Lisa Stanbra



Lisa is Team Manager for the Forest Protection group. She is experienced in the application of plant and fungal molecular biology approaches to create new options for industry. Combined with her training in project management disciplines, Lisa is looking forward to supporting her team to deliver excellent science.


  • Prince2 Practitioner - Project Management Certificate, APMG-International - 2013
  • MSc (Plant Molecular Biology), Auckland University, New Zealand - 2005
  • BSc (Biology, Genetics and Molecular Biology), Massey University, New Zealand - 1999
  • NZCS (Biochemistry, Genetics), Manawatu Polytechnic, New Zealand - 1995

Research capabilities

  • Highly experienced in both plant and fungal molecular biology
  • Identification of candidate genes through gene expression profiling
  • DNA sequencing and bioinformatics
  • Functional genomics

Career highlights

  • Team Manager, Forest Protection, 2014 to present.
  • Identifying gradients of gene expression from the base to the crown in Pinus radiata.
  • Working within a team that identified a secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene cluster in a model fungal system. This work provided underpinning knowledge to the wider field of fungal indole-diterpene biosynthesis.

Selected papers

Association of single nucleotide polymorphism with form traits in three New Zealand populations of radiata pine in the presence of genotype by environment interactions. Li Y, Wilcox P, Telfer E, Graham N, Stanbra L. TreeGenetics and Genomes 2016, 12(4).

Bioinformatic and phylogenetic analysis of the CLAVATA3/EMBRYO-SURROUNDING REGION (CLE) and the CLE-LIKE signal peptide genes in the Pinophyta. Strabala T, Phillips L, West M and Stanbra L. BMC Plant Biology, 2014, 14:47
Extraction of high purity genomic DNA from pine for use in a high-throughput Genotyping Platform. Telfer E, Graham G, Stanbra L, Manley T and Wilcox P. NZJFS 2013, 43:3

Deletion and gene expression analysis defines the paxilline biosynthetic gene cluster in Penicillium paxilli. Scott B, Saikia S, Young CA, McMillan LK, Monahan BJ, Koulman A, Astin J, Eaton C, Bryant A, Wrenn RE, Finch SC, Tapper B, Parker EJ and Jameson G. Toxins 2013, 5, 1422-1446

Transformation of the ryegrass endophyte Neotyphodium lolii can alter its in planta mycelial morphology. Zhang N, Scott V, Al-Samarrai T, Tan Y, Spiering M, McMillan L, Lane G, Scott B, Christensen M, Schmid J. Mycological Research 2006, 110 (5), 601-611

Wood formation from the base to the crown in Pinus radiata: gradients of tracheid wall thickness, wood density, radial growth rate and gene expression. Cato S*, McMillan L*, Richardson T, Echt C and Gardner R. Plant Molecular Biology 2006, 60 (4), 565-581.
*joint first authors on this publication

Nucleotide variation in genes involved in wood formation in two pine species. Pot D, McMillan L, Echt C, Le Provost G, Garnier-Gere P, Cato S and Plomion C. New Phytol. 2005 Jul; 167(1):101-112

Molecular analysis of two cytochrome P450 monooxygenase genes required for paxilline biosynthesis in Penicillium paxilli, and effects of paxilline intermediates on mammalian maxi-K ion channels. McMillan LK, Carr RL, Young CA, Astin JW, Lowe RG, Parker EJ, Jameson GB, Finch SC, Miles CO, McManus OB, Schmalhofer WA, Garcia ML, Kaczorowski GJ, Goetz M, Tkacz JS, Scott B. Mol Genet Genomics. 2003 Oct; 270(1):9-23. Epub 2003 Jul 18

Molecular cloning and genetic analysis of an indole-diterpene gene cluster from Penicillium paxilli. Young C, McMillan L, Telfer E and Scott B. Mol Microbiol. 2001 Feb; 39(3):754-64