Evolution of Cell Shape DNA Replication Termination Massey Phage Whānau Lactococcal Phage Ecology Horizontal Gene Transfer

Massey Phage Whānau

The Massey Phage Whānau is the collaborative group of secondary school, undergraduate and postgraduate students and faculty that participate in bacteriophage discovery, study and genome annotation at Massey University, Auckland. The term Whānau is a Te Reo Māori term which means "an extended family or community of related families who live together in the same area". As members of the Massey Phage Whānau we are discovering novel bacteriophages, the viruses that infect bacteria, and these are added to our Phage Whānau as we continue our work. The newest addition to the Massey Phage Whanau is the ABAtE project. Hendrickson lab PhD student Danielle Kok will be searching high and low in New Zealand for Bacteriophages that are able to destroy the honeybee pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae. To learn more about the ABAtE project and how you can help Danielle, head over to our dedicated ABAtE Project Site.

The ABAtE projec team: Jo Turnbull (MSc), Heather Hendrickson (PI), Danielle Kok (PhD)

Phages in the Massey Phage Whānau:



At the heart of the Phage Whānau, is the Phage Hunt NZ course at Massey University (246.202) is a two semester, laboratory based course that allows undergraduate BSc students to contribute to real science during their undergraduate work. Students discover, name, sequence and annote novel New Zealand bacteriophages. Since 2015, this course is a proud member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's SEA-PHAGES program (Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science).

Phage Hunt NZ was originally established in 2013, as part of the Bachelor of Natural Science at Massey University.


Follow the latest crop of phage hunters by reading their blog posts here: Phage Hunt NZ Blog


Phages in the Massey Phage Whānau:

Pseudomonas Phage Phabio

Pseudomonas Phage Noxifer

Pseudomonas Phage Skulduggery

Pseudomonas Phage Daloris

Pseudomonas Phage Jess

Pseudomonas Phage Morgan

Lactococcus Phage Marnie

Lactococcus Phage Nellie

Lactococcus Phage Sephora

Mycobacteriophage Inca

Mycobacteriophage Stepmih

Mycobacteriophage SeaNerd

Mycobacteriophage Aotearoa

Mycobacteriophage Mushball

Mycobacteriophage Mahuika

Mycobacteriophage Fern

Mycobacteriophage Beatrix

Mycobacteriophage Dulcie

Mycobacteriophage Daegal

Mycobacteriophage Anyklosaurus

Mycobacteriophage Niara


People in the Massey Phage Whānau: Faculty: Dr. Heather Hendrickson, Dr. Nikki Freed, Dr. Olin Silander

2013: Eli Christian, Jess Fitch, Tara Dalefiled, Jacob Lawes, Kirtana Kumar

2014: Sophie Prebble, Joanna Summers, Sarah Lomas, Nathan Long, Charlotte Roberston, Jess Barr, Ezra Mautner

2015/2016: Courtney Davies*, Paul Arendse, Juliette Nersesyan, Catherine Meyer

Post grad: Prianka Rajan, Joanna Wojtus

2017: Anezka Hoskin, Leanni Oosthuizen, Jo Turnbull, James Scott, Emily Palmer, Tash Elliston, Steen Grundy, Jenny Ann Sweatman

Post grad: Courtney Davies, Joanna Wojtus

*=HHMI Student representative for class who attended the SEA PHAGES Symposium.