Professor David Fergusson has tackled his fair share of sacred cows" during nearly 35 years leading the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS).
Hairdressing delivered a lot to women over the 20th century – more than simply the hairstyles and the opportunity to look good. It also provided them with new employment and business opportunities.
X-RAY technology dates back more than 100 years and has generally been used to give the big picture, looking at bones and organs.
A day spent surveying Otago Harbour from a boat was enough to convince Aaron that this was the career for him.
One day soon Aaron Turner plans to be hanging out of a helicopter as a member of a rescue team saving lives.
I used the Foreshore and Seabed Debate as a case study to unearth the equality and rights arguments that New Zealanders employ today.
"I found out about New Zealand from my cousin and he told me that it was a very safe and friendly place."
He is hoping to live the dream of all Antarctic researchers and take a rare trip to the icy continent...
The University of Otago's Injury Prevention Research Unit (IPRU) has recently completed the most comprehensive study of occupational health in agriculture in New Zealand – with worrying results.
Adam Norrie might be a specialist in the finer points of quantum mechanics, but on any given day he could be writing reports on subjects ranging from Antarctica to aerospace.
Physiology satisfies Aditya Sharma's thirst for knowledge about how the human body works.
Adon says "While it definitely helps to be a performer, you don't necessarily have to be able to perform to be a good producer... I am living proof of that!"
It was the human side of information science that piqued Aimee’s interest during her time at Otago.
"My university gave me four country options for study; Hawaii, Canada, Australia and New Zealand."
"I heard Dunedin was a student city so I chose to come here."
If Alapasita Teu has her way, there will be a lot of New Zealanders much like her in the future – Pacific Islanders who are fit, healthy and engaged in regular physical activity.
Alaric McCarthy's postgraduate research is set to be something of a hot and cold experience - it will take him from Dunedin to the Cook Islands and Antarctica.
"I have been exposed to new ideas and new knowledge that have challenged life-long, and now outdated, prejudices."
“Law is incredibly pervasive, which is why anyone could benefit from studying it.”
The University of Otago took an elegant leap ahead of its field some 60 years ago when it became one of the world's first universities to offer papers in Dance Studies.
"A lot of students are scared because they think a student exchange will prolong their degree, but papers studied overseas can be credited back."
If you are ever unfortunate enough to be in hospital during a bacterial outbreak, rest assured that Alice Richardson will be working against the clock to help solve the problem.
While Chemistry is rarely about flashes and bangs, Dr Allan Blackman is known for his magic show.
I chose the Faculty of Law at the University of Otago for my PhD, as it is one of the few places I know of with an ideal research center where I would have the chance to investigate this project with excellent supervision from academics.
Apparent widespread abuse of trusts of all kinds – be they family, trading or charitable trusts – has prompted the Faculty of Law's Professor Nicola Peart and Jessica Palmer to undertake in-depth research into their legal basis.
The brain is an astonishing device for storing the information with which it is bombarded, every moment of the day.
Andrea Miller breaks her own records. She is New Zealand's women's 100 metre hurdles champion, and is on track to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
A career in sports medicine beckoned Andrew Hagan down to Dunedin but little did he know his future would really kick off in finance.
It was a science fiction novel Andrew Haines read at high school that first sparked his interest in nanotechnology.
"My Otago history degree gave me the skills to adapt to my job and its diverse requirements."
"It's about reviving and reconstructing communities and looking at personal experiences"
As a marketing executive for New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing, Angelique Bridson's role is to promote the New Zealand thoroughbred and its supporting industry...
The winner of the 2005 inaugural L'Oreal Scholarship couldn't be more suited to the award.
From the decline of grand skinks in Otago, Zoology Master's graduate Anita Middlemiss has shifted her sights to lizards in the Whanganui National Park.
For musician Anji Sami, the great appeal of coming to Dunedin was that it was far away and she didn’t know anything about it.
“I chose the DipGrad because it is the only option that gives me the chance to progress to postgraduate study in a subject different to my original major. It is also flexible and can be tailored to meet my needs."
Sapere Aude - Dare to be Wise. Anna Guthrie has taken the University of Otago motto very seriously during her studies.
"In Dunedin if you do well there are so many opportunities to be in the lime-light."
It's incredible that Anna Scarlett has time for anything other than her sport, let alone completing a degree in Physiotherapy.
I chose to pursue postgraduate study to improve my qualifications for future work overseas.
To prescribe or not to prescribe. That is the question faced daily by GPs treating those with depression.
Psychologists sit around in offices talking to people all day - right? Wrong - if your name is Ants Williams.
In year two of a marine ecology degree, April (who grew up landlocked in Salt Lake City, Utah) sees Otago as the perfect place to study.
Professors Jeff and Lisa Smith (College of Education) discovered that reactions to art and to images of space are similar.
Professor Astrid an Huef (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) says she pursues mathematics for its beauty.
After Ben Lawrie left school he spent three years learning about the world.
Ben Schon has always been interested in building, fixing and making things, so it is fitting he is doing a research project which may one day help repair damaged cartilage.
Berenice wanted to come to a country where English was the main language spoken.
“I’m interested in what happens when people are put in different positions”
"I had an excellent experience and have graduated with two fantastic degrees which really fit well together."
Bridget Gentle has dressed wounds using only the light of the cell phone.
Finding out Professor Hilary Radner was based at Otago was the clincher that brought Bronwyn Polaschek back to New Zealand and into a PhD programme.
University of Otago, Christchurch researchers, including clinical psychologist Dr Virginia McIntosh, investigated whether giving exposure therapy – where patients and therapists re-enact scenarios that typically precede binging and purging – helped them abstain from these behaviours.
Associate Professor Vernon Ward and his colleagues are using the empty shell of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus to tailor an immune response against cancer.
