Associate Professor Michele R. Prinsep

Associate Professor

Qualifications: BSc(Hons) Canterbury, PhD. Canterbury, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Hawaii (1990-1991). Research leave Cambridge (1994), ZONTA Award (2000).

Research Interests

  • Natural products chemistry, particularly that of New Zealand marine bryozoans and terrestrial cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).
  • Application of spectral methods, especially NMR spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to structural determination.
  • Biologically active compounds and structure-activity relationships.
  • Chemical ecology.

Current projects are directed towards finding novel and/or bioactive metabolites from New Zealand and Antarctic bryozoans and cyanobacteria.

Research Supervised


  • Webb, Nicki (in progress). Investigation of novel tremorgens expressed by endophyte-infected grasses.
  • Murray, James  (in progress). Ciguatera fish poisoning and bioaccumulation in food webs.
  • Dean, Lewis (in progress). The chemistry of bioactive natural products from New Zealand marine microalgae and their potential as new agrichemicals.
  • Kaufononga, Sangata (2019). Indole-diterpenoid secondary metabolites produced by the Epichloe festucae var lolii-Lolium perenne symbiosis.
  • Omar, Syaliza (2013). Identifying iron-binding antioxidants in New Zealand honeydew honey. (chief supervisor Peter Molan).
  • Puddick, Jonathan (2013). Spectroscopic investigations of oligopeptides from aquatic cyanobacteria: Characterisation of new oligopeptides, development of microcystin quantification tools and investigations in microcystin production.

MSc (Research)

  • Voogt, Claire (in progress).
  • Farr, Taylor (in progress).
  • Shrubsall, Jacob (2018). Novel brominated alkaloids from the bryozoan Amathia citrina.
  • Webb, Nicola (2015). Chemical ecological insights into metabolites of the New Zealand marine sponge, Cliona celata.
  • Wang, Alice (2015). Elucidating the modes of action of the antitumour New Zealand marine natural product Pterocellin A.


  • Kaufononga, Sangata (2014). Isolation and characterisation of Aeruginosin and microviridin variants from Microcystis species CAWBG11.
  • Rogers, Shelley (2014). Investigation of microcystin processing, production and export by Microcystis sp.
  • Hales, Richard (2013). Natural product analysis of coastal marine species of New Zealand.
  • Andersen, Aaron (2011). Investigations of natural products from Bryozoa inhabiting Aotearoa New Zealand.

BSc (Hons)

  • Crombie, William Cameron (2018). A natural products investigation of the New Zealand bryozoan Amathia gracei.
  • Dean, Lewis (2016). The natural products and chemical ecology of NZ Bryozoa and Nudibranchs.

Teaching Commitments

Recent Publications

  • Carroll, A. R., Copp, B. R., Davis, R. A., Keyzers, R. A., & Prinsep, M. R. (2021). Marine natural products. Natural Product Reports. doi:10.1039/d0np00089b

  • Puddick, J., van Ginkel, R., Page, C. D., Murray, J. S., Greenhough, H. E., Bowater, J., . . . Finch, S. C. (2021). Acute toxicity of dihydroanatoxin-a from Microcoleus autumnalis in comparison to anatoxin-a. Chemosphere, 263. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127937

  • Finch, S. C., Prinsep, M. R., Popay, A. J., Wilkins, A. L., Webb, N. G., Bhattarai, S., . . . Lane, G. A. (2020). Identification and structure elucidation of epoxyjanthitrems from Lolium perenne Infected with the endophytic fungus Epichloë festucae var. lolii and determination of the tremorgenic and anti-insect activity of epoxyjanthitrem I. Toxins, 12(8), 17 pages. doi:10.3390/toxins12080526

  • Murray, J. S., Nishimura, T., Finch, S. C., Rhodes, L. L., Puddick, J., Harwood, D. T., . . . Prinsep, M. R. (2020). The role of 44-methylgambierone in ciguatera fish poisoning: Acute toxicity, production by marine microalgae and its potential as a biomarker for Gambierdiscus spp.. Harmful Algae, 97. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2020.101853

View All research publications by Michele Prinsep

Contact Details

Room: E.3.06
Phone: +64 7 837 9392