Associate Professor David Greenwood

BSc (Hons 1st class) (Massey University), PhD (Liverpool)

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Honorary, Academic


2017 – present         Honorary Assoc. Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

2008 – 2017             Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences,  University of Auckland (retired 2017)

2005 – 2008             Honorary Assoc. Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

2000 – 2017             Senior Research Biochemist at Plant & Food Research, MARC, Auckland (retired 2017)

1981 – 1999             Research Biochemist at DSIR Palmerston North, stationed initially with Applied Biochemistry Division, then Biotechnology Division, DSIR Biotechnology, DSIR Plant Protection divisions, before the transition into HortResearch from 1992.

Research | Current

  • Mass spectrometry of proteins, peptides and metabolites
  • Development of high resolution accurate mass applications in mass spectrometry
  • Practicalities of the integration of -omics technologies into Systems Biology
  • The molecular mechanisms of plant pathogen interactions
  • Chemical ecology of endangered species

Dave is a biochemist with a wide range of interests but centering on the biosynthesis and metabolism of natural products.  His current range of activities focus on the use of high end mass spectrometry to help identify and characterise novel compounds and peptides.  Recent projects include examining the Psa pathogen of kiwifruit for non-ribosomal peptides and phytotoxins, defining the composition of species-specific compounds in Manuka honey, identifying novel bacterial protein cross-links and determining the degradation products of new generation antihelmintic drugs.  He has been involved in international collaborations in chemical ecology identifying key compounds responsible for various chemosensory responses in animals including elephants. 

Dave is a member of the Joint Graduate School in Plant and Food Science spending the majority of his time at Plant & Food Research at the Mt Albert Research Centre where his lab specialises in separating and purifying compounds for subsequent analysis, notably in wine research.

International collaborations

  • Systems Biology of Phytoplasma infections, with Murdoch University (Perth, Western Australia)
  • Chemical ecology of Kakapo, with Hendrix College (Conway, Arkansas, USA), Swathmore College (Pennsylvania, USA), Cawthron Institute (Nelson)  and Massey University (Albany Campus)
  • Chemical ecology of Pigmy Sperm Whale ink, with Texas A&M University, Galveston TX, USA) and Port Elizabeth Museum (South Africa) and Massey University (Albany Campus)


Teaching | Current

701 - Informatics for mass spectrometric analysis of proteins and metabolites

756 - Application of mass spectrometry  to protein identification and characterisation

337 - Animal Behaviour


  • 2007 – present co-Director of the Centre for Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics (CGPM), University of Auckland
  • 2007 Consultant on Proteomics to the Federal Court of Australia
  • 2007 – present Invited as an AI into the Maurice Wilkins CoRE (Centre of Research Excellence)
  • 2007 NZSBMB ABI Award
  • 2006 Outstanding Achievement Award, HortResearch (for publication quality and quantity)
  • 2004 – 2006 ISAT Linkages Fund Award for NZ-USA travel
  • 1997 & 2000 Visiting Scholar, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, USA
  • 1996 Trimble Trust Agricultural Research Fellowship
  • 1996 NZ/USA STC Coop. Science Programme Travel Award
  • 1996 British Council Research Link Travel Award
  • 1984 Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award
  • 1976 NRAC Postgraduate Research Fellowship
  • 1976 UGC Postgraduate Research Scholarship (with O/S tenure)
  • 1976 Massey Scholarship

Areas of expertise

Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology

Committees/Professional groups/Services

co-Director of the Centre for Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics (CGPM)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Perez-Garcia, O., Bains, A., Smith, M., Greenwood, D., Lear, G. K., Handley, K., & Singhal, N. (2016). Enhancing the microbial removal of organic micropollutants in wastewater treatment processes. Paper presented at Water New Zealand'sl Conference and Expo 2016, Rotorua, New Zealand. 19 October - 21 October 2016. (pp. 11).
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gavin Lear, Kim Handley, Naresh Singhal
  • Tumanov, S., Zubenko, Y., Obolonkin, V., Greenwood, D. R., Shmanai, V., & Villas-Bôas SG (2016). Calibration curve-free GC–MS method for quantitation of amino and non-amino organic acids in biological samples. Metabolomics, 12 (4).10.1007/s11306-016-0994-9
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Silas Villas-Boas
  • Linke-Winnebeck, C., Paterson, N. G., Young, P. G., Middleditch, M. J., Greenwood, D. R., Witte, G., & Baker, E. N. (2014). Structural model for covalent adhesion of the Streptococcus pyogenes pilus through a thioester bond. J Biol Chem, 289 (1), 177-189. 10.1074/jbc.M113.523761
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Edward Baker, Paul Young, Martin Middleditch
  • Lomas, K. F., Greenwood, D. R., Windmill, J. F. C., Jackson, J. C., Corfield, J., & Parsons, S. (2012). Discovery of a lipid synthesising organ in the auditory system of an insect. PLoS One, 7 (12)10.1371/journal.pone.0051486
  • Le Nours, J., Bulloch, E. M. M., Zhang, Z., Greenwood, D. R., Middleditch, M. J., Dickson, J. M. J., & Baker, E. N. (2011). Structural Analyses of a Purine Biosynthetic Enzyme from Mycobacterium tuberculosis Reveal a Novel Bound Nucleotide. JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, 286 (47), 40706-40716. 10.1074/jbc.M111.291138
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Esther Bulloch, Martin Middleditch, Edward Baker
  • Rasmussen, L., & Greenwood, D. R. (2006). Reflections among Asian elephants: Chirality counts. Paper presented at 28th Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Chemoreception-Sciences, Sarasota, FL. 26 April - 30 April 2006. CHEMICAL SENSES. (pp. 2).
  • Greenwood, D. R., Comeskey, D., Hunt, M. B., & Rasmussen, L. E. L. (2005). Chemical communication - Chirality in elephant pheromones. NATURE, 438 (7071), 1097-1098. 10.1038/4381097a
  • Hartley, C. J., Greenwood, D. R., Gilbert, R. J. C., Masoumi, A., Gordon, K. H. J., Hanzlik, T. N., ... Scotti, P. D. (2005). Kelp fly virus: A novel group of insect picorna-like viruses as defined by genome sequence analysis and a distinctive virion structure. JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, 79 (21), 13385-13398. 10.1128/JVI.79.21.13385-13398.2005


Contact details

Alternative contact

(09) 521 4840


Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
New Zealand

Social links

Web links