Although getting an interview can be about who you know, once you are in front of the employer it’s only about what you know.
After seven years working as a dental surgery assistant Candice Gracie itched to take a more active role in patient care, so she trained as a dental hygienist.
Never mind that Carel Thompson-Teepa was about 1,200 kilometres away: when she was at high school in Whakatane, considering where to study, all roads seemed to lead to Otago.
I found the idea of doing curiosity-led research absolutely fascinating, and I still do.
For honours Zoology student Catherine Roughton conducting field work meant time spent with binoculars stalking lizards in the barren country around Macraes Flat.
Podiatrist Catherine Willett jumped straight into postgraduate studies in 2005 after her undergraduate degree, tackling a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Medicine at Otago.
"Seaweed in New Zealand has not been studied much," Catriona Hurd says, "and there are many exciting questions that need answering."
For someone who never studied finance or accounting at high school, Cedreece Tamagushiku is a natural.
Every second of every day, more than a million cells in our bodies kill themselves as part of a constant replacement policy.
Chanelle Carrick is a big fan of contemporary New Zealand art and photography. But it's the artists themselves she's keen to work with.
"Uni doesn't always need to be about training for a specific job or future, it's about learning to think critically in a range of ways."
She believes Genetics is “the fastest-moving and most exciting of scientific disciplines that exists today.”
The variety of enriching experiences I had as an Art History and Theory student at Otago equipped me with the right skills to follow my dream of working within the museum and art gallery sector.
"My philosophy is to ensure the survival of Te Reo Maori."
For Chin Loh, a career in Pharmacy was more than the chance to dispense medicines and advice - it was also a path into the world of business. Meanwhile Pharmacy PhD student Clare Strachan is researching the precise crystal structures of drugs.
Associate Professor Chris Brickell’s research may investigate the historical context of Gender Studies, but his teaching is bang up to the minute.
Chris had a natural interest in the flexibility of language and a background in public speaking which led him naturally to study law.
Chris didn’t just learn technical knowledge—he learned how to interrogate financial information and understand the strategic impacts of accounting.
It might seem like an odd combination – a geneticist, a former zoologist turned medical researcher and two flocks of sheep...
One of the great things about Geography, according to second-year honours student Claire Auchinvole, is the scope it offers for a good argument.
The DipGrad is proving to be an ideal way for Claire Gordon to gain the specialised study she needs to achieve her professional goals.
Claire Maslin knows about variables and how they direct trends - both as a statistician, and personally.
Now an Auckland-based hotshot, Claire Murray remembers her Otago days fondly.
For decades, images from x-rays and scanners have been in black and white, at times limiting clinical diagnosis. But this is now changing with the development, in Christchurch, of the world's first colour CT scanner for medical imaging.
After completing a Bachelor of Biomedical Science in 2008, Cody Ross wanted to build on his qualification - to add another string to his bow and increase his opportunities in the job market.
Satellite images can tell scientists a lot about the formation, cover and break-up of sea ice around Antarctica, but they can't show how thick that ice is or how it forms around ice shelves that clad almost half of the southern continent's coastline.
It is extremely satisfying and comforting to know that an education undertaken at Otago is so highly valued by employers.
For about 10 years Professor Brendan Gray has been studying what makes successful organisational or corporate cultures.
We might be surrounded by plentiful alternative sources of fuel and not even know it.
Damian Camp, Chief executive officer of Ovita, is an ideal example of where mixing science and business can take you.
“During my time at Otago, I’ve been able to travel to 17 countries and learn a lot about various tourism industries and economies.”
You will have heard the advice that the key to success is finding something you love.
The role of dance as a tool for recovering important cultural knowledge and strengthening traditions in contemporary society is being examined by Dr Ojeya Cruz Banks.
"Technology has always fascinated me, especially the sort that's capable of sending information around the world at the speed of light."
"The great thing about Otago is you not only gain an excellent education, you gain real life experience. That's why Otago graduates are so sought after."
I've always operated on the idea that if I'm not having fun teaching, students aren't having much fun learning.
Because the last two years of Otago’s Radiation Therapy degree is evenly split between theory and practical, Dean felt fully prepared once he graduated ...
As an Analyst for Deloitte in Auckland Debbie Corson prepares annual financial accounts for a range of small and medium sized businesses and trusts, including management accounts for a large charitable Auckland organisation.
For Debbie Sawers a long and proud family history of studying at Otago meant leaving the Hawke’s Bay to study in Dunedin was as straight forward as picking which subject to major in.
Lieutenant Denise Potgieter has always loved travelling and adventure. In fact, it was her sense of adventure that brought her to Otago in the first place.
It's a long way from her initial career in the Royal New Zealand Airforce where she worked in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Failing to replicate a research finding is not all bad and could, in fact, shed new light on the subject being investigated.
German-born Axel Zeitler loves New Zealand. But it did seem very far away. But when Otago’s Department of Pharmacy proposed a joint project with Cambridge University, looking at using laser technology to investigate the structure of pharmaceuticals, it felt the like the perfect solution for Axel.
Bastiaan Star remembers the first papers he read when he embarked on his PhD in population genetic theory. “They were completely incomprehensible. I could not understand them at all.”
Trying to understand how the sun’s activity impacts upon our world here on Earth occupies the days and nights of Physics lecturer Craig Rodger.
The path to becoming a senior lecturer is not always through academia. Damien has a background broader than most.
Dr Daniela Rosentreich recommends all PhD students ask themselves one fundamental question: “Are you there for the ride, or are you there for the qualification? If your priority is to have an expansive, academic experience you can approach your PhD very differently from if the aim is get the qualification quickly and efficiently.”
