Rob Elshire

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Director, The Elshire Group Ltd,

President (2017-2022, 2023-), Genomics for Aotearoa New Zealand

Councilor (2021), New Zealand Association of Scientists

Member, Maize Genetics Cooperation

Member, New Zealand Open Source Society

Associate Member, Aotearoa Tech Union

Associate Member, Lawyers for Climate Action New Zealand, Inc.

Genomics Technology Innovator

I was the lead developer for the genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) technology at Cornell University. It was better, faster, and cheaper than other DNA analysis methods. We made it free to use (no license fees) and trained many researchers. Here in Aotearoa, GBS is being used by many of our Universities and Crown Research Institutes. From kiwi fruit (breeding PSA tolerant gold varieties at Plant and Food Research) to kiwi conservation (the Kiwi Whakapapa project at Massey University) - all through our primary industries and our natural world.

Public Scientist

Over the years, I got to know all kinds of people through working many different jobs: construction labourer, petrol station attendant, pizza delivery driver, hardware store clerk, computer operator, etc. These experiences helped me understand the importance of each person, no matter who they are, where they come from, or what circumstances they find themselves in. My efforts are for the people. I am fortunate to have broad and varied education, training, and experience. From a start in electrical engineering, to biology and horticulture. Then on to genomics science, DNA sequencing, through to training in ethics, professionalism, entrepreneurship and intellectual property. I have set up molecular marker labs, managed a number of business for others, and am currently a director of a genomics research company with clients all around the world. I have a strong interest in seeing public investments in research benefiting the public. I believe that all of the people in our research system (regardless of position or title) deserve to be treated fairly and with kindness as well as have career pathways that will assist them to flourish in their work and personal lives.