Alaric McCarthy

Ulla von Ammon

Marine Biosecurity Scientist, Molecular Surveillance

Role at Cawthron

Ulla is a molecular scientist in the Marine Biosecurity group at Cawthron. Her recent research focusses on the development and validation of novel molecular technologies for marine invasive species monitoring.

Ulla has a strong background in eDNA/RNA research and applies these skills across environmental monitoring including aquaculture pathogen surveillance, measuring biodiversity changes in plankton communities and rare species detections in marine ecosystems. Ulla is currently involved in the Cawthron-led Marine Biosecurity Toolbox Program and supports Cawthron’s Aquaculture team with molecular tasks. Ulla has strong connections to multiple universities including The University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, Otago University and Rostock University (Germany). Ulla collaborates with the Sea Education Association (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) and is a council member of the New Zealand Marine Science Society.

Technical skills, experience and interests

  • marine biosecurity
  • marine eDNA surveillance and monitoring
  • phylogenetics
  • environmental health assessment
  • environmental DNA/RNA barcoding and biomonitoring
  • high throughput sequencing
  • molecular pathogen detection


  • PhD (Marine Biosecurity) University of Auckland, 2019.
  • MSc (Marine Biology) University of Rostock, Germany 2011
Alaric McCarthy