Elisabeth Liebert’s Master’s degree led her deep into the world of John Milton, which in turn led her to Otago’s John Hale, an international authority on the renaissance poet. So when she embarked on her PhD, it was her choice of supervisor that brought her – intellectually, at least – to Otago.
There are many ways to solve a complex mathematical problem. You can do it the old-fashioned way, using pen and paper.
Helen Tregidga says she loved doing her PhD at the time. And looking back, she loved it even more.
A background in social psychology gives Kirsten Robertson an edge when it comes to researching and teaching marketing behaviour.
“There’s little research on the implications of very young children being targeted as consumers."
When Matthew Schofield was entertaining the idea of a PhD, a work colleague gave advice that would echo for years to come: “Choose your supervisor well. It will make or break the PhD.”
If you have a particularly thorny problem with your PhD, head for the hills. That’s the advice of Matthias Futschik, whose PhD broke new ground in using computers to model the behaviour of molecules.
PhD study was, says Mele, a juggle. And a somewhat self-indulgent one at that.
Asked to describe his overall impression of his PhD journey, Paul Johnston gives a one-word answer, “Long.”
Undertaking a PhD in an area with few job prospects was both a help and a hindrance for Paul Roche. “On one hand there was always the question hanging over me, ‘what am I going to do next?’ At the same time, I knew this might be my only chance to spend years properly exploring something I loved. The fact there might not be a job at the end made the time all the more precious.”
Leaving her whanau was the most important, and most painful, aspect of coming to Otago for her postgraduate years, says Dr Rawinia Higgins. The daughter of a Mäori academic at Victoria University, Rawinia wanted to establish her own credentials before returning to take up academic and leadership responsibilities.
It’s not the fact that you have ups and downs in your PhD that took Rebecca McLeod by surprise. It’s that the swings can happen so quickly.
If Robert Peden had his way, he would start on another PhD tomorrow. “I loved every minute of it,” he says. “It was an absolute privilege. It was one of the most challenging, rewarding, satisfying and interesting things I have ever done.”
Who is Roel Wijland? Is he a publisher of poetry, an international ad man, a performance artist, a cottage caretaker, Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Bathans, or an academic who knows an awful lot about branding?
“Your understanding of your topic increases exponentially when you write”
“It’s perfect to be part of a prestigious University and still be able to climb a 2000 metre peak at the weekend – there are not many places where you can do that.”
How much is marketing about what is being bought and sold, and how much is it about the people involved in the transactions?
Christchurch biostatisticians Associate Professor Elisabeth Wells and Magnus McGee, with Dunedin colleagues Dr Joanne Baxter and Jesse Kokaua, have been quietly "peeling the onion" on New Zealand's non-medical drug use.
"It’s my opinion that the Otago University Theatre Studies programme provides the best practical ‘on-your-feet’ introductory training for theatre in New Zealand.”
Human-centred design is about looking at daily life- aiming to make tedious things easier, enjoyable things unexpectedly satisfying.
Early Career Awards for Distinction in Research 2010: Jessica Palmer, Dr Simone Celine Marshall and Associate Professor Richard Gearry
“Social work can be a lot broader than you think.”
I chose Otago because it is well-known in aero-medical care circles as the only university offering top quality graduate studies.
Eddy Kuipers has turned his passion for health and fitness into a career.
"I've always been a bit of a film geek so was excited to be able to watch a variety of different types of films and learn more about how films are put together."
“From my midwifery background I had gained plenty of on the job clinical experience but I really wanted to work in other roles specifically relating to health research and policy”
Emily Cooper is taking the world outdoor clothing market in her stride.
Emily Mason wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she started at Otago.
"It's got a little bit of everything - planning, map work, computing, law, lots of outdoor work."
When Emma Ross watches CSI on television, she could claim to be studying.
Conventional wisdom in medicine has been that heart valve infection, or endocarditis, is most likely to have been caused by valve damage following rheumatic fever during childhood or adolescence.
Just exchanging emails with the Department of Chemistry was enough to get Enitan Ibisanmi fired up for a PhD at Otago.
New Zealand children live in an environment where unhealthy food is more heavily promoted, more accessible and, for the most part, cheaper than healthy food.
Medical Laboratory Science: It’s the science behind the medicine.
Eruera Maxted reckons that if you haven't figured out what you want to do when you start university, you should keep your options open.
At the age of 17 Estelle Sun’s parents proposed the idea of sending her overseas for her higher education. Estelle eagerly packed her bags and left China destined for New Zealand.
Evelyn Parr has been at the University of Otago for four years, undertaken two degrees including papers from the Physiology, Human Nutrition, Biochemistry and Anatomy and Structural Biology...
Department of Marketing consumer behaviourist Dr Shelagh Ferguson is exploring people's emotional attachments to clothes.
The study of law as well as its practice fosters a particular type of individual and personality – one Fanaafi Aiono-Le Tagaloa (PhD) calls “adaptable, flexible and creative... one that finds a way to spin gold from straw!”
The Women's Health Research Centre is the only centre of its kind in the country dedicated to research that makes a difference for women.
New research on how the brain influences fertility could eventually result in improved ways of controlling conception and contraception.
You're a judge in a family court, trying to determine whether the parents’ constant bickering is causing psychological damage to the child.
Filipo Levi says "it was very hard at the beginning", fitting in university studies with his rugby playing. Nonetheless, plenty of hard work, determination and support ensured success.
When teaching topics such as human resource management, how better to practise what you preach than with the students themselves?
A team of scientists from the University of Otago is making big waves on the East Otago coast, their research a key factor in forcing a change in fisheries legislation after just two years of work.
A surprise find of human remains with distinctly Polynesian characteristics in a South American museum has provided a new focus of research into human migration in the Pacific and how the Pacific was settled.
Department of Marketing researchers have been looking at whether food miles influence UK consumers' food-purchasing decisions.
