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Friday 16 December 2022 10:10am

Professors 2022 image
Thirty-nine University of Otago academics are being promoted to the position of professor this year.

Thirty-nine University of Otago academics are being promoted to the position of professor this year.

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Murdoch praised the quality and achievements of those being promoted when making the announcement today.

The promotions acknowledge the talent and dedication of the group, with new professors taking up their titles across all areas of the University and locations from Wellington to Invercargill.

“In what has been a turbulent year, it is wonderful to be able to end it celebrating the research and teaching expertise of such a diverse group of people, and honouring the depth of academic talent we have at Otago.

“I look forward to their future teaching, research and service achievements,” Professor Murdoch says.

Otago's promotion process involves thorough evaluation of each individual's record of contributions to research, teaching, and service to the University and community. It also involves input from international experts in evaluating the candidates' research contributions.

A further 44 academics are being promoted to Associate Professor and Research Associate Professor.

The promotions take effect from February 1, 2023.

Staff promoted to Professor (in alphabetical order):

Ian Barber

Ian Barber profile
Ian Barber

Ian is an archaeologist and anthropologist who researches human societies of the later Holocene as they have adapted to changing physical and social environments, accommodating continuity and innovation.

His research also appreciates that the anthropological lens has troubling historical roots in projects of western hegemony.

Accordingly, Ian studies and teaches change in the past, as well as the past in the present, from a critical position that acknowledges multiple, and especially, Indigenous voices.

His academic projects consider Māori and Moriori economic, settlement and material culture change; Indigenous Oceanic agronomy; culture contact in Polynesia; world cultural heritage; and the anthropology of 'race', identity and revitalisation with a focus on Latter-day Saints in America and Oceania.

Ian's research is published in leading world archaeology, anthropology and science journals, and has been recognised and encouraged by Princeton University awards, a Fulbright Scholarship, a University of Utah Tanner Humanities fellowship, and Marsden grants.

Aladin Bekhit
Department of Food Science

Alaa_Bekhit profile
Aladin Bekhit

Aladin's research focusses on the quality of muscle foods and investigates biochemical pathways and oxidative processes that dictate the quality and safety of these foods as well as their subsequent impact on human health.

Aladin envisioned and promoted the creation of New Zealand's deer milk industry which became a reality in 2018.

He led the Otago team investigating the health properties of sheep milk, whose work was instrumental in developing New Zealand's sheep dairy industry.

He has a passion to explore the health and safety novel and alternative protein resources. This led to an extensive research programme to bio-transform inedible biomaterials such as oilseed cakes, blood, wool and insects into potential future sources of edible proteins.

Aladin contributed three books to the food science departments library (Advances in Meat Processing Technology; Alternative Proteins: Safety and Food Security Considerations; and Fish Roe: Biochemistry, Products, and Safety).

Tamlin Conner
Department of Psychology

Tamlin Conner profile
Tamlin Conner

Tamlin is a psychological scientist researching what makes people happy and healthy.

Her research spans the science of wellbeing and includes large-scale multidisciplinary studies of the psychological, nutritional, and biological predictors of wellbeing and interventions to improve wellbeing through psychological and lifestyle changes.

Woven throughout her work is a passion for measuring people's feelings, experiences, and behaviours naturalistically in their daily lives to capture 'life as it is lived'.

She is an expert in smartphone survey techniques to measure daily experiences, co-editor of the Handbook of Research Methods for Studying Daily Life, Associate Editor for the journal Emotion, and member of two science advisory boards.

Her research has been funded by grants from the Health Research Council, Marsden Fund, and various industries.

Tamlin is an enthusiastic collaborator on interdisciplinary projects and a dedicated supervisor/co-supervisor to more than 50 postgraduate students (16 PhDs, 14 Master's, and 23 Honours students since 2008).

