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Our Asia-Pacific Biocultural Health people

Asia-Pacific Biocultural Health, a University of Otago Research Theme, is investigating the implications of our past on human health today.

Steering committee members

Dr Siân Halcrow

Sian HalcrowDepartment of Anatomy

Co-director, and research interests in infant and child health and disease in prehistoric Southeast Asia.

Professor Hallie Buckley

Hallie BuckleyDepartment of Anatomy

Co-director, and research interests in palaeopathology in New Zealand, the Pacific, and Southeast Asia.

Professor Tony Merriman

Tony MerrimanDepartment of Biochemistry

Research interests in genetic and environmental causes of gout in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Mr Tuari Potiki

Tuari Potiki Office of Māori Development

Cultural advisor.

Faumuina Associate Professor Fa'afetai Sopoaga

Tai Sopoaga Associate Dean Pacific, Division of Health Sciences

Cultural advisor.

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Principal investigators

Associate Professor Jonathan Broadbent

Jonathan Broadbent Department of Oral Rehabilitation

Natural history of dental disease and health with particular interest in social disparities on oral health.

Professor John Broughton

John Broughton wearing a korowai Departments of Oral Diagnostics and Surgical Sciences, and Social and Preventive Medicine

Oranga niho (Māori oral health).

Associate Professor Jenny Bryant-Tokalau

Jenny Bryant-Tokalau Te Tumu

Pacific poverty and effects of natural disasters.

Professor Greg Cook

Greg cookDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology

How microorganisms adapt to new environments (eg Mycobacterium tuberculosis)

Professor Bernadette Drummond

Bernadette DrummondDepartment of Oral Sciences

Child dental enamel defects and oral pathology in New Zealand.

Associate Professor Ruth Fitzgerald

Ruth Fitzgerald Department of Anthropology and Archaeology

Aotearoa clinical anthropology and oral health.

Dr Susan Heydon

Susan HeydonSchool of Pharmacy

Social pharmacy: medicines and society in developed and developing countries.

Professor Charles Higham

Charles HighamDepartment of Anthropology and Archaeology

Cultural change and social inequality in prehistoric Southeast Asia.

Dr Susan Jack

Susan Jack Centre for International Health

Child health and nutrition; effectiveness of interventions—Aotearoa, Asia and Pacific.

Dr Michael Knapp

Michael KnappDepartment of Anatomy

Evolution of infectious disease in animals and humans from New Zealand.

Associate Professor Jacqui Leckie

Jacqui LeckieDepartment of Anthropology and Archaeology

Asian and Pacific anthropology and history; diaspora studies; colonial psychiatry; medical history; gender; ethnicity; development studies; anthropology of work.

Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith

Lisa Matisoo SmithDepartment of Anatomy

Colonisation of New Zealand and the Pacific, and the evolution of disease.

Professor Tony Merriman

Tony MerrimanDepartment of Biochemistry

Genetic and environmental causes of gout in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Professor Lisa Stamp

Lisa StampDepartment of Medicine, Christchurch

Rheumatic diseases, in particular rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

Associate Professor Claudine Stirling

Claudine Stirling Department of Chemistry

Isotopic analyses of elements for the reconstruction of life history of diet and migration in the past.

Professor Glenn Summerhayes

Glenn Summerhayes receives a Papua New Guinean honourDepartment of Anthropology and Archaeology

Archaeology of Papua New Guinea and the western Pacific.

Professor Richard Walter

Richard WalterDepartment of Anthropology and Archaeology

Archaeological research into the origins of Pacific cultural diversity, and the development of indigenous Pacific societies.

Dr Angela Wanhalla

Angela WanhallaDepartment of History and Art History

Māori health and women's experiences.

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Associate investigators

Dr Htin Lin Aung

Htin Aung Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Next-generation sequencing, diagnostic microbiology, molecular microbiology, structural biology.

Anna-Claire Barker

Anna-Claire BarkerDepartment of Anatomy

Anna-Claire is an honours student quantifying the dental enamel defects of a prehistoric Tongan sample.

Dr Angela Clark

Angela Clark Department of Anatomy

Sex-specific health in prehistoric Southeast Asia.

Professor John Crump

John CrumpCentre for International Health

International health: infectious diseases, medical microbiology, epidemiology, ethics.