Over the last decade Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman and the team from He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme (Public Health, Wellington) have helped revolutionise how policy-makers and the public see the average New Zealand house.
Within a year of graduating from Otago with his LLB, Garrick Cowley found himself on an international stage facing his biggest legal challenge.
Ask Gemma Dickson about one of the most interesting biochemistry classes she's taken, and she'll tell you about the time she found a never-before-discovered transposable element in a Candida albicans sample.
I’m involved in helping to maintain and set up occupational medical support in various industrial sectors.
Local lad Geoffrey Miller knew he was going to the University of Otago when he finished school, but like lots of others, didn't really know what he was going to do there.
As a Finance Business Partner for BNZ, Gerard Graham supports business units to meet their financial plans and prepare for the future.
"How many people coming out of university in my situation have had the opportunity to effectively be a director of a company with a turnover of more than $4 million?"
What appealed to me most about the Classics Department at Otago was that it provides the student with a very wide range of options
“Archaeology is about unlocking the past – it’s a huge privilege.”
Most of us have at least one story of an inspirational schoolteacher who opened our minds to learning – or the other extreme of a terrible" one who made our learning experience an ordeal, one forever associated with memories we'd rather forget.
The Centre for Reproduction and Genomics Greenshell (TM) mussel project links teams to sequence the species genome.
For private charter pilot Greg Mills a Master of Health Science degree endorsed in Aeromedical Retrieval and Transport combines his two professional passions of aviation and emergency medicine.
Dental technologists use technical expertise and artistic skills to design and create tools such as artificial teeth, orthodontic devices and even facial prosthetics.
Professor Gerald Tannock fell in love with microbiology on his very first assignment as a trainee diagnostic laboratory technologist at Dunedin Public Hospital.
Hadleigh has been promoted to senior operations manager, providing a more strategic focus.
For Hamish Milmine, dentistry offers everything he ever wanted in a career.
Ever wondered what the likelihood is that you'll hit the pokie jackpot?
How much of our mood is hard-wired and how much is because you are simply having a bad day? It's a question researchers like Dr Tamlin Conner (Department of Psychology) are pondering as they look to understand the role genes play in how we feel.
Hayden Holmes, former Air Force corporal in logistics, BCom in economics University of Otago, and now forging a new career in the health sector, says he is really enjoying his Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington.
"I'd found cancer genetics one of the most interesting subjects when studying for my BSc"
Researchers from the University of Otago, Christchurch have implanted the world’s first heart monitor, which gives daily updates of pressure changes in chronic cardiac patients.
Like Sir Paul McCartney, Dr Heather Dyke believes in yesterday - and she believes in tomorrow too.
Helen Chapman’s experience provides support for the idea that in order to plan for the future you have to understand the past.
Henrietta Trip wants her PhD to give voice to vulnerable members of the community.
A project to return ancestral remains to one of the earliest sites of Māori settlement in New Zealand is providing a rich source of data for researchers in the Departments of Anthropology, and Anatomy and Structural Biology.
Hobert Sasa says he has "a strong sense of belonging here". The lecturers, he says, are "awesome" - and the University's Pacific Islands Centre is his "second home".
Mathematics Professor Iain Raeburn reckons Otago is the best-run university he has ever worked at.
... for plenty of New Zealanders, being both Māori and Pakeha is pretty normal. It’s a message of integration, not division.
The academic and commercial worlds need each other, but where research is not sufficiently advanced to justify the risk of investment, there is often a gap.
Dr Angela Wanhalla is a highly-credentialled historian and has a swag of awards to prove she is one of New Zealand's brightest young researchers.
In 1996 when Sheila Skeaff began her PhD research on iodine deficiency she didn't imagine she'd still be investigating the same issue 13 years later.
For her Masters degree, Jay studied the religious practices of an early-20th century Buddhist monk from Northern Thailand, Khruba Sriwichai, who played a significant role in resisting the government's reforms for Buddhist practices.
Dr Jade Hollis-Moffatt is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biochemistry Department, investigating why 10 to 15 per cent of Maori and Pacific Island men develop gout.
"International Business is perfect for anyone who's passionate about business but isn't sure exactly which direction they want to go in"
“We’re basically like engineers or architects, but rather than designing buildings, we’re designing molecules.”
James Dawson has spent the past five years juggling a successful career as an international-level kayaker and full-time study at the University of Otago’s School of Dentistry.
Jane Dempsey is a firm believer in taking every opportunity available - a belief which she has put into practice studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts.
"Basically it's on-the-job training from day one - and you get paid while you study!"
“I worked on several projects with major New Zealand companies as part of my study, which really exposed me to what the industry was like.”
Most new students expect challenges in their first year at University, but Jarrod Moors had the added pressure of acclimatising to Dunedin’s climate after moving from Samoa.
The distance programme allows for movement in your social circumstances, planned or unplanned.
There is a public perception of accountants as "bean counters". The reality is that the so called "bean counting" accountant is more likely to be found in an upbeat information technology or ecotourism company than behind a desk with a calculator and balance sheet.
"The skills I learned in the first three years – research, writing, critiquing, always working to deadline... "
"One of the appealing things about social work is that there are so many areas you can work in."
Jenny Stein’s commuter transport is a helicopter; her office is a tent; and her job entails long days hiking the spectacular wilderness of Western Tasmania.
Our bodies are designed to be physically stressed says Dr Jim Cotter, lecturer in exercise and environmental physiology at the School of Physical Education.
When she set out to study a Bachelor of Commerce, Jo McGilchrist never thought she'd end up majoring in economics, nor did she think she would do honours. But after studying an array of subjects, she's certain that economics was the right choice.
My time working on the undergraduate paper was the catalyst for my decision to undertake a Master’s degree and pursue a full year of research.
