New Zealand man embarks on quest to find Loch Ness Monster

A New Zealand professor has travelled to Scotland in a bid to locate the Loch Ness Monster.

One of the most famous pictures of 'Nessie'. Picture: Contributed

Geneticist Neil Gemmell, from the University of Otago, on South Island, is hoping to trawl the vast loch for DNA - from the likes of excrement, urine, dandruff or other types of skin cells, in a bid to discover if a creature lurks in the body of water.

Professor Gemmell told Newshub: “You don’t believe in Nessie as such, but there is a little bit of you - my inner child - hoping that you might evidence.

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Professor Neil Gemmell. Picture: Twitter

“We’re always excited about the prospect of discovering something new - I suspect there are new things to be found.”

Most of Professor Gemmell’s research, according to his page on the University of Otago website, centres on ecology, population, conservation and evolutionary biology.

In April, concerns were raised after eight months passed with no sightings of Nessie.

Professor Neil Gemmell. Picture: Twitter

Gary Campbell, keeper of the Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register, admitted that he was ‘worried’ by the lack of sightings, adding: “2016 was a record year with eight sightings but then she seems to have disappeared.”

Last year was the best year for sightings of the famously elusive beast since 2000.

Mr Campbell told The Scotsman: “We’re quite worried that there has been an eight-month gap since the last sighting. This is especially so when you consider that pretty much everyone will have access to a camera phone to take video and pictures – we would have expected at least something in that time period.

“When it comes to the reported sightings of Nessie, we reckon about half of those sent to us don’t make it on to the register – what’s really strange is that there has been nothing reported at all – not even sightings of things that we can discount.”