Nicolas Cullen
School of Geography

Nicholas Cullen profile
Nicolas Cullen

Nicolas' research spans the subfields of meteorology and climatology, with a current focus on understanding how the coldest regions on Earth are responding to climate change.

This focus is motivated by the urgent need to assess the impacts of ice loss from glaciers and ice sheets on sea level rise and the decline of seasonal snow on water resources.

Nicolas has worked extensively on glaciers in the Southern Alps and the Greenland ice sheet, as well as in Antarctica and a number of tropical glaciers, including Africa's highest mountain Kilimanjaro.

His research has led to new understanding of glacier and ice sheet response to anthropogenic and natural climate variability, as well as providing new insights into the role of extreme weather events on precipitation and snow melt in alpine regions.

His former postgraduate students have continued to high-standing universities and research organisations, establishing themselves as the next generation of leading climate scientists.

Gabi Dachs
Department of Pathology, Christchurch

Gaby Dachs profile
Gabi Dachs

Gabi is a cancer researcher in Christchurch.

She grew up in Namibia, obtained her PhD from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, then undertook postdoctoral training in the United Kingdom at the MRC Harwell and Gray Cancer Institute, before immigrating to Aotearoa with her family.

She has dedicated her career to understanding the molecular reasons why cancer remains challenging, and to find clinically relevant ways to treat the disease. Her approach to research covers the range from bench to bedside, from molecular and cellular biology to clinical intervention trials.

As part of a multidisciplinary team of postgraduate students, laboratory-based scientists and clinicians, she has discovered the factors that allow cells to respond to low oxygen (hypoxia), how cancer hijacks the hypoxic pathway to spread and resist therapy, and how vitamin C may modulate this pathway in cancer.

She received the University of Otago Christchurch Research Gold Medal in 2021.

Ben Daniel Motidyang
Higher Education Development Centre

Ben Daniel profile
Ben Daniel Motidyang

Ben's early training was in diverse academic disciplines.

However, his advanced education was in Educational Technology and Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence in Education—AIED) and Research Methodologies (Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods). Ben studies the design, development and efficacy of advanced learning technologies using Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques.

Recently, he has been investigating the roles of Big Data and Learning Analytics in transforming and enriching learning environments in higher education.

A dedicated research methodologist and an impenitent teacher, Ben has also researched effective ways of teaching research methods to postgraduate students and academics.

His research into the pedagogy of research methods has produced valuable knowledge that has supported students, researchers and scientists to achieve reliable, valid, and trustworthy research outcomes.

Over the years, he has developed several tools, approaches, frameworks, digital learning platforms, and knowledge systems that are globally used for teaching abstract and complex topics in research methods.

Fiona Edgar
Department of Management

Fiona Edgar profile
Fiona Edgar

Fiona's research connects human resource management (HRM) to performance, wellbeing, and sustainability. Concerned with a lack of employee voice in HRM research, Fiona aimed to ensure employees views were heard and her early research was among the first to recognise employees as important organisational stakeholders.

Her research has informed understanding of the role played by HRM in delivering a variety of performance outcomes and more recently, encouraged by the introduction of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, she has worked with colleagues to link sustainability and HRM.

Key to this agenda has been the bridging of the academic-practitioner nexus so that HRM practitioners can be supported in their sustainable HRM endeavours.

As Fiona's research area spans both theory and practice, it is not simply aimed at contributing to the scholarly community; it is also intended to directly benefit practitioners and, as well as educating students, help in preparing them for the workplace.

Susanna Every-Palmer
Department of Psychological Medicine, Wellington

Susanna Every-Palmer profile
Susanna Every-Palmer

Susanna is a forensic psychiatrist and Head of the Department for Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington.

Her key research interest is how we improve mental health services to better serve the people who use them.

Much of her research focuses on achieving better mental and physical health for people living with schizophrenia.

Susanna is interested in communicating research findings in ways that are accessible to the wider community and that contribute to ending the stigma and discrimination that people experiencing psychosis and other mental illnesses often face.