Neha Dhavale

Neha Dhavale Department of Anatomy

PhD candidate studying health and social status in prehistoric Southeast Asia.

Associate Professor Kate Domett

Kate DomettJames Cook University

Australian-based contact for Southeast Asian prehistoric health and trauma research.

Jill Drake

Christchurch campus Department of Medicine, Christchurch

Gout research in New Zealand.

Gail Elliott

Gail Elliott, back left, with colleagues in ChileDepartment of Anatomy

Gail is a PhD candidate investigating growth as an indicator of health during the prehistoric agricultural revolution in northern Chile. (Gail, back left, photographed in Chile with colleagues)

Helen Gilmore

Anatomy imageDepartments of Anthropology and Archaeology

Helen's PhD explored a comparative ethnographic study of bioarchaeological practices in Aotearoa New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Dr Anna Gosling

Anna GoslingPostdoctoral Scholar in the Human Genetics department at the University of Chicago

Anna's interests are human genetic adaptation and the evolution of disease in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Karen Greig

Karen GreigDepartment of Anthropology and Archaeology

Karen's doctoral thesis investigated archaeology, ancient DNA and dogs in Remote Oceania. She is currently a research fellow with Southern Pacific Archaeological Research.

Dr Ian Griffin

Ian GriffinDirector, Otago Museum

Liaison with Otago Museum, and science communication.

Professor Philip Hill

Philip Hill Centre for International Health

International health.

Dr Rebecca Kinaston

Hallie Buckley (left) and Rebecca Kinaston Department of Anatomy affiliate staff member

Dr Rebecca Kinaston (on right in photo) studies diet and nutrition in the Pacific, particularly Lapita peoples.

Dr Charlotte King

Charlotte KingDepartment of Anatomy

Rutherford Postdoctoral Fellow investigating migration and diet in prehistoric Southeast Asia.

Edana Lord

Anatomy imageDepartment of Anatomy

Edana's master's is investigating mitochondrial genomes of pre-Columbian guinea pigs.

Dr Sue McAllister

Sue McAllister Centre for International Health

Dr McAllister works in international health and is currently researching Tuberculosis in Indonesia.

Losa Moata'ane

Losa Moata'ane Department of Public Health, Wellington

PhD candidate studying inequalities and health in Pacific Communities.

Jarrod Moors

Jarrod Moors gradDepartment of Biochemistry

PhD candidate investigating metabolic disease in Polynesian peoples.

Associate Professor Marc Oxenham

Marc OxenhamAustralian National University

Australian-based contact for Southeast Asian prehistoric health and disease.

Ruth Page

Ruth PageDepartment of Anatomy

Ruth is currently applying for doctoral study exploring sex and health in ancient China.

Dr Matthew Schmidt

Heritage New Zealand boat wreck imageHeritage New Zealand

Heritage New Zealand contact for Otago regional archaeology.

Dr Rachel Scott

Rachel ScottDepartment of Anatomy

Assistant Research Fellow investigating diet in ancient Chile using dental microwear analysis.

Christina Stantis

Christina StantisDepartment of Anatomy

PhD candidate studying diet and nutrition in the Pacific, particularly Western Polynesia.

Dr Kate Thomas

Kate ThomasCentre for International Health

Dr Thomas investigates hazards associated with zoonotic enteric pathogens in emerging livestock systems (HAZEL project).

Dr Monica Tromp

Monica Tromp Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, and Affiliate Researcher, Department of Anatomy

Monica is a Postdoctoral researcher investigating the relationship between plants and people, especially as they relate to migration, diet and health during the Austronesian expansion into the Pacific.

Maya Turner

Maya Turner Department of Anatomy

Maya is an honours student studying the ethics of 3D printing human remains from the perspective of Māori and archaeologists.

Stacey Ward

Anatomy imageDepartment of Anatomy

PhD candidate investigating health and social status in prehistoric Southeast Asia.

Dr Anna Willis

Archaeology tools Australian National University

Anna completed her doctoral study on the bioarchaeology of An Son and Hòa Diêm giving biosocial insights into prehistoric Southern Vietnam.

Dr Lynda Wixon

Lynda Wixon Practicing dentist and member of the New Zealand Society of Forensic Odontology

Postgraduate student studying prehistoric Māori periodontal health.