We are a values driven genomics and genetics contract research firm. Founded in 2015 by Rob Elshire, MS and Robyn Johnston, PhD, we are located in the beautiful Manawatu region of New Zealand. In 2016 we launched our genotyping-by-sequencing service. This work allows us to combine our expertise in genomics with our commitment to research excellence to engage with researchers across disciplines and around the globe. It is an exciting time in the life sciences. Let’s have some fun doing great science together.
Rob has a long history working with molecular markers. He was the inaugural director of the Illinois Genetic Marker Center at the University of Illinois. This facility provided the agricultural research community there access to molecular marker technology in a cost effective manner. At Cornell University, he developed a low cost, high-throughput genotyping method commonly known as genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS). While the impetus for developing GBS was to serve the needs of the plant breeding community, the technology has enjoyed wide adoption in many areas of biological research.
In addition to developing the molecular method, he has collaborated in transnational research projects, organized numerous workshops and contributed code to analyze GBS data in a reproducible way. After having set up four high throughput molecular marker service laboratories for others, Rob determined that he could better directly serve the needs of the research community by setting up and running his own lab. He has developed computational systems to track and analyze large genomic data sets and worked with hundreds of scientists on the application of marker technologies in their work. He continues these efforts with his current work which focuses on offering a high quality GBS service, collaboratively building global capability in GBS and related technologies, and generally promoting the democratic application of genetic analysis resources to a wide range of biological questions.
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Robyn brings to the group exceptional skills in molecular biology and attention to detail. She has extensive research experience, having held postdoctoral positions at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Cornell University. She has worked with a variety of species and on a range of questions in the area of plant developmental genetics. During her time at Cornell, she managed three transcriptomics projects, all of which yielded exceptionally high quality data sets. Robyn has worked with and trained students and scientists with a wide range of skill levels and diverse backgrounds. In addition to her work with The Elshire Group, Robyn teaches plant development at Massey University. Robyn enjoys the variety of projects that come through The Elshire Group lab and her role in helping to tailor our GBS service to suit specific projects and ensure excellent results.