Susanna has held many senior posts across the health sector, including as Deputy Director of Mental Health at the Ministry of Health and as Director of the Central Regional Forensic Services.

She is currently Chair of the New Zealand Committee of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and serves a Board Member on the Council of Medical Colleges and Pacific Rim College of Psychiatry.

David Eyers
Department of Computer Science

David Eyers profile
David Eyers

David's research examines how to structure interacting software components for safety, efficiency and usability; and approaches to software engineering that result in auditable systems.

He has developed security technology that tracks the provenance of data as it is processed by interacting computer systems.

This ensures that the users' data management policies can be upheld: e.g. sensitive data can be protected from exfiltration attacks, and data sovereignty requirements can be supported.

This work applies particularly to cloud computing, in which the cloud provider becomes an additional stakeholder in software systems.

He is interested in computationally and energy efficient large-scale data processing techniques, for example speeding up reconstruction of 3D landscape models from geospatial measurements using high performance computing clusters.

His research also investigates potential social impacts of software systems, such as determining how compliance to regulation can be demonstrated, and reducing risks caused by recommender systems within social media platforms.

Anne-Louise Heath
Department of Human Nutrition

Anne-Louise Heath profile
Anne-Louise Heath

Anne-Louise is particularly interested in doing research that answers practical questions about nutrition for whānau and health professionals.

She researched such questions as: Is baby-led weaning safe?, How can I make sure my toddler is getting enough iron?, and Are baby food pouches bad for babies?

She has been Joint Principal Investigator for a number of studies answering these questions, many of which have been the first studies of their kind in the world, including: First Foods New Zealand, the Toddler Food Study, and the Baby-Led Introduction to Solids study.

Her research team's work has been cited by a wide range of international health agencies, and she is regularly consulted by New Zealand government agencies.

As a Pākehā she would like to be a better Treaty partner, starting her te reo Māori journey recently, and incorporating aspects of te reo Māori and te ao Māori in her work with students.

Stephanie Hughes
Brain Health Research Centre

Stephanie Hughes profile
Stephanie Hughes

Stephanie is a molecular neurobiologist who has focused her career on understanding Batten disease, a group of cruel childhood brain diseases.

Stephanie was one of the early gene therapists in New Zealand, establishing a multi-user gene vector facility at Otago that was later funded by the Brain Research New Zealand.

Her greatest achievement has been seeing gene therapy for one form of Batten disease move into clinical trials; this therapy was originally developed in the Hughes laboratory.

In recent years, her group has extended research into multiple genetic forms of Batten disease, using human neurons and astrocytes to understand disease processes and test new therapeutics.

Her work has been funded by the Health Research Council, Marsden, Neurological Foundation and Cure Kids.

Stephanie is the Director of the Brain Health Research Centre, previous Deputy Director of the Genetics Teaching Programme and serves on several international Batten disease scientific advisory boards.

Anne-Marie Jackson (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu o Whangaroa, Ngāti Wai)
Te Koronga

Prof A Jackson profile
Anne-Marie Jackson

Ko mauri ora te kaupapa matua tā Anne-Marie mahi rangahau. E mahi ana rātou ko āna rōpū i ngā kaupapa o: te hauora Māori; Tangaroa me Hinemoana; ngā waka me te haumaru wai, me; te mātauranga ā iwi, ā hapū.  He kaiārahi ia o ngā kaupapa e rua, arā Te Koronga

Centre of Indigenous Science me te Centre of Research Excellence Coastal People: Southern Skies.

He kaiakiaki hoki ia o ngā tauira atamai e whai ana ki te pae tawhiti. Tēnei tātou Te Koronga!

Anne-Marie's research is focused on indigenous flourishing wellness.

Her teams work on Māori physical education and health; the marine environment; traditional canoes and water safety and Indigenous science.

She is a leader of Te Koronga Centre of Indigenous Science and the Centre of Research Excellence Coastal People: Southern Skies.

