Audrey is a Senior Scientist and the technical lead of the Invasive Pathogens and Special Bacteriology Laboratories. She is also the curator for the NZRM Culture Collection. Audrey joined ESR in 2014.
Invasive Pathogens and Special Bacteriology conduct laboratory surveillance of pathogens that cause serious disease affecting human health, including meningococcal disease, invasive pneumococcal disease, and listeriosis. Surveillance of these diseases includes the characterisation of each strain using a combination of phenotypic and molecular methods like next generation sequencing. Characterising each pathogen causing disease is important to public health as this information helps with the decision-making process on how best to protect New Zealanders.
The NZRM Culture Collection is a valuable scientific resource to New Zealand. As the curator, Audrey ensures that the collection holds bacterial cultures of interest to human health, research, and industry. There are more than 4000 cultures within the collection and each culture has a specific characteristic of interest. Maintenance of the data and the quality of the culture collection is a large part of the curation and management process.
Audrey started her career as a medical laboratory scientist at the Auckland City Hospital. Her experience within a clinical microbiology laboratory has provided her with a good grounding in clinical microbiology knowledge and sparked an interest in multi-resistant organisms and infection prevention and control. She completed her MMLSc at the University of Otago in 2018 looking at chlorhexidine resistance in Staphylococcus aureus.