Ms Jacqueline Mackenzie-Dodds BSc Hons I

Jackie Mackenzie-Dodds
  • Collections Manager, Molecular and Frozen Tissues
  • Life Sciences department
  • Genomics and Microbial Biodiversity Division
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history

April 2011 to date:

Molecular Collections Facility Manager

April 2007 to March 2011:

Laboratory Manager for Whale Basement Molecular Laboratories.

Acting Laboratory Manager

Acting Band 4

Molecular Biology Unit (MBU), Zoology Department,

Natural History Museum (NHM), London, UK

Summary of duties include:

Management of the Molecular Biology Unit for the Department of Zoology, including financial management of 25+ cost centre accounts, service and maintenance contracts for all NHM Science departments, and maintenance of stock consumables. Responsibility for monitoring and reviewing H&S regulations and procedures in the MBU. Supervision and training in use of MBU facilities and equipment, and molecular biology techniques and trouble-shooting, for all staff and visiting researchers in the MBU. Member of key molecular biology research and collection committees.

Selected achievements:

  • Contributed to the Molecular Biology Restructuring Committee to develop a new unified, cost efficient financial model, approved by Science Executive (Aug 08), for streamlining the merged Molecular Biology Laboratories in April 09.   
  • Successfully liaised with NHM Procurement and Finance, and company contacts to enhance key consumable and S&M contracts achieving significant cost savings for the NHM, and providing more convenient systems for researchers.
  • Joint responsibility for detailed feasibility and business plan for proposed new Molecular Collections Facility successfully endorsed by Science Executive (July 08), and moved forward onto Development.
  • Improved service and maintenance efficiency by reduction of downtime for broken equipment, minimising disruption to research, ensuring that Facility users can always perform the highest quality molecular biology research.
  • Significant progress in Frozen Ark initiative at NHM.
  • Streamlined procedures and developed excellent time management skills to adapt to running the MBU with no formal support after the retirement of the previous laboratory manager. 

May 2004 – March 2007

Deputy Laboratory Manager to Mr Andy Warlow (50%) and Molecular Biology Consultant(50%)

Band 5                              

Molecular Biology Unit (MBU), Zoology Department,

Natural History Museum (NHM), London, UK

Summary of duties include:

Assisting Laboratory Manager in maintenance and administration of the MBU in its daily operation, as above. Member of Zoology department H&S Committee: Secretary and Molecular Biology Resources Board (Zoology Department): Consultant for molecular biology projects in the Zoology Department; provision of practical molecular biology laboratory support, troubleshooting, data generation for publications and pump-priming of grant applications; assessment of scientific merit, feasibility, budgeting and scheduling of molecular project bids.

Selected achievements:

  • Participated in strategic meetings to set up the Molecular Resources Board for Zoology, and fully met all contracts to provide molecular support for successful bids therein, within time-frame and on budget. All work resulted in publications.
  • Successfully organised all quarterly Zoology Department H&S meetings, efficiently preparing and circulating the Minutes on time for appropriate action to be taken if necessary.
  • Jointly ran two successful molecular biology training courses (theory and practical). Feedback from both was excellent, and plans to make the courses regular and interdepartmental have been discussed.
  • Introduced successful electronic ‘running accounts’ system.

Dec 1991 to April 2004:

Research Assistant to Dr Richard Thomas (80%) and Deputy Laboratory Manager to Mr Andy Warlow (20%)

Band 5

Molecular Biology Unit (MBU), Zoology Department,

Natural History Museum (NHM), London, UK

Summary of duties:

Assist Senior Researcher, Dr Richard Thomas in research projects; data generation for publications and grant applications. Assist MBU laboratory manager in maintenance and administration of the MBU in its daily operation, and training of staff in appropriate molecular biology techniques.

