular focus on the study of Aotearoa New Zealand biota and ecosystems.

Postgraduate research

We offer research opportunities in a range of subject areas to satisfy the requirements of the bachelors (honours), masters and PhD programmes.

Research is conducted across the three broad research groups listed above. Within each group, you will find a list of academic staff who are available as postgraduate supervisors. You are welcome to contact them directly if you have an area of research you are interested in pursuing at a postgraduate level.

Find out more about postgraduate study in our school.

Summer Research Scholarships

These opportunities are a great way to gain valuable research experience, work with leading researchers at the University of Auckland, enhance your career opportunities and help you think about pursuing postgraduate study.