Rami graduated from Massey University, where he was working on producing and analysing transgenic fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) for pest control and basic research purposes. Rami's main research interests are in investigating and developing novel genetic techniques for pest control.
Rami's PhD project at the Gemmell lab revolves around mtDNA alleles that result in sperm mobility dysfunctions and are therefore an essential part of the Trojan Female Technique project for insect control. These natural variant alleles have been shown to have a population suppresssion effect in fruit flies. His work will provide further evidence for this effect and develop a method for its application that can be used in any species. Furthermore, he aims to find similar alleles in other insect pests significant to the New Zealand economy, such as the Clover root weevil (Sitona obsoletus) and the German wasp (Vespula germanica).
Rami's research is a collaboration between the Gemmell lab, the Dearden lab in the Biochemistry Department of the University of Otago, and the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University in Victoria, Australia. Rami is supervised by Professor Neil Gemmell and co-supervised by Professor Peter Dearden (Biochemistry Department) and Professor Dan Tompkins (Predator Free 2015 Ltd).
Al-Jiab, R.A., Gillum, J., Alexander, A., Tompkins, D.M., Phillips, C.B., Dearden, P.K. and Gemmell, N.J. (2019). The complete mitogenome sequence of the agricultural pest, clover root weevil: the key to its own demise?. Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 4(1), pp. 878-879. doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2018.1561218
Moore, S. A., Ferhatoglu, Y., Jia, Y., Al-Jiab, R. and Scott, M. J. (2010). Structural and biochemical studies on the chromo-barrel domain of male specific lethal 3 (msl3) reveal a binding preference for mono- or dimethyllysine 20 on histone h4. Journal of Biological Biochemistry, 285 (52): p. 40879. doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.134312