Selected achievements:

  • Produced Genomic and cDNA libraries of a model organism, the mite Archegozetes longisetosus, and mapped the complete HOX cluster, providing large resource for potential future studies in arthropod phylogeny and evolution and development.
  • Developed sensitive and reliable replacement non-radioactive methodology for all library screening and probing experiments in the MBU. The protocol has been used in the MBU in replacement of radioactive methods ever since.                                                                             

May 1989 – Nov 1991:

Research Assistant, Academic Department of Medicine, Royal Free Hospital, and Biochemistry Department, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Summary of duties include:

Molecular projects in an academic and busy hospital environment, investigating the links between Hepatitis B and liver cancer.

Selected  achievements:

  • Proficiency in molecular biology techniques.
  • Development of technique to rapidly identify the nature of genes flanking viral genes in liver cancers caused by Hepatitis B.

Dec 1986 – April 1989:

Research Assistant, Biochemistry Department, Glaxo Group Research, London, UK.

Summary of duties include:

 Liaison with Chemistry Department to develop cholesterol biosynthesis inhibition assays, screening and identifying inhibitor compounds, using traditional biochemistry and molecular biology techniques to develop potential drugs (statins) for treatment of heart disease.

Selected achievements:

  • Discovery of many potent chemical inhibitors of key enzymes in mammalian cholesterol biosynthesis, which were fast-tracked into secondary trials.


Molecular Biology Expertise                                       

  • Over 20 years experience in molecular biology from both industry and academia.
  • Proficient at all general practical laboratory molecular biology techniques.
  • Accomplished at trouble-shooting and supervision.
  • Nine peer reviewed publications in high quality journals (see Selected Publications).
  • Molecular biology consultant in the Zoology Department, NHM (from 2004), providing support for research staff including those who do not usually use molecular techniques.
  • Member of key NHM molecular biology research and collections committees and working groups:
  • Molecular Laboratory Restructure Committee (interdepartmental)
  • Molecular Collections Project Committee (interdepartmental)
  • Molecular Biology Resources Board (Zoology Department): assessment of scientific merit, feasibility, budgeting and scheduling of molecular project bids.
  • Zoology Department H&S Committee (Deputy Liaison Officer)
  • Science H&S Forum (interdepartmental)
  • Frozen Ark Committee (inter-institutional
  • Abreast of continuously advancing technologies in molecular biology, and apply them wherever possible; network of company contacts, suppliers of cutting-edge molecular biology equipment. Regularly attend research seminars and demos of new equipment (e.g., DC2 Robotic Workstation tender), and keep up with all literature relevant to current projects in molecular biology.

Selected People skills

  • Excellent interpersonal skills; liaise successfully with people from different areas of expertise, to achieve common goals, whether professional or social. Enjoy networking and participating on committees at the NHM.
  • Organise events, professional and social, meetings, parties (e.g., Dept Christmas, annual Fungal Foray party).
  • Enjoy and receive many appreciative comments after taking visitors on tours of the MBU and other parts of the NHM.
  • Student Associate at the NHM, supporting students during their time at the NHM.

Professional Roles

Laboratory management

  • 18 years experience of laboratory management at the NHM in the Zoology Department; 20% for the first 16 years (deputy), 100% (manager) for the last 2 years.
  • Sound knowledge and implementation of all relevant health and safety procedures to ensure good laboratory practice.
  • Successful financial and general laboratory management of the busy Molecular Biology Unit (MBU), in the Zoology Department, providing space and resources for 20+ staff and visiting researchers, maintaining equipment and consumables.
  • Extensive knowledge and experience of service and maintenance (S&M), successfully managing cost efficient, reliable S&M contracts across all science departments at the NHM, 2 years, building on significant involvement for 16 years beforehand.