She is also a supervisor to excellent students who seek the distant horizon.  Here we are Te Koronga!

Chris Jackson
Department of Medicine

Chris Jackson profile
Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson is a medical oncologist committed to achieving better and more equitable cancer care through patient care, research, leadership and advocacy.

Working with Cancer Trials NZ, his research brought to light key variations in bowel cancer treatment which resulted in national standards in cancer care being developed, monitored, and the first national cancer quality improvement plan.

An international collaboration with six other countries followed where New Zealand's outcomes were found to be worse than comparable countries.

He led the national discussion on the post-code lottery of cancer care, and his work with Dr Diana Sarfati and the late Blair Vining led to a new national cancer plan and the inception of a national cancer agency (Te Aho o te Kahu).

He was medical director of the Cancer Society and helped establish the Cancer Agency.

He continues treating patients, teaching students and doctors, researching new cancer drugs, and leads a national program on improving chemotherapy treatments in New Zealand.

Chrystal Jaye
Department of General Practice and Rural Health (Dunedin)

Chrystal Jaye profile
Chrystal Jaye

Chrystal Jaye is a medical anthropologist with eclectic research interests that span teaching and learning in clinical settings, primary healthcare, health and wellbeing, spirituality, rural health, and ageing.

Her work bridges and connects health and social sciences. Her most recent research has explored the impact of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak on affected southern farmers, and health and wellbeing in small rural communities.

Currently, she is curious about the forms of moral capital circulating within healthcare and the health sector.

She has been a member of the Department of General Practice and Rural Health in the Dunedin School of Medicine for over twenty years and has served as the Associate Dean (Postgraduate) for the Division of Health Sciences since 2020.

Tobias Langlotz
Department of Information Science

Tobias Langlotz profile
Tobias Langlotz

Tobias' research interest is in Human-Computer Interaction and Augmented Reality.

He is actively involved in the evolution of Augmented Reality from a niche technology in research labs to being considered the next step in computing interfaces.

His current work explores how Augmented Reality can be used in Computational Glasses, glasses that use computer-controlled optics, for compensating visual impairments or enhancing vision.

He is currently also researching technologies and interactions for the continuous use of Augmented Reality interfaces, asking how we will interact with computers if they come in the form factor of traditional glasses.

Tobias has been a named inventor on key patents for Augmented Reality and his work has been commercialised through companies such as Nokia or Qualcomm.

He repeatedly provided leadership to the community such as being the co-organiser of the world's largest conference for Virtual- and Augmented Reality, IEEE VR.

David McBride
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine

David McBride profile
David McBride

Dave is an occupational and environmental physician, a clinical discipline of which military medicine is a sub-specialty.

His particular area of research expertise lies in occupational and environmental epidemiology and biostatistics.

His clinical interests lie in the effects of physical agents, noise and vibration, chemical agents, particularly persistent organochlorine compounds and dioxins, the effects of the psychosocial environment and veterans' health.
His military connections as a reservist has given him insights into military health.

He joined the Queens University (Belfast) Officers Training Corps in 1974, commissioned into the Royal Corps of Transport as a Second Lieutenant in 1981, and on coming to New Zealand he thought he had retired, but joined the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps in 1995, going on to command the Otago and Southland Regiment in 2000, with operational experience in East Timor and Afghanistan.

Lisa McNeill
Department of Marketing

LIsa McNeill profile
Lisa McNeill

Lisa is a consumer behaviourist, with expertise in cultures of consumption and consumer identity.

Her 2015 examination of people's relationships with fashion and sustainability is internationally considered a seminal work.

Lisa's research applies developmental theory to a fashion context, exploring the hedonic, social or sacrificial notions of needs versus wants, with her recent work on this topic one of the top ten most downloaded publications in the International Journal of Consumer Studies for 2020.

She is an associate editor for Sustainability, Sage Open and the International Journal of Consumer Studies, an Advisory board member for MDPI and editorial board member of Young Consumers.

