Tim Harwood

Tim Harwood

Manager – Food and Bioactives

Role at Cawthron

Tim is a toxin chemist with research interests in natural toxin accumulation in food gathered from the land and the sea. He co-leads the MBIE funded Seafood Safety research platform and is the Deputy Director of the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre.

His specialist areas of expertise include natural product isolation and structural elucidation, analytical method development and validation. Tim completed his post-graduate degrees at University of Canterbury and University of Otago, before undertaking a postdoc at Sydney’s ANZAC Research Institute. Since returning to New Zealand and joining Cawthron in 2010, his research interest has been on marine toxins that accumulate in seafood. His recent focus has been on the analysis of saxitoxin-group toxins and the toxins implicated in ciguatera fish poisoning.

Technical skills, experience and interests:

  • Analytical method development and validation
  • Toxin isolation and purification
  • Natural product structural elucidation
  • Food safety
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Androgen/estrogen analysis

Professional affiliations:

  • Editorial advisory board member – Harmful Algae journal
  • Advisory panel – Emerging Organic Contaminants MBIE project
  • Team member – Global Ciguatera Strategy for Intergovernmental Panel on Harmful Algal Blooms
  • Member – FoodHQ NZ’s food innovation gateway



  • PhD. Otago University, 2008
  • MSc (Hons). University of Canterbury, 2002
  • BSc. University of Canterbuy, 1999
Tim Harwood