"I looked into biodegradable plastics and even a kind of corn polymer substitute for polystyrene which dissolved in water."
“Video games are full of Spartans. Hercules and Xena have their own TV shows. They are great characters and great stories.”
Seeking knowledge can be fun, says lecturer John Tagg. "It doesn't have to be a dreary process."
Assistance from the Centre for Reproduction and Genomics is helping a major animal health research initiative follow through on some spectacular results.
Having completed one year of his Psychology degree, Jonathan is enthusiastic about the more specialised study which beckons in his second and third years.
The museums, the many art galleries and the people I encountered in Paris all made it worthwhile.
“The department is brilliant and the teaching was excellent. My mind was opened by MFCO, it introduced me to new perspectives on film and life.”
Think of the television programme CSI and you'll know what forensic dentist Professor Jules Kieser gets up to.
KC Li started his first year at Otago without knowing where his studies would take him.
"I came to Otago because it offered me the chance to combine both Teaching and Theatre Studies at the same time."
In her final year of a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, Kate Beer says she's enjoyed everything about studying at Otago so far.
"I hate pine trees," says third-year ecology student Kate Ladley. "They're like maggots on the landscape."
At the time, writing a university assignment seemed a lot more daunting than NCEA had been. But by the time I had done the first one I felt a lot more confident in the systems and realised that it really wasn't that big a jump.
“We have learned that a particle can be in two different places at once ...”
Keith Chau reckons he stumbled into Finance, but it's clear he fell on his feet.
Ken Hodge has had some of the best seats at international sporting competitions around the world.
Keri Stuart was following in a family tradition when she pursued an Otago Medical Laboratory Science degree - four of her five sisters also chose to study health sciences at Otago.
All businesses make mistakes. But why is it, wondered Kerry Kirkland, that some businesses can recover from situations where they have let their clients down, with no long-lasting damage to their relationships, “while others make such a hash of it?”
“I felt like I was already home when I first arrived in Dunedin. I did not feel homesick as it was a very friendly place."
Sticking thousands of metres up into the atmosphere, it is little wonder that climatologists are looking to mighty Mount Kilimanjaro and its unique glaciers to act like climate change sensors.
The study of economics is all about how people weigh their options.
"My links with my whanau, tribe and the University of Otago will always remain strong."
Some people wondered why Kyle Weir was combining Marketing and Geography degrees; perhaps not the most common pair of major subjects.
When you choose to study law at Otago, you choose to receive exposure to world class teaching and a wide range of stimulating subjects
Links between the University of Otago and AgResearch enabled through the Centre for Reproduction and Genomics are benefiting leading science programmes and fast-tracking promising science careers.
"I decided to make Classics my major at Otago because it combines everything I am interested in: literature, history, languages, art, and mythology as well as architecture and archaeology."
Even though she can be "ridiculously busy" studying full-time and working many part-time jobs, Lauren Julian is already proving she has the talent to achieve success in business.
Lauren McEwan-Nugent maintains that one of the strengths of Religious Studies is its extraordinary relevance to the world around us.
A FRST-funded project is allowing business researchers to take a much closer look at how - and how well - New Zealand exporters are doing business in the key emerging markets of China and India.
"For someone in my position- entering Computer Science with a degree from a completely different academic field - the DipGrad is a required qualification before a postgraduate diploma or master's degree can be pursued; it was the only choice."
Leuila Matagi Stevenson’s dream of becoming a dental therapist has been a long and winding road.
"Studying contemporary music really opened my eyes to the intricate craftsmanship behind writing a good song."
“Repeatedly, we see the wishes of the living take precedence over the wishes of the dead. This is not based on ethics, but on expediency.”
"The beauty of this degree is that it doesn't narrow you down in terms of job prospects."
Lisa Wilkinson had been walking the walk - or, more accurately, dancing the dance - as a performance artist for years before coming to Otago.
Balancing four children, a career and higher education is all in a day’s work for Liz Day, whose distance study with Otago University led to a new career as a full-time nursing lecturer.
Liz Holland admits to somewhat divided loyalties when watching the All Blacks play the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup semi-final. The Wallabies were, after all, wearing Canterbury clothing that she had helped to design.
It’s not easy being green, which is precisely why businesses rely on people like Lloyd McGinty to ease the pressure.
Logan Seddon, radiation therapist, has no trouble listing the advantages of his career.
New Zealand, with 3,500 lakes, faces many freshwater issues, yet has relatively few qualified people to help solve them.
A Health Research Council summer studentship in Pacific health research gave Lora Vaioleti the chance to examine this aspect of cardio-respiratory health.
Lorna Little grew up on a farm in Tangiteroria, half a hour out of Whangarei, and laughs as she describes how Dunedin was at first the “bright lights, big city” for her.
Chemistry lecturer Lyall Hanton admits to an obsession with science from a young age.
"Along with language papers I also had the opportunity to discover many facets of German culture, inlcuding German literature, history, philosophy, and art."
Right now, behind the scenes of Kiwi sporting achievement at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, there’s a team of health workers keeping our athletes at their best.
"Through studying Spanish, I developed an appreciation for communicating with more than words."
Archaeology will appeal to anybody with an interest in people and history.
“I have been able to apply the new knowledge I have gained whilst studying into my practice.”
Studying at Otago gave Marian Batelaan a chance many economists would dream of.
Saving New Zealand threatened marine animals is being made more complicated by the way the relevant legislation is spread over three Acts of Parliament, according to Faculty of Law senior lecturer Nicola Wheen.
"...the more I learnt the more interesting areas opened up."
Mark Preece (Te Iwi Morriori, Te Atiawa) was born on the Chatam Islands; his dad was a crayfisherman, and Mark wanted to stay working at sea.
"Doing a Biomedical Sciences degree is really flexible."
