Diverse Pathways, Wide Horizons


The Organising Committee warmly invites you to GSA/NZSBMB 2017 at Dunedin’s University of Otago. Being home to New Zealand’s deepest and most diverse concentration of genetics research, as well as fantastic biochemistry and molecular biology research, we are uniting the GSA and NZSBMB for a superb multi-disciplinary conference.

Has there been a more exciting time for genetics research and cross-pollination with other fields? GSA/NZSBMB 2017 will look to the horizons of an unrivalled range of genetic and genomic fields, including ancient DNA, agriculture, bioethics, bioinformatics, conservation, ecology, evolution, human, molecular biology, model organisms, and teaching.

Many paths will meet and we are sure new ones will open up throughout our rich line up of plenary sessions, symposia, and poster sessions.

You can also gain inspiration from the rare and abundant wildlife on Dunedin's world renowned Otago Peninsula, just a few minutes’ drive from the conference, and then relax by a roaring fire in the atmospheric ballroom of the historic Larnach's Castle sitting majestically above the Otago Harbour. Or stroll into town to enjoy the culture and warm atmosphere of the “Edinburgh of the South’. 


Adventure and discovery await you at GSA/NZSBMB 2017 – we look forward to hosting you!


GSA/NZSBMB 2017 Conference Committee


Call for Papers

Online Submission is Now Closed


The Organising Committee is pleased to call for papers covering the full diversity of genetics research, and biochemistry and molecular biology research of related interest, for the 2017 annual conference of the GSA, to be held with the NZSBMB in Dunedin 2-6 July 2017.

The 2017 Dunedin Conference will include sessions on ancient DNA, biochemistry, bioinformatics, evolution and development, genomics, law and ethics, microbial, model organisms (development and health) and genetics teaching and public outreach. Sessions will also focus on application in agriculture, ecology and conservation, heritage and medicine.



The Committee invites you to submit abstracts for consideration as an oral or poster presentation.  All submissions will be subject to a selection process by the Committee. The Committee will allocate abstracts to the program taking into account the quality of each abstract and the balance of the programme.

A limited number of poster presenters may have opportunities for short oral presentations during a poster session. There will be a question in the Abstract Submission Form where participation can be indicated.

Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations will be allocated 10 minutes presentation time with additional 5 minutes for Q&A (total 15 minutes). Presenters are advised to include sufficient time within the 15 minutes for questions and discussion from the audience.


Guidelines for Submission:

  • All abstracts are to be submitted via the on-line submission process (see Submit Abstract button)
  • Submission by email, fax or post will not be accepted
  • Abstracts must be no more than 250 words in length
  • Title must not exceed 125 Characters (including spaces)
  • Only one presenting author may be selected
  • Do NOT include symbols, tables, pictures or diagrams within the abstract

The receipt of all abstracts will be confirmed by an acknowledging email. All applicants will be notified of the success or otherwise of their application within the time needed to register within the Early Bird Registration phase. Submissions which are not accepted as an oral presentation may be offered a place as a poster.

Please note that the space available for presentations is limited and preference will be given to papers of the highest quality as judged by the Programme Committee. Authors may only present one oral presentation and unlimited poster presentations.


Prepare your abstract

Abstracts are cut and pasted directly in the Currinda Abstract Management System. You will need:

  • A descriptive presentation title of a up to 125 characters including spaces. Use sentence case
  • The names, organisations, states and email addresses (optional) for each author. 
  • The presentation abstract of no more than 250 words.


Online Abstract Submission

Abstract submission is via the Currinda Event Management System.  If you do not already have a profile you will need to create one in the system before submission.  Please see the Vimeo Video which demonstrates the abstract submission process on Currinda.


GSA Member Students

Travel awards for the Dunedin Conference are available via the GSA Website 



Please ensure that you press ‘Submit’ once you have completed your abstract. Authors will be able to change their submission online up until 20th April 2017. After that date the abstract will be locked and authors will not have access. Authors will be advised by email of outcome on 28 April 2017.


Audiovisual Equipment

Each lecture room will be equipped for the presentation of Power Point slides and include a data projector, computer (with external speakers), lectern and microphone. Multimedia clips should be embedded in your slides. Other audiovisual aids, such as Overhead Projectors, are not available.

