Centrally located at the University of Otago, the Plant Extract Research Unit is one of Plant & Food Research’s smaller sites with 5 full and part-time scientific and technical staff.

The unit is led by Dr Nigel Perry, who has an adjunct appointment as Associate Professor in the Chemistry Department.  Graduate and undergraduate students are taught by Unit staff, with topics including natural products from New Zealand’s unique plants and animals.

Our site and facilities

The Plant Extract Research Unit is housed in the Chemistry Department of the University of Otago, which is centrally located within Dunedin city.  Staff have easy access to shops and services offered within the university and the city, so good food and coffee can easily be found along with access to other facilities such as gyms and the museum.  The university is New Zealand’s oldest university. Parking is available on campus but a pushbike is sometimes a good option to get you to your desired destination within the university or the city centre.


The site is located about a half hour drive from the Dunedin airport. The main form of transport to the site is by taxi or shuttle bus. Dunedin city bus services are also available to and from the city and surrounding areas. A hire car can give access to the more remote hills and beaches.

The area

Dunedin is a thriving university city with charming character. Set amidst a magical landscape Dunedin spreads around a sheltered harbour and is edged by the sea. The streets hum vibrantly with colour, culture, and history, while the beauty of nature can still be found - everywhere.

The Victorian and Edwardian spires and towers of notable, neo-Gothic buildings and stately homes punctuate Dunedin's cityscape. The city centre is compact, with a good array of kerbside cafes, high quality local craft, and art, jewellery and fashion design outlets.

The city is renowned for its proximity to incredible wildlife. The Otago Peninsula, a brief drive from the city centre, is home to a colony of the world's rarest penguins, the only mainland breeding colony of the royal albatross, rare New Zealand sea lions and the magnificent Larnach Castle.

There is a broad range of accommodation in Dunedin, as well as activities, places to eat, and entertainment for all ages.

The region

Dunedin is the main city within the southern province of Otago and has a population of approximately 125,000. Within an hour's drive of the city, visitors can explore some of the regions and New Zealand's most spectacular scenic and outdoor attractions. Dunedin is ideally located for day trips to any of the southern lakes and to high mountain valleys, rivers and secluded beaches. In contrast to Dunedin's moderate coastal climate, the inland region of Central Otago enjoys extreme seasons that allow snow sports in the winter and water sports in summer.

Further information

For more information visit these websites:


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