Otago Law Faculty was the obvious choice, its reputation for collegiality and academic excellence being well founded.
When John Barlow appealed his conviction for the murders of Gene and Eugene Thomas on the grounds that one aspect of the scientific evidence was misleading, the Privy Council agreed with him. But it dismissed his appeal anyway.
Fast, adaptable, and extremely portable - it is the best computer known to man. Able to learn languages, guide vehicles and make complex computations in a split second, there is nothing that can match the versatility of the human brain.
I’m working full-time so I chose postgraduate study via distance because I could fit it in with my work
Matt Matahaere can talk the talk because he’s walked the walk.
A Centre for Reproduction and Genomics research team has made a big step towards a treatment for a serious form of kidney disease, with early-stage preclinical studies now generating results.
Many people think that the media have dumbed down over the years, increasingly producing populist trivia rather than useful information.
Megan Anderson was the first student at the University of Otago to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Sociology.
"Without the enthusiasm and encouragement from the history department staff I might never have developed my passion for history and research."
"Tourism is what I wanted to study and Otago was the university that I wanted to study at."
When Michael Ramsay enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in History at Otago, he had no idea he'd end up studying the financial markets and the latest takeovers.
Time takes on peculiar qualities for many PhD students, and for Michael Stevens perhaps more than most.
I really enjoyed the hands-on clinical experience, especially the patient and staff interaction.
"Within a few minutes of my first Social Work and Community Development lecture, I knew I wanted to become a social worker."
"When I first came to Dunedin it was cold but so beautiful. It is not a stressful place. It is relaxing really."
“One of the real highlights of the job is being able to see a large part of the country.”
Everyone knows the way mothers speak to their babies is special, but to Dr Mele Taumoepeau the unique linguistic bond between mother and child is more than just baby talk.
Miranda Waple had her future figured out as a teenager. "I knew I wanted to study Marketing."
Monica Singh knows first hand the range of jobs a Biochemistry degree opens up.
"Anthropology introduced me to a whole way of thinking and understanding people that I hadn’t experienced before."
Nancy found that studying abroad "really highlighted how lucky Otago students are".
Naomi Aporo has built a successful career out of combining her talent for business with her passion for Māori culture and heritage.
Using the same technology you see on CSI, Natalie Harfoot examines a new set of samples.
Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott’s Pharmacy research involves colleagues in New Zealand, Australia, Denmark and Northern Ireland — and distance is not an issue.
Becoming a teacher wasn’t always Nathan’s plan. He moved to Otago from Christchurch to study Phys-Ed exclusively, on the recommendation of teachers who had told him it was “the best place in the country” to study the subject.
Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Otago, Nathan Love took off to explore the world in 2000. As it turned out, the world sent him back again.
Nathan Rose jokes that he gained a “poker degree” at Otago, with majors in Finance and Psychology.
Nawaf heard about Foundation Year in Bahrain so he went to the website to check it out.
"My greatest pleasure is when my work, whether it's teeth or maxillofacial prostheses, blends perfectly and patients walk away with a smile."
“It opens your eyes to things you might never have otherwise seen”
Resurrecting the dead may be impossible, but Dr George Dias is achieving the next best thing.
“I’m finding there are more opportunities with respect to work and learning available and I have the confidence to explore more academic work-related pursuits."
A considerable amount of research is available about loneliness and depression in the elderly. But little is known about how to actually deal with it.
"I've never been one that's strictly into science, so I liked the idea of the Bachelor of Applied Science being a mix of business and science papers. It's the reality for most jobs out there."
I felt I needed to understand the way Radiation Therapy is taught in New Zealand in order to do a better job teaching them
An evening stroll along one of Dunedin’s most popular beaches has led to a fascinating discovery by Department of Zoology researchers.
“I really want to contribute to the Pacific community and help increase awareness of maintaining good oral health”
I was exposed to innovative and exciting ides and concepts that inspired me to pursue my studies in Ethnomusicology at a higher level.
A 27-year working relationship has brought the best of sheep and human research capabilities together and laid the foundation for a developing area of study.
"I'm interested in the type of dissent that these forms of visual culture can produce and how they can contribute to create a more open society."
Pascale Zweifel is an object lesson in following your passion.
A study by PhD Geology student Felix Marx has shown that the evolution of modern whales was driven by a combination of food abundance and climate change, findings which could help scientists predict the impacts of future global changes on these creatures.
Growing up in the Canterbury high country, Pat was a farm kid who read Homer.
"It can be difficult to transition from full-time work to full-time study, but the staff here are very welcoming and helpful.”
Working on classified military projects, with a name like Bond, one might imagine top secret bunkers and Q-like gadgetry.
"Business studies gives a really good career base. You do a bit of everything in a BCom."
Lecturer Paul Hansen lives halfway between the beach and the University - perfect for a guy whose love of surfing is rivalled only by his passion for Economics.
"Accounting goes beyond debits and credits - it's a multi-faceted discipline with a wide range of applications"
University of Otago distance student Paula Haines-Bellamy won a national award with her exhibition “Unpicking the Past: Revealing our Dress Collection”, based on her university research.
"The performing arts course at Otago has given me the skills and confidence to tackle just about anything."
Petra McCallum has pursued her fascination for other cultures and languages across continents - originally from Melbourne, she has lived in Ecuador, Spain and England.
Do you speak frog? Phil Bishop does.
Few 14-year-olds have an interest in accountancy, but then again few can boast a top-shelf London lifestyle by the time they reach their mid-20s.
"There's quite a lot of room for flexibility when choosing your papers, which shows the broadness of the degree,"
"The DipGrad course has allowed me to broaden my original degree, I will be able to graduate at the end of one year if I wish, and the wide range of subjects I am studying will hopefully improve my job prospects in teaching."