Lisa is a member of the international 'Sustainable Fashion Consumption Research Group', working with international researchers to develop multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder conversations on sustainability, in 2020 editing a book of collected works on SDG12.

Lisa has served as the Associate Dean Postgraduate Research for Commerce since 2019.

Miranda Mirosa
Department of Food Science

Miranda Mirosa profile
Miranda Mirosa

Miranda is a Consumer Food Scientist whose behavioural research engages knowledge from fields such as marketing and psychology to provide insights and interventions for food system sustainability.

Miranda is the Director of the University of Otago Food Waste Innovation Research Theme, which measures food waste, develops reduction strategies, applies innovative technology, and works to modify producer and consumer behaviour.

She provides academic consultancy services on food waste to governments and businesses.

She is the author of The Mirosa Report, written for the Parliamentary Environmental Committee, which ran a national briefing on food waste.

She is the founding Chair of the New Zealand Food Waste Champions 12.3 Trust, which works to accelerate progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 and halving food waste by 2030.

Miranda recently became a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Food Science and Technology, recognising her "substantial contribution to the profession of food science and technology”.

Garry Nixon
Department of General Practice and Rural Health

Garry Nixon profile
Garry Nixon

Garry continues to live and practice as a rural doctor in the same Central Otago community he has always worked in.

His research focuses on health outcomes and improving health services for rural communities like his own. His earlier research centred on point-of-care diagnostic technologies, including ultrasound and laboratory testing, examining their safety and impact on patient care.

In more recent times he has led a team of researchers who have developed and validated a new urban rural classification for health and are using it to compare urban and rural health outcomes and access to services.

He has collaborated closely with rural researchers in other parts of the country including the Far North and Waikato.

He has PhD students researching rural chest pain assessment pathways, the scopes of practice of rural allied health professionals, healthcare consumption across the urban rural spectrum and the workforce outcomes of rural interventions in the undergraduate medical programme.

David Orlovich
Department of Botany

David Orlovich profile
David Orlovich

David is a mycologist and botanist with expertise in fungal cell biology, molecular ecology, plant and fungal evolution, taxonomy and systematics.

He has a Bachelor of Science and PhD from the University of New South Wales, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Universities of Melbourne, Queensland and New South Wales before coming to New Zealand and Otago.

He currently leads a Marsden-funded study to understand the genetic basis for the evolution of truffle-like fungi.

Other current research focuses on discovering and describing new species of native mushrooms.

David curates the fungal and slime mould collections in the Otago Regional Herbarium and adds to this collection through the annual New Zealand Fungal Foray.

David shares his passion for plants and fungi through teaching at all levels.

He has been President of the Fungal Network of New Zealand since 2004 and the Head of the Department of Botany since 2017.

Lianne Parkin
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine

Lianne Parkin profile
Lianne Parkin

Lianne originally trained and worked in general practice in Aotearoa New Zealand, spent several years working in Australia at a health centre for young people experiencing housing insecurity, and subsequently trained as a public health physician.

These experiences have influenced the direction of her research. Her PhD in epidemiology examined risk factors for fatal pulmonary embolism, including the use of oral contraceptives and psychotropic medications.

Since then, she has investigated other potential risk factors for venous thromboembolism.

She has also explored the privacy and feasibility issues associated with the use of routinely-collected demographic, health, and pharmaceutical dispensing data from the Ministry of Health's National Collections for pharmacoepidemiological research, and has used these data to address questions about the safety and utilisation of various medicines.

Current research includes national and international collaborative projects investigating the safety of certain medicines during pregnancy and the use of inhalers for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Louise Parr-Brownlie
Brain Health Research Unit

Louise Parr-Brownlie profile
Louise Parr-Brownlie

Louise (Ngāti Maniapoto me Te Arawa) draws on Western science and mātauranga Māori research to facilitate positive ageing and equitable treatments for people living in Aotearoa New Zealand with neurodegenerative disorders.