Presenters will take their Power Point slides and associated media files to the conference on a memory stick, where an audiovisual technician will load the presentation. All slides will be run from a central presentation computer. However, if you have a complex presentation, which includes multiple media files, we suggest you bring your own laptop as a backup in case of difficulties loading your presentation.

Presenter Registration

All presenters will be required to register for the conference by 5pm 15th May 2017 and pay the appropriate registration fee. Presenters also need to meet their own travel and accommodation costs.

Download Abstract Guidelines (PDF)



There will be a number of sponsorship packages available for this event and a limited number of trade exhibition booths.  Please contact the Conference Organiser for further information.

Preliminary Programme



This is a preliminary programme for travel planning purposes. 



Sunday 2 July 2017

11.30 am  Pre-Conference Tours start

2.45 pm - Genetics ECR Panel Orokonui (for transportation see tours)

5.30 pm - 6.30 pm  Opening and Welcome Function 

6.30 pm - 7.30 pm  Public Lecture: Elinor Karlsson


Monday 3 July 2017

9.00 am - 9.45 am  Keynote: Hugo Bellen

10.15 am - 11.00 am Keynote: Antony Dean

11.00 am - 5.10 pm Conference Sessions 

5.15 pm - 6.00 pm Keynote:  Daniel MacArthur

6.00 pm - 7.00 pm Poster Sesison


Tuesday 4 July 2017

9.00 am - 9.45 am Keynote: Rebecca Johnson

10.15 am - 11.00 am Keynote: Jacqui Batley

11.00 am - 4.30 pm Conference Sessions including Poster Session

4.30 pm - 5.00 pm Public Issues Panel

5.00 pm - 5.45 pm NZSMB Award Lecture

6.00 pm - 7.00 pm Art & Genetics Opening (Otago Museum)

7.00 pm - late Conference Dinner (Otago Museum)


Wednesday 5 July 2017

9.00 am - 9.45 am Keynote: Tom Gilbert

10.15 am - 11.30 am Ancient DNA Plenary

11.30 am - 6.00 pm Conference Sessions


6.00 pm - 6.45 pm Public Lecture TBA


Thursday 6 July 2017

Post Conference tours (optional) see 'Tours' for timetable

Dunedin is the only destination in NZ that provides cultural riches and architectural heritage, complemented by a natural environment and rare wildlife all within an easy drive from central Dunedin. 

Recently named New Zealand’s Most Beautiful City, Dunedin is a landscape of striking intensity with many stunning beaches and dramatic cliffs. Exquisite examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture punctuate a compact cityscape with a vibrant culture reflected in an eclectic array of kerbside cafés, antiques stores and boutique fashion outlets.

We hope that you will take advantage of the pre and post conference tours planned - more details will be announced when registration opens 20th February.

For more information on Dunedin go the Tourism Dunedin Website






Member (GSA and/or NZSBMB)

 Joining GSA Member
(includes 1 Yr membership)

Joining NZSBMB Member
(includes 1 Yr membership)

Full time Student
(members & non-member rate)






Earlybird (paid by 15 May 2017)













Standard (paid from 16 May 2017)















Royal Albatross / Fort Taiaroa / Larnach Castle Tour

Includes Guided 'Unique' Tour Albatross Colony and Taiaroa Fort (1.5 hours), 1 hour guided tour of Larnach Castle.  Delegates may bring their own lunch or purchase at Larnach Castle, includes return bus transport. 

Sunday 2 July 2017

Depart 11.30 am St David Lecture Theatre Complex

return by 5.30 pm

Thursday 6 July 2017

Depart 10.00 am St David Lecture Theatre Complex

return by 4.00 pm

Cost:  NZ$105.00 

Orokonui Ecosanctuary Tour

Includes guided tour, return bus transport.

Sunday 2 July 2017

Depart 1.00 pm St David Lecture Theatre Complex

Return by 5pm (includes a Special Session: Conservation Genetics)

Thursday 6 July 2017

Depart 10.15 am St David Lecture Theatre Complex

Return by 1.30 pm

Cost: NZ$50.00

The Emerson Brewing Company Tour

Includes one hour brewing tour including tastings.

70 Anzac Avenue, Dunedin, own transport

Sunday 2 July 2017

12.15 pm - 1.30 pm 

Thursday 6 July 2017

10.15 am - 11.30 am

Cost: NZ$25.00


Bookings for tours are made via Online Registration

Anatomy Museum 

The Anatomy holds a large collection of anatomical specimens and models, many of which are unique in Oceania. Some models date back to the late 1800s (porcelain models by Steger and wax models by Ziegler). 