 Financial management

  • Propriety and regularity; practised at careful administration of multiple cost-centres (25+) and budgets (approx £100K p/a budgetary responsibility), for up to 20 staff, complying with financial regulations and procedures.
  • Attention to detail; accuracy in financial reports, reconciliations, budgets, multiple cost centre management.
  • Management of funds from a variety of sources requiring different financial regulations i.e., public funding (GIA) and external grant funds (NERC, BBSRC, EU Marie Curie, Royal Society).
  • Competence and knowledge of CODA, updated financial system put in place at the NHM, Summer 08; a more powerful and user friendly system providing an easier interface between Finance and front-line laboratory managers, with plenty of future potential for development between the two areas.
  • Large network of reliable company contacts over 18 years: suppliers of goods and S&M service providers who are always prepared to negotiate a deal to reflect their appreciation of the NHM’s reputation, always securing the best value for money.
  •  Successful liaison with NHM Procurement and Finance, and company contacts to enhance key consumable and service and maintenance contracts e.g., ELGA Process Water; 5 year contract, and QIAGEN Ltd; installation of QIAstock Cabinet, with increased % discount, and zero carriage costs, achieving >£5000 and >£2000 p/a cost savings respectively, summer 08.
  • Contribution to the Molecular Biology Restructuring Committee, by the provision of a detailed audit and spreadsheets of all molecular GIA consumables, S&M, minor and capital costs in the MBU for the last 5 years, with forecasts for costs for the next 3 years, including rolling replacement of all equipment. Consolidation of these figures with molecular costs in Entomology and Botany has enabled the development of a new unified, cost efficient financial model, approved by Science Executive (Aug 08), for streamlining the merged Molecular Biology Laboratories when they come online in April 09.

Health and Safety

  • Knowledge and experience of H&S: worked in laboratories throughout career; always been fully aware of, and trained in appropriate H&S procedures and regulations to comply with H&S law.
  • Training of all laboratory staff in all appropriate H&S procedures.
  • Monitoring and updating of risk assessments relating to all procedures in the MBU, NHM.
  • Regular H&S meetings and inspections for 5 years taking remedial action whenever necessary (departmental – Zoology Department Secretary and Deputy H&S Liaison Officer, and interdepartmental – Science H&S Forum).
  • H&S training courses (H&S for Managers, COSHH, Fire Safety, Manual Handling).
  • Instrumental in helping develop and run the ground-breaking H&S database for the Zoology Department at the NHM, training other staff how to use it. This now successfully processes and stores all departmental risk assessments, achieving HSE audit compliance.


Teach basic practical and theoretical molecular biology at conferences, workshops and seminar series:

  • Molecular Biology Workshop, Museum of Sao Paulo (MZUSP), Brazil; one week practical and theory course for 14 MZUSP staff; DNA extraction, PCR, sequencing methodologies and data analysis, Sept 05.
  • Zoology Department Molecular Biology Workshop, one week practical and theory course for 20+ Zoology Department staff; DNA extraction, PCR, sequencing methodologies and data analysis, Jan 06.
  • Molecular Systematics MSc course (NHM/IC Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity), basic DNA biochemistry, PCR, cloning and sequencing technologies seminar, Jan 07.
  • Student Systematics Conference, up-dated basic DNA biochemistry, PCR, cloning and sequencing technologies seminar, March 08.
  • Performed molecular biology techniques for an educational interactive film on evolution to be on show to the public in DC2’s Attenborough Suite from 2009.




  • Task Leader in the Molecular Collections Project (MCP); jointly responsible for the success of the business plan for the proposed new facility to hold molecular collections at the NHM. Detailed feasibility study and business plan approved by Science Executive in July 08, and funding now being sought by Development.
  • Manage and maintain ultracold freezers holding the Zoology Department’s Frozen Tissue Collection FTC (over 5 years), and the NHM’s contribution to The Frozen Ark (FArk) initiative (over 3 years) including liaison with UK consortium members; both collections are held in the MBU.
  • Train and supervise appropriate curatorial staff from Zoology Department to act as Cold Curators for both FTC and FArk frozen collections.
  • Contribute to discussions and advise on future strategies for new molecular collections at the NHM and elsewhere:
  • Frozen Ark meetings: report on the progress of the NHM’s contribution to the Frozen Ark Initiative at quarterly meetings and train staff at NHM and Nottingham University (FArk HQ) in FArk procedures.
  • Financial management and molecular biology consultant for Whatman – NHM project (feasibility study, business plan and experimental strategy approved for funding by Whatman for 2 years’ sponsorship (starts 2009) of research at the NHM investigating FTA card technology for ambient long term storage of museum specimens).
  • Project Daubenton Meeting / Workshops (NHM September 2008) Joint collection management meeting MNHN, Paris - NHM, London. Led discussion group on molecular collections and produced report.
  • SYNTHESYS Project Networking Activities C and E European Disaster Planning for Collections, (Madrid, October 2008). Report on Disaster Planning for Molecular Collections to be incorporated into the MCP policy for the NHM, London.
  • EDIT WP3, Directors of Collections Meeting (January 2009): provide molecular collections input to discussions on European collections management strategy


