I work with large-scale genetic, genomic and transcriptomic datasets.
I use R and python to tidy, analyse and visualise data and communicate results.
I generate data using 2nd- and 3rd-generation sequencing.

About me

Technical skills

My main tools for programming and data analysis are python and R. I’m also experienced with bash scripting. I visualise and communicate my results with ggplot2, markdown, pandoc, TeX and a bit of html & css. I use git, snakemake, singularity and Docker to keep my work reproducible. I’ve used workflow managers (SLURM, LSF and SGE) for managing jobs in high-performance computing environments. I’m comfortable working with, installing and administrating *nix operating systems (Linux, macOS and FreeBSD).

I’m an experienced molecular biologist. I am skilled at the entire wet-lab workflow for producing short and long read sequencing libraries, from nucleic acid extraction to library preparation and running sequencing instruments. I have experience with classical genetic approaches with live organisms, including transformation, crosses, microdissection and bioassays.


I’m interested in research related to agriculture and development, tools and techniques in bioinformatics and evolutionary and comparative biology.

Personal information

English (native)
German (TELC Level B2)
French (TELC Level B1)
Australian and British


Research positions

Post-doctoral researcher, Laboratory for Evolution and Development, Biochemistry Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
I am currently working on a project to develop and apply tools to integrate genomic selection to breeding programmes to improve honeybee performance.
Post-doctoral researcher, Laboratory for Evolution and Development, Biochemistry Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
I worked on a bioprotection project investigating the resistance of Argentine stem weevil to its biological control agent.
Post-doctoral researcher, UMR DIADE, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Montpellier, France.
I used machine learning, data mining, statistical analyses and other bioinformatic techniques to study the development of inflorescence architecture in rice, which affects crop yield. We used laser microdissection and RNA sequencing to characterise molecular events that occur in the developing inflorescence, and applied these results to study the effects of selection on gene expression during the parallel domestications of African and Asian rice.
Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany.
At the Max Planck Institute I worked on a bioinformatic and molecular biology project to compare the transcriptional response of different land plants to UV-B exposure, which acts as an environmental signal.

Professional positions

Medical scientist, Network Pathology, the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Australia.
Laboratory assistant, Network Pathology, the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Australia.


Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Genetics, the University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
Thesis: The functions of cytochrome P450s in Drosophila.
During my Ph.D. I used classical genetics and modern molecular biology, including transgenic manipulation of gene expression and comparative studies of gene function, to investigate the functions of cytochrome P450 genes in the Drosophila genus.
Bachelor of Science with Honours (first class), the University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
2006–2009, Australian Postgraduate Award


GENE412, Genetics Department, The University of Otago.
GENE312 project supervisor, Genetics Department, The University of Otago.
3rd Year Genetics, Department of Genetics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
High School Biology, Department of Genetics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
High School Biology, Gene Technology Access Centre, The University High School, Parkville, Australia.
1st Year Genetics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.

Students co-supervised

Sarah Robinson
Bachelor of Science with Honours, Genetics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Marissa Le Lec
Bachelor of Science with Honours, Genetics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Swarit Jaisal
Master of Science, Life Science Informatics, Universität Bonn, Germany.
Axel Verdier
Master of Science, Sciences et Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication pour la Santé, Université de Montpellier, France.

Conferences and workshops

Reproducible research
Reproducible research workflows with containers webinar for New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI), 23 July 2020.
Sequencing workshop
Invited instructor for the Long-read, long-reach sequencing workshop. November 2019, ANU, Canberra, Australia.
Main organiser for the 2018 MapNet conference. November 2018, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Nanopore workshop
Main organiser for Genomics Aotearoa’s long-read sequencing workshop. April 2018, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Assisting instructor for Carpentries workshops: Data Carpentry, 2019; RNA-seq-workshop, 2020.


Peer-reviewed journals

Harrop, T.W.R.§, Guhlin, J.§, McLaughlin, G.M., Permina, E., Stockwell, P., Gilligan, J., Le Lec, M.F., Gruber, M.A.M., Quinn, O., Lovegrove, M., Duncan, E.J., Remnant E.J., Langford, K.L., Kronenberg, Z., Press, M.O., Eacker, S.M., Wilson-Rankin, E.E., Purcell, J., Lester, P.J., Dearden, P.K. (2020). Genome Report: High-quality assemblies for three invasive social wasps from the Vespula genus. G3, accepted manuscript.

Harrop, T.W.R., Le Lec, M.F., Jauregui, R., Taylor, S.E., Inwood, S.N., van Stijn, T., Henry, H., Skelly, J., Ganesh, S., Ashby, R.L., Jacobs, J.M.E., Goldson, S.L., Dearden, P.K. (2020). Genetic Diversity in Invasive Populations of Argentine Stem Weevil Associated with Adaptation to Biocontrol. Insects 11 (7): 441. doi:10.3390/insects11070441.

Morgan, B.M., Brown, A.N., Deo, N., Harrop, T.W.R., Taiaroa, G., Mace, P.D., Wilbanks, S.M., Merriman, T.R., Williams, M.J.A., McCormick, S.P.A. (2020). Nonsynonymous SNPs in LPA homologous to plasminogen deficiency mutants represent novel null apo(a) alleles. Journal of Lipid Research 61(3), 432–44. doi:10.1194/jlr.M094540.

Lamichhane, R., Schneider, M., de la Harpe, S.M., Harrop, T.W.R., Hannaway, R.F., Dearden, P.K., Kirman, J.R., Tyndall, J.D.A., Vernall, A.J., and Ussher, J.E. (2019). TCR- or Cytokine-Activated CD8+ Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells Are Rapid Polyfunctional Effectors That Can Coordinate Immune Responses. Cell Reports 28, 3061-3076.e5. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2019.08.054.

