• Associate Professor of Veterinary Public Health
  • Director of mEpiLab (the Molecular Epidemiology and Public Health Laboratory)
  • Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Science
  • Palmerston North Campus

 Dave Co-Directs the mEpiLab research team, first established by Nigel French, with Jackie Benschop. The mEpiLab comprises scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in epidemiology, microbiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics/computational biology, mathematical modelling, veterinary science and public health. The group applies an array of molecular and modelling tools to advance our understanding of the biology and transmission of infectious diseases. By working with governmental and non-governmental agencies, including collaborators in AgResearch, ESR, MidCentral Public Health Services and other groups across Massey University, the team is able to provide research outcomes that address many complex and diverse issues that arise in food safety and public health - both in New Zealand and overseas. The team’s work has led to the development of new surveillance and disease control tools, and informed national policy for the control of some of the most important infectious diseases in New Zealand.




  • Associate Professor
  • School of Veterinary Science
  • Palmerston North Campus

Jackie is an epidemiologist undertaking inter-disciplinary research to answer questions about infectious disease. Her extensive field experience in clinical veterinary practice and as a supervising meat veterinarian informs her research across human and veterinary health. During her PhD programme (completed 2010) she interrogated data from the Danish swine Salmonella control programme to develop novel approaches to surveillance. Since 2007 Jackie has been working on other zoonotic diseases including leptospirosis, an important occupational disease in New Zealand. Current projects include serological studies of prevalence in veterinarians, farmers, livestock and dogs; genotyping NZ strains; diagnostic test performance in humans and animals and the economic effects of the disease in livestock. Her work with zoonotic disease has expanded to include the effects of environmental change: from 2009 to 2011 she led Massey’s component of FRST funded project investigating the infectious disease consequences of climate variation and change.  In 2009 Jackie was appointed to a co-joint position with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited to provide epidemiological expertise to human health projects and to build strong links between Massey and this crown research institute. Jackie has co/supervised three PhD, eight masters and one post-doc student to completion. She currently co/supervises six PhD students and seven masters’ students working in leptospirosis in humans and animals; STEC; antimicrobial residues and resistance and sexual health (HPV, gonorrhoea and chlamydia).

Jackie's website is available here




  • Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology
  • School of Health Sciences
  • Wellington Campus
Collette obtained her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2004 and is a registered Medical Laboratory Scientist with 20 years’ experience in molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases. She is the former Chief Executive of Rare Disorders NZ and previously headed the molecular pathology department at Aotea Pathology Ltd where she was responsible for ~50,000 clinical PCR results per year that lead to her being crowned the “Queen of Chlamydia”, “Goddess of gonorrhoea” and the “High-Priestess of HPV”.She has been a technical expert for International Accreditation New Zealand and holds several advisory roles for the National Cervical Screening Program Advisory Committee. She has worked with the New Zealand Sexual Health Society to produce national guidelines on testing and treatment and has consulted to the Ministry of Health, ESR, Zygem Corporation and the Women’s Health Research Centre at Otago University. Collette has been involved with vocational and graduate training at Massey University, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Ulster. She has been a representative for education at the NZ Institute of Medical Laboratory Scientists and was deputy editor of their journal. With a career that bridges the sciences, advocacy and clinical medicine, Collette enjoys bringing ideas from these fields together to increase the understanding of colleagues and students.
Collette’s website is available here.
  • Professor of Public Health
  • Director of the Centre for Public Health Research
  • Wellington Campus

Jeroen's team are active in all aspects of public health research, such as non-communicable diseases (respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes, dermatitis and neurotoxicity), occupational and environmental health, socio-economic determinants of health, Maori health and Pacific health research. Jeroen's particular interests are around the causation, mechanisms and prevention of asthma. His work involves studies in children and adults focusing on protective and risk factors associated with the development of allergies and asthma, and the role of non-allergic airway inflammation in asthma. He is particularly interested in the links between the lower incidence of asthma and the farm environment and exposures to microbial and infectious agents. As part of this work, Jeroen's team are also developing novel and innovative methods for sampling the microbial load present in environment's such as farms and abattoirs. The centre for Public Health Research is also involved in an international study of modifiable risk factors of motor neuron disease and they hold a $5.6M HRC-funded Programme Grant on occupational health. The Centre for Public Health Research has also partnered with the Epicentre to develop on-line training in the area of One Health in Asia with a particular emphasis on zoonotic diseases.

The Centre for Public Health Research website is available here.


  • Senior Lecturer
  • School of Natural and Computational Sciences
  • Albany Campus
Dr Heather Hendrickson's lab at Massey University is investigating microbial evolution and bacteriophage biology. We have projects involving the evolution of cell shape and bacterial pathogenicity and a growing interest in the natural parasites of bacteria from bacteriophages (the viruses of bacteria) to protozoa and multicellular predators of bacteria. We use a combination of fluorescent microscopy, flow cytometry, genetics, genomics and microbiology techniques to learn about how microscopic entities affect one another over multiple time scales.

Heather’s website is available here.


  • Senior Lecturer in Statistics
  • School of Fundamental Sciences
  • Palmerston North Campus

Jonathan’s website is available here.





Mick Roberts


  • Professor in Mathematical Biology
  • Chair of Mathematics
  • Albany Campus

Mick is a Professor in the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. He specialises in using modern methods of mathematical analysis to help to understand the epidemiology of infectious diseases and allow for optimising strategies for their control. He is currently engaged in modelling the evolution and transmission of a virus; determining strategies for minimising the risk of importing exotic diseases and vaccination strategies for the control of infectious diseases; and modelling the spread of emerging infectious diseases on networks.

Mick's website is available here.


executive director

Nigel french

  • Professor of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health
  • Director of the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre
  • Manawatu Campus


Nigel's website is available here.