Dr Ray Cursons

Senior Lecturer (Biological Sciences)

Qualifications: MSc PhD Massey

Research Interests

Dr Curson's focus of research is the relationship between host and pathogen. The focus of current research is the study of innate immune markers from patients in the intensive care unit at Waikato Hospital and the investigation of mastitis pathogens from bovines.

Research Supervised


  • Patty, Olivia (in progress). Streptococcus zooepidemicus as a respiratory and uterine pathogern in New Zealand horses.
  • Smolenski, Grant (in progress). The bovine teat canal: its role in pathogen recognition & immune defence of the mammary gland.
  • van Leeuwen, Jessica (in progress). The enigmatic function of the disappearing Rauber's layer.
  • Ruthe, Alaine (2015). Time to diagnosis and persistence: The two major determinants of effective tuberculosis control.
  • Andrews, Emma (2013). The biology and biochemistry of PhoH2 proteins.
  • Summers, Emma (2013). The biochemistry and structural biology of Lsr2 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Bean, Amanda (2012). Investigating the anti-inflammatory activity of honey.
  • Cumming, Mathew (2012). Structure and function of bacterially expressed soluble human ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 1 (SoINTPDase1).
  • Pryor, Shona (2008). Bovine mastitis and ecology of Streptococcus uberis.

MSc (Research)

  • Anderson, Michael (2015). Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in fresh New Zealand farmed meat by the polymerase chain reaction.
  • Hodson, Callie (2015). Cracking the resistance of non-tuberculosis mycobacterium against existing antibiotics.
  • Gartner, Sarah (2014). The assessment of vitamin D, antimicrobial peptides and procalcitonin in bronchiectasis.


  • McGowan, Jacqueline (2014). Effect of body condition score at calving on adaptive immune function during early lactation in New Zealand dairy cows: Effect of calving body condition on adaptive immune function.
  • Redmond Hubbard, Amy (2014). A comparison of equine adipose tissue, bone marrow and peripheral blood as sources of Mesenchymal stem cells.
  • Huitema, Nadine (2012). How nutritional and genetic factors affect New Zealand goat milk composition.
  • Law, Tania (2012). Detection of somatic mutations in EGFR and KRAS genes in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens from non-small cell lung cancer patients.
  • Mulholland, Claire (2012). Single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with the human electroencephalogram during desflurane anaesthesia.
  • Patty, Olivia (2012). Strangles: the molecular identification and epidemiology of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi.
  • White, Rebecca (2012). The association of outer ear commensal bacteria with otitis media in children.
  • Lobb, Richard (2011). Selenium as a modulator of efficacy and toxicity of chemotherapy and radiation.
  • McCormick, Helen (2011). Molecular studies in house mice hybrids in southern New Zealand.
  • Simpson, Talia (2010). Innate immunity in community acquired pneumonia and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease : a role for vitamin D.
  • Singh, Niharika (2010). The identification, isolation and partial characterisation of VapA-encoding virulence plasmids in Rhodococcus equi found in New Zealand.
  • Nickel, Jennifer (2009). The diversity of Hippocampus adbominalis in New Zealand.
  • Urlich, Shelley (2009). Gene expression during cold shock : Escherichia coli O157:H7.
  • Barnett, Catherine (2007). Association of SNP in SPA and SPD genes with middle ear disease.
  • Moses, Kiriana (2007). A whole cord model for identification of mechanisms for the antivascular effects of DMXAA.

Recent Publications

  • Huang, Y., Lowe, D. J., Zhang, H., Cursons, R., Young, J. M., Churchman, G. J., . . . Cooper, A. (2016). A new method to extract and purify DNA from allophanic soils and paleosols, and potential for paleoenvironmental reconstruction and other applications. Geoderma, 274, 114-125. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2016.04.003 Open Access version: hdl:10289/10126

  • King, C., Alexander, A., Chubb, T., Cursons, R., MacKay, J., McCormick, H., . . . Zhang, H. (2016). What can the geographic distribution of mtDNA haplotypes tell us about the invasion of New Zealand by house mice Mus musculus?. Biological Invasions, 18(6), 1551-1565. doi:10.1007/s10530-016-1100-y

  • Evans, S. O., Jameson, M. B., Cursons, R. T. M., Peters, L. M., Bird, S., & Jacobson, G. M. (2016). Development of a qPCR method to measure mitochondrial and genomic DNA damage with application to chemotherapy-induced DNA damage and cryopreserved cells. Biology, 5(4), 11 pages. doi:10.3390/biology5040039 Open Access version: hdl:10289/10841

  • Huang, Y. -T., Lowe, D. J., Churchman, G. J., Schipper, L. A., Cursons, R., Zhang, H., . . . Cooper, A. (2016). DNA adsorption by nanocrystalline allophane spherules and nanoaggregates, and implications for carbon sequestration in Andisols.. Applied Clay Science, 120, 40-50. doi:10.1016/j.clay.2015.11.009 Open Access version: hdl:10289/10000

View All research publications by Ray Cursons

Contact Details

Room: C.2.03
Phone: +64 7 858 5120