Ulla von Ammon

Marine Ecologist

Ulla works as a PostDoc in the marine biosecurity department of the Cawthron Institute in Nelson and will collect eDNA samples to investigate plankton biodiversity patterns and invasive species distributions.

Ulla studied marine biology at the University of Rostock in Germany where she focused on algae phylogeny to be used as indicator taxa for the EU water framework directive. A PhD scholarship on a collaborative project between NIWA, the University of Auckland and the Cawthron Institute lead her to New Zealand. There she dove into the development of molecular tools for marine biosecurity surveillance. Now Ulla works as a PostDoc on the MBIE Endeavor Biosecurity toolbox project to further explore novel biosecurity tools including molecular technologies. She is involved in various side projects such as ddPCR assay development for aquaculture surveillance and plankton diversity assessment using eDNA. Her expertise is strongly related around invasive species, eDNA/RNA, metabarcoding and real time PCR assay development. A favorite aspect is the communication of science in workshops with school kids, councils, iwi and hapu and local communities.

Within the last few years, Ulla was lucky enough to be part of several ship voyages: as a student onboard the Maria Mann Borgese in the Baltic Sea and for biosecurity research in New Zealand twice onboard the Robert C. Seamans from the Woods Hole Institute in Massachusetts, recently onboard the SV Manawanui in the Northlands and onboard the MV Strannik in the Fiordlands.