Her biomedical research focuses on understanding how brain cell activity controls movements and how this changes in Parkinson's disease.

Her lab team and collaborators have translated this knowledge to test novel ways to treat Parkinson's disease using light to stimulate specific brain cells.

She also explores lifestyle, cultural and clinical factors that may be harnessed to modulate neuroinflammation and slow symptom progression.

Louise leads the Ageing Well National Science Challenge as Director and is a member of the Health Research Council's Biomedical Research Committee.

Her leadership effects science sector changes in Aotearoa New Zealand, and internationally she serves as the Secretary-elect of the International Basal Ganglia Society Council.

Nevil Pierse
Department of Public Health, Wellington

Nevil Pierse profile
Nevil Pierse

Nevil is co-leader of He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme. Originally a statistician by training, his current work is done in partnership with a wide variety of stakeholders including government and community organisations and is focused on the design and implementation of natural experiments to improve the home and community environments.

He is currently working on the Healthy Housing Initiative with which looks at home interventions to prevent rehospitalisation of children with housing related disease.

This programme has accessed and remediated over 30,000 homes in New Zealand and resulted in a decrease of nearly 10,000 hospital admissions.

Nevil current leads two programmes, one looking at optimising the housing system and a second programme looking at the health and wellbeing gains from improving housing quality.

Nevil has a keen interest in big data and leads five housing and health projects on the integrated data infrastructure.

Charles Pigden
Department of Philosophy

Charles Pigden profile
Charles Pigden

Charles first came to Otago as a post-doc in 1986, with a permanent post from 1988.

Though he has publications in the philosophies of science, mathematics, logic and religion, he is primarily a meta-ethicist interested in the objectivity (or otherwise) of value.

He is an expert on the philosopher Bertrand Russell, whose life and work inspired his interest in the subject.

He has developed and proved a version of Hume's famous thesis that you cannot derive an Ought from an Is, which is immune to the counterexamples of the Otago logician Arthur Prior.

Charles is a pioneer in the Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories, arguing that since people frequently conspire, there is nothing wrong with conspiracy theories as such, though many are silly and suspect for other reasons.

He takes a great pride in the PPE programme at Otago which he helped to found in 1999.

Rose Richards
Va'a o Tautai, Coastal Peoples Southern Skies Centre for Research Excellence

Rose Richards profile
Rose Richards

As Deputy Director of the Va'a o Tautai – Centre for Pacific Health, Rose has a focus on thriving wellbeing for Pacific peoples.

This includes a health workforce that meets the needs of Pacific communities, a tertiary health curriculum that empowers and celebrates Pacific knowledge, and support for a diverse Pacific-led research workforce.

These goals align closely with her other role as Co-Deputy Director of the Coastal Peoples Southern Skies - Centre for Research Excellence, where a key focus is wellbeing among coastal communities.

Rose currently leads projects related to restoration of the marine environment and the place of the ocean in Pacific wellbeing and contributes to the work of larger collaborative teams in research related to healthy sleep practices, medicine use, and education and health.

Underpinning all of these goals is a continuing curiosity and commitment to excellence in capacity building, communication and care of Pacific staff in tertiary education.

Konrad Richter
Department of Surgical Sciences (Dunedin)

Konrad Richter profile
Konrad Richter

Konrad is a Consultant General and colorectal surgeon, surgical oncologist, endoscopist, and the Associate Dean of Southland at the Otago Medical School with a professional surgical and academic career spanning 30 years.

After a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Arkansas Cancer Research Centre in Little Rock, USA, he finished his surgical training and defended his PhD thesis.

He undertook an additional three-year subspecialty training in surgical oncology and visceral surgery at the University Friedrich-Schiller in Jena, Germany.

Konrad's clinical interests include colorectal surgery, advanced minimally-invasive surgery and gastrointestinal cancer surgery.

