Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Associate investigators

Associate Professor Joe Boden

Research Associated Professor Joe Boden (BA, MA, PhD) is the Deputy Director of the Christchurch Health and Development Study at the University of Otago, Christchurch. His research interests include longitudinal studies and psychiatric epidemiology. In particular, lifecourse trajectories and consequences of substance use and mental health disorders. He is the biostatistician for the Youth Transitions Research Project (Massey University), and is involved in research collaborations with groups in Australia, the UK and the United States.

Dr Jonathan Broadbent

Dr Jonathan Broadbent (BDS, PGDipComDent, PhD) is a dental public health specialist and associate professor at the University of Otago. Jonathan is the Principal Investigator on the Health Research Council funded Dunedin Study project ‘Oral health from childhood to mid-life'. He investigates the long-term effects of social inequalities and dental health problems in dental diseases. Jonathan collaborates on national and international projects. He has received multiple awards including a 2014 ‘Building Bridges Award’ from the Association for Psychological Science (USA) and the NZ Outstanding Young Dentist Award (2011-2012).

Dr Will Edwards

Dr Will Edwards (BHort, BA, MPhil, PhD; Ngāruahine, Taranaki, Tāngahoe, Pakakohi, Ngāti Ruanui) is a Director of Taumata Associates (a Māori public health consultancy), a Principal Investigator on the longitudinal research project – Te Kura Mai i Tawhiti, and a Co-Investigator on the Dunedin Study. He is an iwi chair (Te Korowai o Ngāruahine Trust), a member of the national Iwi Chairs’ Forum and leads their Iwi Data Leadership Group. He is an expert in the area of Māori ageing and a member of the National Science Challenge Ageing Well Kāhui Group. He is a former HRC Hōhua Tutengaehe Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Dr Jesse Kokaua

Dr Jesse Kokaua (BSc, MSc [Statistics], PhD] is a Research Fellow for two Pacific departments at the University of Otago and is employed as an evaluator for Pasifika Futures, New Zealand’s Pacific Whanau Ora commissioning agency. He has worked on a number of national studies (e.g. the New Zealand Mental Health Survey). He has published in the areas of health, predominantly mental health, usually focusing on the needs of Pacific communities. Jesse is the recipient of a 2017 HRC Pacific Health Postdoctoral Fellowship. He will look at the benefits of education to Pacific families including findings from the Graduate Longitudinal Study New Zealand and Big Data analyses.

Dr Rachael McLean

Dr Rachael McLean (BA, MBChB, MPH, PhD, FNZCPHM) is a Public Health Physician and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine in the Dunedin School of Medicine. Rachael’s research interests include public health, nutrition and epidemiology, and the development of chronic disease. She has published in the areas of public health and nutritional approaches to reduce obesity and type two diabetes and hypertension including dietary sodium assessment and reduction strategies. She has acted as an advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) and governmental organisations. Rachael is an Investigator in the Dunedin Study and the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre.

Dr Sandhya Ramrakha

Dr Sandhya Ramrakha (BA, MA, MA[Hons], ClinPsy, PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow and the Research Manager for the Dunedin Study. Sandhya's research interests include links between mental and sexual health, with specific reference to risky sexual behaviour; and mental health and psychosocial correlates and consequences of skin conditions. As part of the Dunedin Study research team, she is also involved in aging research.

Dr Mihi Ratima

Dr Mihi Ratima (BSc, GradDipMaoriDev, DPH, PhD; Whakatōhea, Ngāti Awa) is a Director of Taumata Associates (a Māori public health consultancy) and a leading academic in Māori public health and kaupapa Māori research. She is a Principal Investigator on the longitudinal research project Te Kura Mai i Tawhiti and an inaugural 2016 HRC Ngā Pou Senior Māori Health Research Fellow. She is a former Associate Professor in Māori Health and Director of Māori Health Research at the Auckland University of Technology. Her international experience includes work as a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow at Harvard University, a World Health Organisation analyst and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of New Mexico.

Dr Nichola Shackleton

Dr Nichola Shackleton (BSc, MRes Education & Social Research, PhD) is a Research Fellow for the Centre for Methods and Policy Application in the Social Sciences (COMPASS) at the University of Auckland. Her research interests include inequalities in child and adolescent health and the interplay between the school environment and child and adolescent health. She uses advanced quantitative methodology to analyse survey data, and works with 'big data' in the Integrated Data Infrastructure. Nichola completed her PhD on "Socioeconomic Inequalities in Childhood Excessive Weight in the UK" at the UCL Institute of Education (London) in 2014, which involved using data from four British birth cohort studies. She worked with the Adolescent Health Research team at the UCL Institute of Child Health (London) until September 2015, and is an Honorary Research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Mr Andrew Sporle

Andrew Sporle (MA[Hons], PGDipPH; Ngati Apa, Rangitane, Te Rarawa) is a Senior Research Fellow in the Statistics Department at the University of Auckland. A former HRC Māori research manager, his current research focuses on indigenous statistics, social inequities and the application of existing research and official data resources to Māori development. He is a member of the Science Leadership Team for the Ageing Well National Science Challenge (NSC) and He Oranga Hauora Kāhui Māori for Healthier Lives NSC. He is a founding member of Te Mana Rauraunga and an organiser of the first Indigenous Open Data Summit in Madrid in 2016.

Dr Mele Taumoepeau

Dr Mele Taumoepeau (BA, BSc[Hons], PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Otago. She conducts small longitudinal studies examining the effects of parent-child interactions on very young children’s socio-cognitive development. She investigates the role of culture on childhood development, especially the development of Pasifika children. Mele is an investigator in the Graduate Longitudinal Study New Zealand and has been chair of the HRC Pacific Research Committee for the past 2 years. She is Associate Dean, Pacific for the Sciences Division at the University of Otago.

Dr Lisa Te Morenga

Dr Lisa Te Morenga (BForSc[Hons], BSc, PhD; Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi) is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Human Nutrition (University of Otago). She leads research investigating the role of sugars and wholegrains on health outcomes, contributing to the recent WHO nutrition recommendations on fats, sugar and carbohydrates. She is a co-investigator in the Dunedin Study. She collaborates with Māori health providers on multicentre projects to improve Māori health and wellbeing. Lisa is Associate Dean, Māori for the Sciences Division at the University of Otago.

Dr Gareth Treharne

Dr Gareth Treharne (BSc[Hons], PhD, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago. He has carried out extensive longitudinal research on the well-being of people with chronic illnesses, particularly rheumatoid arthritis. He has expertise on statistical approaches to longitudinal analyses as well as qualitative and community-focused approaches to knowledge translation including developing interventions. He has published in the fields of health psychology, health behaviour, rheumatology, sexuality and gender identity, and cultural identity. He is an investigator in Te Kura Mai i Tawhiti.

Dr Karen Tustin

Dr Karen Tustin (BA[Hons], PhD) is a Research Fellow in the NCLR. She is the Director of the Graduate Longitudinal Study New Zealand, a longitudinal study designed to understand the value of a New Zealand tertiary education by following a large cohort of university graduates for 10 years post-graduation. In addition to studying graduate outcomes, Karen’s other research interests include developmental psychobiology, and memory development and its relation to childhood amnesia.