Audrey Jarvis (wife of Brion, whom she met while working at the Glaxo Laboratories in Australia in 1954) joined the staff of the NZ Dairy Research Institute in 1968. She quickly became an authority on staphylococcus enterotoxins and, in 1976, initiated a research progamme on lactococcal phage genetics. She was the first scientist in NZ to use such techniques as DNA-DNA hybridisation. Using genetics techniques, she worked on the relationships between lactococcal phages, provided a basis for the classification of these phages, and assisted in the development of strategies to minimise the detrimental impact of phage on starter cultures in the dairy industry.
Other major successes have included the investigation of phage resistance mechanisms in starter cultures and taxonomic studies of lactococcal species. She was awarded the Marschall Rhone-Poulenc International Dairy Science Award by the American Dairy Science Association co-incident with her retirement from NZDRI. The NZMS elected her an Honorary Member of the Society at the 40 th AGM in 1995.