His regional and international research has focused on basic science and clinical and translational research, including pre-sarcomatous lesions, molecular and cellular pathogenesis of radiation enteropathy, colorectal carcinogenesis, GISTs, and palliative surgery.

Konrad has been influential in turning the Invercargill Teaching Hospital into a small but vibrant academic hospital campus since he moved to Southland in 2007.

He has written book chapters on surgical oncology and palliative surgery and received numerous teaching awards; he is passionate about research, teaching, volunteering in the Pacific and serving the community.

Bruce Russell
Clinical Pharmacy

Bruce Russell profile
Bruce Russell

Bruce's research is based on his practise as a Pharmacist specialising in treatment-resistant mental health disorders with expertise in clinical psychopharmacology.

He predominately use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and behavioural assessments to investigate patient responses to drug treatment.

To date, he has undertaken research with patient groups who've suffered from schizophrenia, depression, anxiety or addiction to methamphetamine or the opioids.

He has also undertaken clinal trials to investigate the metabolism and quantify the effects of other recreationally used drugs on the brain.

Unfortunately, a significant number of patients don't respond well to first - or even second-line drug treatments so his overall aim is to improve patient outcomes by identifying biomarkers that could be used to predict an individual's response to the drugs used in psychiatry.

Tony Savarimuthu
Department of Information Science

Tony Savarimuthu profile
Tony Savarimuthu

Tony conducts research in multi-agent systems (a branch of artificial intelligence), software engineering and information systems.

In multi-agent systems, he is passionate about creating 'socially aware' software (e.g., those used in robots), that can learn human concepts such as social norms, trust and reputation, and apply them when interacting with other humans or artificial agents.

Such futuristic software can enable collaboration and cooperation between interacting entities. In the software engineering domain, he studies human factors in software development.

His research has focused on extracting decision-making processes, personality types and social norms from large software repositories.

Insights obtained have facilitated the design of improved human-oriented processes in software development.

In the information systems domain, he has worked on enhancing the sustainability of the internet by identifying and reducing useless data.

Tony has authored more than 130 publications. His research works appear in top venues in all three areas of his research

Daryl Schwenke
Department of Physiology

Daryl Schwenke profile
Daryl Schwenke

Daryl Schwenke is a cardiovascular physiologist with a particular interest in neuro-endocrine control of the heart and vascular system in health and disease.

A graduate of the University of Otago, Daryl pursued an early research career in Japan where, using advanced scientific technologies including state-of-the-art Synchrotron Radiation microangiography, started a journey of identifying the physiological significance of a newly-discovered hormone, known as Ghrelin, on cardiovascular control.

Daryl subsequently returned to Otago, where he has continued to research and uncover the multifaceted mechanistic and therapeutic potential of Ghrelin in treating cardiac and vascular diseases.

Disruption of the endogenous Ghrelin pathway appears to be a significant contributor to the origin of several cardiovascular diseases and Daryl, who is of Samoan descent, continues to explore potential links between reduced levels of this cardio-protective hormone Ghrelin in Pacific peoples, and their increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

James Scott
Department of Geology

James Scott profile
James Scott

James' research ranges from examining the solar system via meteorites and the formation of Zealandia, to the environmental effects of historic mine waste.

This research has involved more than 60 postgraduate projects and many fieldtrips to remote places in the Southern Alps.

The results have been published in more than 100 publications, including reviews on NZ volcanism, the Earth's mantle, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands.

He manages Fireballs Aotearoa, a nation-wide meteor-tracking camera system intended to aid finding New Zealand's next meteorite.

He has received Supervisor of the Year, Early Career Distinction in Research, and several Teaching Excellence awards, and he has led the Otago Institute for Arts and Science and the Geoscience Society of NZ.

Gisela Sole
School of Physiotherapy

Gisela Sole 2020 profile
Gisela Sole

Gisela is a musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapist, becoming interested in research and teaching after working as a clinician in South Africa and Switzerland.

