Patty has a background in anthropology and botany. She has a M.A. from Columbia University (New York, USA) in the field of Anthropology and received her PhD from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia. Patty's PhD work applied interdisciplinary research methods to study human-mediated landscape modification, using genetic analysis of plant populations, phylogenetics, and isotope analysis of ancient soils and plant tissues, with focus on Australian native flora, specifically the native sandalwoods (Santalum spp.)
Since she moved to New Zealand, Patty has worked as an Assistant Research Fellow (ARF) at the University of Otago within various projects. These projects have ranged from conservation of plant-based museum objects (New Zealand flax, or "Harakeke" (Phormium tenax), to genetic diversity of New Zealand native birds (New Zealand South Island Robin (Petroica australis) with Dr. Helen Taylor), gaining further experience in diverse research methods, lab work and data analysis. Patty first joined the Gemmell lab, in her ARF capacity, in 2018 to assist with the Robin project, to then in 2019 take her current sequencing technician role under the supervision of Ms. Jo Gillum.
Phone: (03) 479 5283