Dr. Gale Brightwell | Agriculture Science | AgResearch NZ

Dr. Gale Brightwell

Science Team Leader
Food Assurance
Email Gale


1993, PhD Bacterial Molecular Genetics, University of East Anglia (UEA), UK.

1989, BSc Major Molecular Biology, University of East Anglia (UEA), UK

1983, HNC Medical Laboratory Sciences’ Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.

Research interests & activities

Dr Brightwell’s research interests cover many aspects of food assurance and molecular microbiology. In particular, the rapid detection and identification of zoonotic organisms, pre and post-harvest antimicrobial intervention and control of pathogens, understanding the microbial ecology and bacterial population dynamics within complex environments as well as clostridial spoilage of meat and dairy products.

Science Leadership
  • Acting Director Hopkirk Research Institute
  • Associate Director NZ Food Safety Science and Research Centre.
  • Science Theme Leader (Mitigation) for NZ Food Safety Science and Research Centre.
Programme Leader for AgR SSIF Programme Food Integrity:

Today, consumers are seeking authenticity and regulators demand more stringent compliance. People demand better information on how their food was made. They are looking for foods from companies who can demonstrate how they grow or raise their food—from environmental practices to food safety, quality and animal welfare. Consumers and government are looking for sustainable practices around power usage, water quality and reducing food wastage. These consumer and regulatory drivers provide a definition of food integrity that focuses on four common themes; transparency (how foods are produced); provenance (where foods come from); assurance (food safety) and sustainability (reducing environmental impact and waste). 

Food Integrity SSIF delivers science outcomes that underpin the authenticity of these themes; to ensure that NZ’s exports are safe, have defendable provenance and produced in ways that fit consumers’ values.