Harrop, T.W.R., Mantegazza, O., Luong, A.M., Béthune, K., Lorieux, M., Jouannic, S., and Adam, H. (2019). A set of AP2-like genes is associated with inflorescence branching and architecture in domesticated rice. Journal of Experimental Botany 70, 5617–5629. doi:10.1093/jxb/erz340.

Guerrero, F.D., Bendele, K.G., Ghaffarim N., Guhlin, J., Gedye, K.R., Lawrence, K.E., Dearden, Harrop, T.W.R., Heath, A.C.G, Lun, Y., Metz, R.P, Teel, P., Perez de Leon, A., Biggs, P.J., Pomroy, W.E., Johnson, C.D., Blood, P.D., Bellgard, S.E., Tompkins, D.M. (2019). The Pacific Biosciences de novo assembled genome dataset from a parthenogenetic New Zealand wild population of the longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann, 1901. Data in Brief 27, 104602. doi:10.1016/j.dib.2019.104602.

Harrop, T.W.§, Denecke, S.§, Yang, Y.T., Chan, J., Daborn, P.J., Perry, T., Batterham, P., (2018). Evidence for activation of nitenpyram by a mitochondrial cytochrome P450 in Drosophila melanogaster. Pest Management Science 74, 1616–1622. doi:10.1002/ps.4852.

Ta, K. N., Adam. H., Staedler, Y.M., Schönenberger, J., Harrop. T.W.R., Tregear, J., Do, N.V.,Gantet, P., Ghesquière, A., and Jouannic, S. (2017). Differences in meristem size and expression of branching genes are associated with variation in panicle phenotype in wild and domesticated African rice. EvoDevo 8: 2. doi:10.1186/s13227-017-0065-y.

Harrop, T.W.R.§, Ud Din, I.§, Gregis, V., Osnato, M., Jouannic, S., Adam, H. and Kater, M. (2016). Gene expression profiling of reproductive meristem types in early rice inflorescences by laser microdissection. The Plant Journal 86, 75–88. doi:10.1111/tpj.13147.

Harrop, T.W.R.§, Pearce, S.L.§, Daborn, P.J. and Batterham, P. (2014). Whole-genome expression analysis in the third instar larval midgut of Drosophila melanogaster. G3 (Bethesda) 4, 2197–2205. doi:10.1534/g3.114.013870.

Harrop, T.W.R., Sztal, T., Lumb, C., Good, R.T., Daborn, P.J., Batterham, P. and Chung, H. (2014). Evolutionary changes in gene expression, coding sequence and copy-number at the Cyp6g1 locus contribute to resistance to multiple insecticides in Drosophila. Plos One 9, e84879. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084879.

Daborn, P.J., Lumb, C., Harrop, T.W.R., Blasetti, A., Pasricha, S., Morin, S., Mitchell, S.N., Donnelly, M.J., Müller, P. and Batterham, P. (2012). Using Drosophila melanogaster to validate metabolism-based insecticide resistance from insect pests. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 42, 918–924. doi:10.1016/j.ibmb.2012.09.003.

§ Equal contribution

Book chapters

Cridge, A., Harrop, T.W.R., Lovegrove, M., Remnant, E. & Dearden, P. (2017). Nutrition and Epigenetic Change in Insects: Evidence and Implications, in Advances in Insect Physiology (ed. Verlinden, H.) 53, 31–54 (Academic Press). doi:10.1016/bs.aiip.2017.06.001

Selected scientific presentations

The genomes of three invasive social wasps. Oral presentation at the Annual Conference of the Genetics Society of Australasia (GSA), Melbourne, Australia, 2019. Symposium chair: Genomics & bioinformatics.

Comparative genomics of sexual and asexual parasitoid wasps from the Microctonus genus. Poster presentation at the 7th meeting of the European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Galway, Ireland, 2018.

Genomics of a weevil pest and its parasitoid biocontrol agent. Poster presentation at the Annual Conference of the Genetics Society of Australasia (GSA) with the New Zealand Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NZSBMB), Dunedin, New Zealand, 2017.

De novo sequencing of Argentine stem weevil and its parasitoid wasp biocontrol agent. Poster presentation at the 10th Annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium, Notre Dame University, South Bend, U.S.A., 2017.

Sequencing and community annotation of the Vespula vulgaris genome. Oral presentation at the Entomological Society of NZ Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 2017.

Genes controlling transition of reproductive meristem identity during inflorescence development. Oral presentation at the 14th International Symposium on Rice Functional Genomics, Montpellier, France, 2016.

Mechanisms underlying the parallel evolution of inflorescence phenotype during independent domestication of African and Asian rice. Contributed oral presentation at the 6th meeting of the European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Uppsala, Sweden, 2016. Joint symposium chair: Branching across the tree of life.

Gene expression during O. sativa panicle development. Invited seminar at the Agricultural Genetics Institute, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2015.

Molecular mechanisms underlying the phenotypic convergence of inflorescence architecture in domesticated rice species. Poster presentation at the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution annual meeting, Vienna, Austria, 2015.

Transcriptomic analysis of early developmental stages of the rice panicle. Poster presentation at the Workshop in Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Flowering, Aiguablava, Spain, 2015

RNA interference of the Cytochrome P450 redox partners Cpr and dare uncovers novel P450 functions in Drosophila melanogaster. Poster presentation at the 50th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, Chicago, USA, 2009.