Piotr Mierzejewski has been bungy jumping, scuba diving, participated in theatre groups and even capsized a small boat.
Few stories have captured the imagination of readers as successfully as the extraordinary South Seas tale of Fletcher Christian and fellow mutineers on the HMS Bounty.
"For most of the 20th century political friendships have been equated with nepotism and favouritism, which do not fit with the idea of objective democracy"
On-farm research could provide a crucial step in linking University of Otago postpartum anxiety research to real benefits for New Zealand mothers.
A means of food processing and preservation that maintains nutritional benefits, taste, colour and appearance while at the same time keeps the product stable, safe and easy to use is something of a holy grail for food scientists.
Professor Tony Dowell and Dr Sunny Collings (University of Otago, Wellington) are convinced that GPs and other primary health-care professionals can provide more effective care to the thousands of people suffering from mild to moderate mental health problems in New Zealand.
Fundmental questions, such as what factors airlines consider when adding or reducing flights to New Zealand, are to be examined under a FRST grant secured by Associate Professor David Timothy Duval (Department of Tourism).
Otago physicists have used laser-cooling technology to slow a group of rubidium 85 atoms; then, by using a laser beam, or optical "tweezers", they have been able to isolate and capture one atom – and photograph it through a microscope.
Rachael Dyche literally fell for physiotherapy in her last year at school. After a fall she had to have physiotherapy - and she realised that was the career for her.
Distance learning meant I could study at night, and when my son had an afternoon nap I could get a little bit of reading done.
“Human geography was the degree that offered the broad combination of economic, political and social issues that I was looking for,”
“I really like the way that all your papers overlap, and you can increasingly see how each one is relevant to all the others”
Studying at Otago was a pivotal step for a young girl from Invercargill in becoming a partner in the multinational professional services firm KPMG.
Panta is undertaking a thesis on the effectiveness of a new spectral-CT scanner in diagnosing atherosclerotic disease, or arterial hardening.
"Coming to the University of Otago expanded my mind. I became more aware of diversity of expression; that identity is a dynamic thing and dependent on influences, experiences and environments in which one lives."
"Language learners often feel self-conscious about baring their fledgling skills in front of their peers, but I was always made to feel relaxed and received plenty of encouragement."
Rebecca’s research involves manipulating hormonal levels in mice while in utero and then investigating how their brains are affected in adulthood.
A passion for New Zealand, an enthusiasm for tourism and a canny marketing ability has led Rebecca Hanifin to where she is today - marketing New Zealand as the "ultimate" tourist destination.
Rebeeca McMaster, Art History graduate says "I have no doubt that the Otago experience set me up excellently for the Great Job Hunt".
Following her passion to study Philosophy gave Rebecca Thomson an edge when it came to her career.
Technology is driving many innovations in teaching.
Indiana Jones and the Da Vinci Code may be fictional, but academics really do have their moments in solving age-old mysteries in exotic locations.
"The study of politics has given me a truly international worldview: many of my travel choices have been inspired by the content of my degree and the passion inspired by my lecturers."
In spite of years of education campaigns and steadily rising tobacco prices, 22 per cent of New Zealand's adult population continue to smoke.
“There’s a big problem in academia and that’s the problem of specialisation. People speak in their own esoteric tongues to specialised audiences - it’s a real intellectual danger.”
"That was the 'light bulb moment' – I knew there was a gap in the market"
Dr Rob Aitken brings the savvy eye of a media expert to his current work as a Marketing lecturer at the University of Otago.
“One of the key challenges of teaching is to communicate ideas and information clearly”
"In Information Science you're looking at business rules and how to match them through information systems."
Are Colin McCahon’s religious paintings akin to “graffiti on the walls of some celestial lavatory?” At Otago you can decide for yourself.
Rheumatologist Dr Lisa Stamp could have been a professional musician – a cellist – but half way through a Bachelor of Music degree she decided to be a doctor instead.
Russell Blakelock believes Otago’s Distance Learning programme offers him the flexibility he needs, as well as a sense of community that he also believes to be important.
“This qualification is professionally relevant, and because it is a clinical master’s there is more weight added to its value”
Ruth Cunningham’s doctorate, with funding from an HRC clinical fellowship, is focusing on the unanswered question of what happens when someone with severe mental illness then develops cancer?
There is compelling evidence that decriminalisation achieved the aim of addressing sex workers' human rights and had a positive effect on their health and safety.
Sam Scott says "I was surprised how easy it was to learn Chinese as I had previously written myself off as 'not being a languages person'"
"My memories of University include looking forward more and more to my Religious Studies classes."
Originally from Christchurch, Sam Trethewey decided to study at Otago after hearing good things about the Otago Department of Finance and even better things about the Otago lifestyle.
Sanjana France is confident her Communication Studies degree will open doors to exciting career options and enable her to travel.
“Some of the ways global business is taking sustainability seriously is fascinating and quite inspiring.”
Sarah Baldwin reckons Otago could gives job-seekers an edge even in tough times. She’s hoping that the skills she’s learned at Otago will make the difference when it comes to starting her career.
Sarah Borrie was keen to gain a qualification with an international outlook, but she didn't expect her studies to take her around the world before she'd even graduated.
"...Otago has the lifestyle, its cheaper to live here and there's more financial support available than there is at home in Australia."
Fifty years ago the idea of instant communication with anyone, anywhere on the planet, was just a dream.
Scott says that Otago has a huge amount to offer people who want to succeed in the business world.
Scott Ransom discovered there's a place for students with a love of writing and a penchant for the absurd. It's called Theatre Studies at Otago.
I don’t have a degree so for me this is less of a career choice than a desire to achieve a personal goal.
'My job requires creative adaptability, the ability to come to creative solutions and exceptional communication'
Shelley believes that she could not have done her research in any other department.
