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Profiles of teaching and research staff in Sciences

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Andrea Miller

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.

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Ben Wheeler

Dr Ben Wheeler is a Paediatric Endocrinologist and Paediatrician working for the University of Otago and the Southern District Health Board.


Caroline Beck

I found the idea of doing curiosity-led research absolutely fascinating, and I still do.


Catriona Hurd

"Seaweed in New Zealand has not been studied much," Catriona Hurd says, "and there are many exciting questions that need answering."

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Damian Scarf

"Often students who’ve had to struggle become the best researchers."

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Dr Gabrielle Jenkin

"I was captivated by the BBC series '28 Up'. This made me think about how much of life was pre-conditioned..."

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Dr Peter Mace

"What excites me about my work is ... making new discoveries that you are the first person to know about, ever."

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Dr Rose Richards Hessell

"It was tremendously exciting to come out of a PhD and run amok..."

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Dr Tracy Melzer

"Imaging is amazing, it has completely revolutionised medicine."

Louise Signal

Environmental obesity

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.

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Female focus

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.

Philippa Howden Chapman

From academia to action

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.

Iain Raeburn

Mathematics Professor Iain Raeburn reckons Otago is the best-run university he has ever worked at.

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James Crowley

“We’re basically like engineers or architects, but rather than designing buildings, we’re designing molecules.”


Jim Cotter

Our bodies are designed to be physically stressed says Dr Jim Cotter, lecturer in exercise and environmental physiology at the School of Physical Education.

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John Tagg

Seeking knowledge can be fun, says lecturer John Tagg. "It doesn't have to be a dreary process."

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Lyall Hanton

Chemistry lecturer Lyall Hanton admits to an obsession with science from a young age.

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Natalie Medlicott

Associate Professor Natalie Medlicott’s Pharmacy research involves colleagues in New Zealand, Australia, Denmark and Northern Ireland — and distance is not an issue.

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Phil Bishop

Do you speak frog? Professor Phil Bishop does.

Dr Collings and Professor Dowell

Primary solutions

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.


Professor John Crump

Infectious diseases continue to be major causes of illness and death in developing countries. Professor Crump’s work focuses on those that cause fever, a very common syndrome in the tropics and one that is often equated with malaria.

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Rebecca Brookland

“For me it is essential that my research has the potential for real change—that it can influence policy and practice for better health outcomes.”

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Rebecca Campbell

Rebecca’s research involves manipulating hormonal levels in mice while in utero and then investigating how their brains are affected in adulthood.

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Replacing replacements

In spite of years of education campaigns and steadily rising tobacco prices, 22 per cent of New Zealand's adult population continue to smoke.

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Roslyn Kemp

”I’ve tried to take the best ideas from my mentors and help students to learn not only the science but how to be scientists in the real world.”

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Testicular cancer disparities

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.

Shieak Tzeng

The rhythms of life

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.

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Tilman Davies

“There are all sorts of jobs these days for people who can interpret and analyse data.”

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Unequal playing fields

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.

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Waruna Weerasekera

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.