Matthew Stott

Associate ProfessorMatthew Stott



Research Interests

My research focuses on the microbial ecology and geobiological interactions within extreme ecosystems with the aim of underpinning conservation efforts, providing for industrial applications, and to understand the ecosystem services provided by these microbial communities. Much of my fieldwork is carried out in geothermal ecosystems in the central north island of Aotearoa-New Zealand known as the Taupō Volcanic Zone.

I investigate the taxonomic, genomic and functional diversity of extremophile communities using cross-disciplinary approaches. These include the cultivation and characterisation of novel microbial strains (I have described first representatives of a new phylum, and a class, as well several genera and species), molecular community and geochemical surveys (e.g. the 1000 Springs Project:, and the genomic and physiological analyses of isolates and consortium (particularly methanotrophs and atmospheric trace gas scavengers) to understand growth and survival mechanisms within these challenging environments

The themes of this research have both strong conservation and industrial foci.

Recent Publications

  • Eme L., Tamarit D., Caceres EF., Stairs CW., De Anda V., Schön ME., Seitz KW., Dombrowski N., Lewis WH. and Homa F. (2023) Inference and reconstruction of the heimdallarchaeial ancestry of eukaryotes. Nature 618(7967): 992-999.
  • Le Lay C., Stott MB., Shi M., Sadiq S. and Holmes EC. (2023) A metatranscriptomic analysis of geothermal hot springs reveals diverse RNA viruses including the phylum Lenarviricota. Virology 587
  • Massiot C., Cary C., Miller C., Villamor P., Asanuma H., Boyd E., Stott M., Lelli M., LLoyd K. and McNamara D. (2023) CALDERA: a scientific drilling idea to unravel Connections Among Life, geo- Dynamics and Eruptions in a Rifting Arc caldera. Rotorua: IAVCEI 2023 Scientific Assembly, 30 Jan-3 Feb 2023.
  • Power JF., Lowe CL., Carere CR., McDonald IR., Cary SC. and Stott MB. (2023) Temporal dynamics of geothermal microbial communities in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Frontiers in Microbiology 14
  • Power JF., Welford HE., Carere CR., McDonald IR., Craig SC. and Stott MB. (2023) Draft Genome Sequence of Venenivibrio stagnispumantis CP.B2T, Isolated from Champagne Pool, Waiotapu, Aotearoa-New Zealand. Microbiology Resource Announcements 12(2)