Since joining AbacusBio in 2013, Gertje has been involved in a range of projects, and completed her PhD project in 2019 investigating genetic diversity in honey bee colonies and the application of molecular breeding tools in collaboration with the University of Otago.
Gertje Petersen grew up on a sheep, beef and horse breeding farm in northern Germany, and decided early on in life to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
While finishing up vet school at the Free University Berlin, she realised that there is a need for flexible multidisciplinary animal scientists who can translate academic research into application in agriculture and agribusiness.
To gain an insight into this space, Gertje travelled to Dunedin to join AbacusBio and eventually embarked on a genetics PhD with AbacusBio and the University of Otago in 2015, which was awarded in 2019.
Her focus within AbacusBio is:
- Genetics of unusual livestock species, mainly honeybees
- Breeding programme design
- Animal health management