Genetics Otago director Associate Prof Peter Dearden has
won an international award for outstanding contributions to
Prof Dearden was ''extremely delighted'' to win the Genetics
Society of AustralAsia Ross Crozier Medal, which recognises
his work on evolution and development, epigenetics and
It was particularly pleasing to be a New Zealander gaining an
award from an Australasian society, and that the award was in
the name of Prof Ross Crozier, Prof Dearden said.
Prof Crozier had done ''fantastic work in social insects,
which is a field I work in as well'', he said.
Based at James Cook University in Australia, Prof Crozier was
a pioneer in the study of genetics in social insects.
He died in 2009.
Prof Dearden, who is based in the Otago biochemistry
department, works with bees, and has also undertaken research
with fruit flies.
He is on sabbatical in New York.
Social insects, such as ants and bees, provide a platform for
research into how the genetics of an animal is affected by
Prof Dearden studies how the environment influences the genes
of social insects, and the implications of this for human and
The award was announced at the annual scientific meeting of
the Genetics Society of AustralAsia, in Sydney last week.