Lindo Fergusson Building, Great King Street (opposite main entrance to Dunedin Hospital) - Curator to meet delegates outside the building

Sunday 2 July 2017

12.50 pm - 2.00 pm

Thursday 6 July 2017

12.50 pm - 2.00 pm

Cost: Admission Free


St David Lecture Theatre Complex

Located in the heart of the University of Otago, the St David Lecture Theatre Complex, Dunedin, New Zealand will host Annual Conference of the Genetics Society of Australasia with the NZ Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.



Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge

Special Delegate Rate valid until 1 April (or until sold):

Standard Twin (2 x double or queen bed) NZ$135 room rate per night. Book directly by emailing Reservations quoting ref:  GEN2017

Standard room charges will apply from 2 April.  Please see the Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge website for more information including cancellation policy.

Commodore Motels & Apartments

Special Delegate Rate valid until 1 April (or until sold):

Studio (King or Queen Bed) NZ$135 room rate per night.
Book directly by emailing Reservations quoting ref:  GEN2017

Standard room charges will apply from 2 April.  Please see the Commodore Motel website for more information including cancellation policy.


Aurora on George

Special Delegate Rate valid until 1 April (or until sold):

Executive Studio (King) NZ$145/NZ$155 (2 people) room rate per night.

Luxury Studio (Super King) NZ$165/NZ$175 (2 people).

Deluxe 1 Bdrm (Super King) NZ$170/NZ$180 (2 People).

Premier 2 Bdrm (2 x Super King) NZ$200/NZ$210 (2 People).

Book directly by emailing Reservations quoting ref:  GEN2017

Standard room charges will apply from 2 April.  Please see the Aurora on George Website for more information including cancellation policy.


Assoc Prof Michael Black
Department of Biochemistry
University of Otago


Dr Monica Gerth (NZSBMB)
Department of Biochemistry
University of Otago 


Dr Wayne Patrick (NZSBMB)
Department of Biochemistry
University of Otago


Dr Anna Santure
School of Biological Science,
University of Auckland


Prof Jonathan Waters
Department of Zoology 
University of Otago

Prof Peter Dearden
Department of Biochemistry
University of Otago


Assoc Prof Christine Jasoni
Department of Anatomy
University of Otago


Prof Stephen Robertson
Clinical Genetics Group
University of Otago


Prof Hamish Spencer
Department of Zoology
University of Otago


Dr Megan Wilson
Department of Anatomy 
University of Otago

Prof Neil Gemmell
Department of Anatomy
University of Otago


Prof Lisa Matisoo-Smith
Department of Anatomy
University of Otago


Prof Clive Ronson
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Otago


David Turner
Department of Biochemistry
University of Otago


Terms & Conditions


The Conference is open to everyone.  Partners may attend the welcome function and conference dinner (partner tickets are available on the registration form).



All fees are in New Zealand Dollars.  Payment will be accepted by credit card (Visa or Mastercard only), direct credit or cheque (must be made out in NZ $).  The earlybird fee will cease to apply from 2 May 2017 – any unpaid registrations at that time will revert to the full registration fee.


Cancellation Policy

Any cancellations or alterations should be put in writing (email) to the Conference Organiser.  



If cancellation of registration is received in writing on or before 1 June 2017 – registration fees less NZ$70 administration fee will be refunded.  From 2 June 2017- no refund of monies paid.  



Accommodation is booked directly with the hotel via the Accommodation Page.  The attendee should note the cancellation policy for the chosen hotel/motel when making the direct booking.  It is the attendees responsibility to notify the hotel directly of any changes to their booking.



Registration fees do not include insurance of any kind.  It is strongly recommended that at the time you register for the conference and book your travel you take out an insurance policy of your choice.  The Annual Conference of the Genetics Society of Australasia with the NZ Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Conference Secretariat cannot take any responsibility for any participant failing to arrange their own insurance.


Disclaimer of Liability

The Organising Committee, including the The Annual Conference of the Genetics Society of Australasia with the NZ Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Conference Secretariat, will not accept liability for damages of any nature sustained by attendees or loss of or damage to their personal property as a result of the conference or related events. If for any reasons beyond the control of the organising committee, the conference is cancelled, registration fees will be refunded after deduction of expenses.