Selected publications

  • Gower  DJ, San Mauro D, Giri V, Bhatta G, Govindappa V, Kotharambath R, Oommen V. O, Fatih FA, Mackenzie-Dodds JA, Nussbaum RA, Biju SD, Shouche YS and Wilkinson M. ( 2011 ) Molecular systematics of caeciliid caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) of the Western Ghats, India. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59 (3) : 698 - 707 . doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.03.002
  • Bass, D., Brown, N., Mackenzie-Dodds, J., Dyal, P., Nierzwicki-Bauer, S., Vepritskiy, A.A., & Richards, T. A. ( 2009 ) A Molecular perspective on protozoan biogeography and ecological differentiation using cyclotrchiids as a model group. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 56 : 559 – 567 .
  • Huys, R., Mackenzie-Dodds, J., Llewellyn-Hughes, J., ( 2009 ) Cancrincolidae (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) associated with land crabs: A semiterrestrial leaf of the ameirid tree. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51 : 143 – 156 . Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
  • Malaquias, M. A. E., Mackenzie-Dodds, J., Bouchet, P., Gosliner, T. and Reid, D. G. A. ( 2009 ) A molecular phylogeny of the cephalaspidea sensu lato (Gastropoda: Euthyneura): Architectibranchia redefined and Runcinacea reinstated. Zoologica Scripta 38 : 23 - 41 . doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00354.x
  • Webster, B L., Mackenzie-Dodds J. A. , Telford MJ. & Littlewood DTJ. ( 2007 ) The Mitochondrial Genome of Priapulus caudatus Lamarck (Priapulida: Priapulidae). Gene 389 : 96 – 105 .
  • Bonnie L. Webster, Richard R. Copley, Ronald A. Jenner, Jacqueline A. Mackenzie-Dodds, Sarah J. Bourlat, Omar Rota-Stabelli, D.T.J. Littlewood, and Maximilian J. Telford. ( 2006 ) Mitogenomics and phylogenetics reveal priapulid worms as extant models of the ancestral Ecdysozoan. Evolution and Development 8:6 : 502 – 510 .
  • Reid DG, Lal K, Mackenzie-Dodds JA, Kaligis F, Littlewood DTJ, and Williams S. ( 2006 ) Comparative phylogeography and species boundaries in Echinolittorina snails in the central Indo-West Pacific. Journal of Biogeography 33 : 990 - 1006 . doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01469.x
  • Smith, A.B., Pisane, D., Mackenzie-Dodds, J.A., Stockley, B., Webster, B.L., & Littlewood, D.T.J. ( 2006 ) Testing the Molecular Clock: Molecular and Palaeontological Estimates of DivergenceTimes in the Echinoidea (Echinodermata).   Molecular Biology and Evolution 23 (10) : 1832 – 1851 . doi: 10.1093/molbev/msl039
  • Stockley B, Smith AB,  Littlewood T, Lessios HA &  Mackenzie-Dodds JA. ( 2005 )  Phylogenetic relationships of spatangoid sea urchins (Echinoidea): taxon sampling density and congruence between morphological and molecular estimates. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Zoologica Scripta. 34 (5) : 447 - 468 .