Sian Griffith had never considered the possibility of a career in dental technology.
To better understand the side-effects of cholesterol-reducing drugs, Pharmacology PhD student Simran Maggo is teaching guinea pigs to swim.
“I always knew I wanted to work in advocacy or something in the area of creating change and I started working in public health early on.”
Professor Janet Hoek uses the "David and Goliath" analogy to describe the battle between "social marketers" who take on the challenge of promoting public health measures and the corporations that market harmful products to consumers.
"We have a generic solution to any problem that involves ranking or allocating resources."
When Stacey Gullen-Reynolds left school at 15 having passed only one School Certificate subject, it was hard to imagine that one day she would be handing out education and career advice to others.
In the world of international finance, reputations are important. Stefan Clyne is counting on it.
I initially trained as a nurse, but after a few years I wanted to know more about what caused illnesses in people.
Studying towards a Master of Business in Finance, Steven Anderson has already secured a job when he graduates with international banking giant Deutsche Bank.
To most people, mushrooms in the woods are just fungi.
Oral health care has come a long way in the past few years.
Growing concern about the carbon dioxide emissions associated with long-haul air travel may not stop UK and European tourists coming here, but it might bring about a rethink on how itineraries are planned and the way the experience is marketed.
Test-tasting chocolate doesn’t sound like a tough task, but it’s more
difficult than it might seem.
"New Zealand lags behind most developed countries in adopting energy-efficient behaviours and technologies, and we have been slow to set vigorous standards for energy efficiency in comparison to the rest of the world"
Imagine if the early signs of Crohn's disease were noticed up to 10 years before the illness began to ravage the bowel.
Studying Medicine at the University of Otago had always been Tarucilla’s ambition.
Studying Marketing at Otago has paid off in dividends for Tee Wern Lim and has changed the course of his study.
Teri Higgins' past year at Otago has been one big horror film - her major project was an honours dissertation on the "psychoanalytical failure of the remake of Psycho".
Terrence O'Brien enrolled in Otago's Bachelor of Teaching (Primary). The experience, he says, was outstanding.
“This programme allows social workers to undertake further studies with a distinctly social work emphasis”
For Tessa Cameron a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in finance and economics helped her develop into the entrepreneurial business women she is today.
The occurrence of testicular cancer in New Zealand appears to be different to other parts of the developed world, particularly in relation to ethnicity and socio-economic status.
What do you wear when you venture into the great outdoors?
"For students who like computers but are business and people minded, Information Science is a great programme."
"The marae represents modern-day New Zealand's unique social and cultural point of difference. Can we afford to lose it?"
"America's post-Somalia approach was supposed to be about putting the interests of national security first. Instead it came back to bite them."
Dr Shieak Tzeng (Department of Surgery and Anaesthesia, Wellington) is fascinated by the big unanswered questions in the murky depths of the body's physiology.
Sport, beer advertising and alcohol could be said to form a "trinity" that is having an increasingly powerful influence on society.
Mysterious and little-studied structures within sheep oocytes have caught PhD student Karen Reader’s eye through the microscope.
Preventive and Social Medicine Professor Jennie Connor believes we're in a state of denial about just how harmful our national drinking habits really are.
Dunedin’s climate is not usually cited as one of the attractions of coming to the University of Otago, but it’s a plus for Tourism lecturer Dr Tianyu Ying.
"I really liked chemistry at school and I'd always been interested in medical research."
Some kids want to be astronauts or racing car drivers, but Tina Chase always wanted to be a marine scientist.
When Tom Scott graduated from the University of Otago he found himself heading in quite a different direction than he had initially planned.
“The RTRU is a fabulous community of both academics and students. Your study is well supported and is an achievable goal for students who want to extend their knowledge in a specific area”.
Otago researchers are at the forefront of international collaborations to use vaccines to tackle specific cancers.
It may not be as internationally recognisable as the kiwi, but the tuatara is well known in the scientific world as the last survivor of a prehistoric group of reptiles called rhynchocephalians.
New Zealanders like to believe their country is a place of relative equality; however, recent reports have shown that New Zealand is among the top 10 “most unequal” countries in the developed world in terms of income differentials.
“Getting the rehabilitation right for the patient or client has both exciting and life-changing rewards.”
"The communication and analytical skills that I developed during my Linguistics studies, combined with an acquired learning aptitude and enthusiasm for learning new languages, are invaluable tools in my present role."
"I'm very passionate about tourism and I'm very passionate about beer. So it's come together very nicely."
With a desire to work in medicine, Waruna Weerasekera chose to leave home and Sri Lanka to study Biomedical Science at the University of Otago.
What really interests Wei Wang, who is studying for his master’s degree in Computer Science, is the evolution of multi-core processors.
He may be one of New Zealand’s most esteemed experts on childhood obesity, but Professor Barry Taylor has all but given up trying to enable overweight children to slim down.
There are a few things you need in this life, believes Emeritus Professor Jim Flynn, if you are to function usefully in the modern world.
"I'm keen to explore how we, as Westerners, understand people from another culture."
“Put me in a room with anyone,” he says, “and I’ll persuade them to come to Otago.”
I enjoyed history at school and university and became really interested in medical anthropology - the interaction between people and medicine.
There's a lot of energy being expended on the subject of wind farms. Should we love their renewable energy or hate their skyline silhouettes?
Final year medical student Xaviour Walker doesn't have many spare minutes in his day.
Bought up in Queenstown, Otago was both geographically attractive and had a strong academic reputation in Zak’s chosen fields of interest: finance and economics.
"An immunologist is kind of like a military analyst with a microscope."
Foundation Year prepared me for Health Sciences at the University of Otago.
"Theatre Studies taught me a variety of skills, and not just what you learn in lectures, but a positive attitude as well- to get out there and do it!"