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Christina wins Best Poster at the International Conference on Pseudomonas syringae

Christina Straub wins best poster

Christina presented her work characterising the genetic diversity of P. syringae inhabiting the kiwifruit phyllosphere.

Elena and Christina win Travel Grants from the BSPP

The British Society for Plant Pathology awarded Elena and Christina travel grants to attend the International Symposium on Bacterial Canker of Kiwifruit and the International Conference on Pseudomonas syringae, respectively.

Yuriy delivers an award-winning presentation at the 2014 Massey Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Postgraduate Conference

yuriy wins

Yuriy presented his doctoral research on how migration processes can determine the evolution of cooperation in multilevel selection.

Blaise Pascal International Research Chair

Paul was awarded a 2014 Blaise Pascal International Research Chair. Paul will be hosted in Paris by the Institut de Biologie de l'École Normale Supérieure (IBENS) and the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles (ESPCI).

Wine tasting

psa mtg

The Rainey lab held their second wine tasting event, sampling NZ Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. It's clearly a very serious affair, with blinded tastings of each bottle, careful analysis of the aroma, flavours and finish, and plenty of food pairings.

Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

xue-xian paul china

Paul spent two weeks in China as an Einstein Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is awarded to distinguished international scientists actively working at the frontiers of science and technology. Xue-Xian (left) also attended the lecture tour of CAS institutes in Beijing and Nanjing.

Recent appointments

Paul was appointed to serve on the scientific advisory boards of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (UK) Understanding Microbial Communities; Function; Structure and Dynamics programme and The Laboratory of Excellence TULIP Labex project (France).

NZ-China Research Collaboration on Psa

china psa team

Honour recently traveled to China to initiate an extended research collaboration with Prof. Hongwen Huang's group at the South China Botanical Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Li Li (left), Honour and Yifei Liu (right) traveled extensively throughout China to investigate the origin and evolution of Psa.

New publication stirs vigorous debate

Zhang & Rainey (2013) questioned the generality of the view that the microbial world is inherently social. This work provoked a comment from Kummerli & Ross-Gillespie (2013), to which Rainey et al. (2014) delivered a robust response.

Royal Society of NZ awards the d'Urville fund

A two year fund was granted in January 2014 to facilitate exchange between scientists in New Zealand and France. This fund supports collaboration with Silvia De Monte (IBENS), David Bensimon (ENS) and Nicolas Desprat (ENS). More information on the RSNZ d'Urville fund can be found here.

Elena wins the poster award at the 1st Intl Symposium on Kiwifruit canker disease

psa mtg elena's award

Lab Retreat 2013

A multi-lab retreat to the Whatipu Lodge.

retreat dinner


retreat discussion 1

Small group workshops

retreat discussion 2

This workshop goal was to make a clear presentation of another member's research topic.

retreat jenga

Other workshops included wine, Jenga, and hiking.

Sylke's Viva

sylke's viva

Photo credit:

A gathering outside one of our office bulidings to celebrate Sylke's successful PhD defence!