Dr Mark Hope Oliver

PhD, MSc (Hons), BSc

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Senior Research Fellow


Masters in gastrointestinal physiology of ruminants (Waikato University). PhD at Auckland on the topic of fetal growth physiology. Mark's current scientific focus is on the consequences of an altered environment before and during pregnancy on maternal adaption to pregnancy and postnatal physiology, growth and health of the offspring.

Other areas of active research involvement include the treatment of intrauterine growth restriction and postnatal outcomes, preterm birth and its consequences, maternal behaviour.

Mark was primarily responsible for the establishment, ongoing development and management of the Liggins Institute. Initially this included operations, but is now more focused on the development of biomedical and production animal research activities.

He is also involved in animal health and welfare research. He was a former double-term member of The University of Auckland Animal Ethics Committee.

Affiliations and collaborations:

  • External collaborator for the Strategic Research Centre for Fetal Programming, Danish Strategic Research Council
  • Collaborations with research groups at AgResearch, Massey University, Manchester University, Landcorp Farming Ltd
  • Commercial research interests managed in conjunction with UniServices Ltd

Personal quote:

“In my research I always look for synergies between biomedical, production and animal health and welfare. I am uniquely qualified to work between these research platforms and am always keen to form new collaborations.”


Research | Current

  • Maternal environment and its effect on postnatal disease in the offspring
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Health, welfare and nutrition during pregnancy (sheep and cattle)
  • Prematurity
  • Specialised nutrition for pregnant and young, growing ruminants

Research theme:

Major research funding:

  • Principal Investigator on NRCGD Major Project
  • Associate Investigator on HRC Programme Grant
  • UniServices Ltd commercial project grants (2 active)
  • Uniservices Ltd commercial consultancy (1 active)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Sciascia, Q. L., van der Linden, D. S., Sales, F. A., Wards, N. J., Blair, H. T., Pacheco, D., ... McCoard, S. A. (2019). Parenteral administration of l-arginine to twin-bearing Romney ewes during latepregnancy is associated with reduced milk somatic cell count during early lactation. Journal of dairy science, 102 (4), 3071-3081. 10.3168/jds.2018-15433
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46771
  • Morrison, J. L., Berry, M. J., Botting, K. J., Darby, J. R. T., Frasch, M. G., Gatford, K. L., ... Herrera, E. A. (2018). Improving pregnancy outcomes in humans through studies in sheep. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 315 (6), R1123-R1153. 10.1152/ajpregu.00391.2017
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45534
  • Swanson, M. E. V., Murray, H. C., Oliver, M. H., Waldvogel, H. J., Firth, E. C., & Curtis, M. A. (2017). Imposed running exercise does not alter cell proliferation in the neurogenic niches of young lambs. Journal of Animal Science, 95 (10), 4381-4390. 10.2527/jas2017.1710
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Elwyn Firth, Helen Murray, Henry Waldvogel, Maurice Curtis, Molly Swanson
  • Donovan, E. L., Buckels, E. J., Hancock, S., Smeitink, D., Oliver, M. H., Bloomfield, F. H., & Jaquiery, A. L. (2017). Twin conception in sheep leads to impaired insulin sensitivity and sexually dimorphic adipose tissue and skeletal muscle phenotypes in adulthood. Reproductive Sciences, 24 (6), 865-881. 10.1177/1933719116670516
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33166
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Frank Bloomfield, Anne Jaquiery
  • Spiroski, A. M., Oliver, M. H., Jaquiery, A. L., Prickett, T. C. R., Espiner, E. A., Harding, J. E., & Bloomfield, F. H. (2017). Postnatal effects of intrauterine treatment of the growth-restricted ovine fetus with intra-amniotic insulin-like growth factor-1. The Journal of Physiology10.1113/JP274999
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42406
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Frank Bloomfield, Anne Jaquiery, Jane Harding
  • Oliver, M. H., & Rossenrode, S. (2017). Optimised welfare for sheep in research and teaching. In D. M. Ferguson, C. Lee, A. Fisher (Eds.) Advances in sheep welfare (pp. 263-281). Oxford, UK: Woodhead Publishing, Elsevier Ltd. 10.1016/B978-0-08-100718-1.00014-5
  • Hegarty, J. E., Harding, J. E., Oliver, M. H., Gamble, G., Dickson, J. L., Chase, G., & Jaquiery, A. L. (2017). Oral dextrose gel to improve survival in less vigorous newborn triplet lambs: A randomised controlled trial. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 60 (1), 54-69. 10.1080/00288233.2016.1240091
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32150
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jo Hegarty, Anne Jaquiery, Jane Harding, Greg Gamble
  • Berry, M. J., Jaquiery, A. L., Oliver, M. H., Harding, J. E., & Bloomfield, F. H. (2016). Neonatal milk supplementation in lambs has persistent effects on growth and metabolic function that differ by sex and gestational age. The British Journal of Nutrition, 116 (11), 1912-1925. 10.1017/s0007114516004013
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34431
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Frank Bloomfield, Anne Jaquiery, Jane Harding

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 505 - Bldg 505
New Zealand

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