Plant / animal geneticist

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Animal Geneticist

Animal Geneticists analyse the genetic makeup of animals in order discover which genes optimise important traits such as milk production, immunity and longevity.

Animal Geneticists might research and give advice on breeding programs, to help farmers improve the profitability and sustainability of their herds.

Generally, Animal Geneticists have a Bachelor or Master’s of Science, with a specialty in genetics and statistics.

Plant Geneticist

Plant Geneticists research and implement ways to improve or create new varieties of plants or crops.

By looking at a plant’s characteristics (traits) and DNA, Plant Geneticists can examine ways to improve those traits. Plant Geneticists’ use biotechnology (the use of biological processes, organisms, or systems to develop improved species of plants) to understand plant breeding and hybridisation.

In the dairy sector, Plant Geneticists strive toward selecting the best pasture cultivars for dairy farming systems.

Generally, Plant Geneticists have a Bachelor of Science in:

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy


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For a career in science

For a science career (Research Technician, Statistician, Farm Advisor or Farm Systems Modeller), but not working as a scientist, you will need an undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s Degree) which generally takes three years’ university study.

To be a scientist

You need a postgraduate qualification (Master's or Doctorate) which takes four or more years’ university study. You could be an Animal Behaviour Scientist, Plant or Animal Geneticist, Agricultural Microbiologist or Reproduction Scientist.

Where to study

About DairyNZ

DairyNZ is an organisation that, through research, events, services, education and policy, works with dairy farmers to secure and enhance the profitability, sustainability and competitiveness of New Zealand dairy farming. New Zealand dairy farmers pay DairyNZ a levy to support them.