Find out more about the people behind Cawthron Institute.

Lesley Rhodes

Research Scientist – Marine Microalgae and Harmful Algal Blooms


  • PhD. Massey University, 1995
  • MAppSc. Lincoln University, 1988
  • BSc, DipPlSci. Massey University, 1984

Role at Cawthron

Lesley is co-leader of the CAW Nationally Significant Database (NSD) programme funded by MBIE.

The NSD programme funds the Cawthron Culture Collection of Microalgae, which supports research in New Zealand and overseas, including underpinning Cawthron’s Safe New Zealand Seafood programme, for which Lesley was formerly programme leader. Cryopreservation of nearly half of this nationally-significant collection is underway.

Technical skills, experience and interests

  • Taxonomy, physiology and ecology of marine microalgae, particularly toxic bloom formers and benthic and epiphytic genera
  • Tech transfer of DNA probe technologies for phytoplankton monitoring
  • Cryopreservation of microalgae
  • Mass cultures for biotoxin production and extraction
  • 90 published papers and 45 reports and popular publications

Professional affiliations

  • International Society for the Study of Harmful Algae (ISSHA)
  • The Royal Society of New Zealand 
  • Australasian Society for Phycology and Aquatic Botany

View Lesley's ResearchGate profile

Publication links

+64 3 548 2319
[email protected]