Her research advances knowledge about the influence of injuries and pain on the person, optimising rehabilitation, and enhancing the person's confidence to self-manage their health recovery.

Studies range from laboratory-based studies exploring mechanisms underlying injury, and qualitative studies exploring patients' and clinicians' experiences of their injury and treatment respectively.

She leads the Otago Shoulder Health studies that were awarded Champion Project of Pain@Otago in 2021, collaborating with international and local researchers and clinicians.

Her team recently co-designed a publicly-available website with people with shoulder pain and physiotherapists. She co-leads a collaborative team developing a framework to support students with concussion for their return-to-learn in secondary schools.

She was awarded the UK Council of Graduate Education research supervisor recognition in 2022.

She is the Deputy Dean of the School of Physiotherapy and remains integrally involved in teaching of under- and postgraduate students.

Catherine Stedman
Department of Medicine (Christchurch)

Catherine_Stedman profile
Catherine Stedman

Catherine Stedman has been a key researcher in hepatitis C drug development.

She has been a principal investigator in many proof of concept clinical trials of new antiviral therapy.

The first successful clinical trial in the world to show that hepatitis C could be cured with a short course of oral antiviral medication was conducted throughout the challenging time of the Christchurch earthquakes under her leadership.

She has also overseen some of the first successful oral antiviral therapy trials in people with hepatitis C-related liver failure.

WHO has subsequently proposed elimination of hepatitis C in response to the development of these and other effective antiviral therapies.

Catherine also undertakes research into autoimmune liver diseases, with key work understanding the impact of these diseases on morbidity and mortality of people affected by these conditions.

She is currently President of the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology.

Andrew Tawse-Smith
Department of Oral Sciences

AndrewTawse-Smith photo 2022 profile
Andrew Tawse-Smith

Andrew Tawse-Smith's multidisciplinary research platform utilises clinical and laboratory studies in oral implantology, maintenance of periodontal and peri-implant health, prevention of periodontal and peri-implant diseases, and dental education.

In oral implantology, he has led studies evaluating patients rehabilitated with oral implants. For more than 10 years, Andrew has prospectively measured different peri-implant parameters to determine implant success and survival rates, health of peri-implant tissues and patient satisfaction.

Andrew is currently investigating biological implant complications, implant surface deterioration and clinical implications of titanium particles in peri-implant tissues.

In dental education, he collaborates with an international team of academics to design and develop novel digital dentistry e-learning tools for students in dental and oral health programmes.

Andrew collaborates with world-leading scholars from Europe (Sweden, Belgium, Italy, and UK), North America (Canada, United States of America, Mexico), South America (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Argentina) and Asia (Malaysia, United Arab Emirates).

Joel Tyndall
School of Pharmacy

Joel Tyndall profile
Joel Tyndall

Joel Tyndall is a medicinal chemist with expertise in drug discovery using computational methods.

He has a BSc(Hons) from Monash University and a PhD from the University of Queensland's Centre for Drug Design and Development.

He completed postdoctoral work at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Queensland before taking up a position in the School of Pharmacy here at Otago.

His research involves the understanding of proteins as potential drug targets, and their role in disease, particularly infectious disease.

He is part of several multidisciplinary teams covering numerous infectious diseases as well as cancer.

He is currently Associate Dean (International) for the Division of Health Sciences.

James Ussher
Microbiology and Immunology

James Ussher profile
James Ussher

James is an immunologist and a clinical microbiologist (at Southern Community Laboratories) whose research programme is focussed on the immune response to infection and on antibiotic resistance.

His laboratory is investigating the role of innate-like T-cells in anti-bacterial immunity and how they might be harnessed to prevent infection.

They also contribute to several vaccine development projects. In addition, his laboratory uses whole genome sequencing of antibiotic resistant bacteria to identify outbreaks and track transmission pathways to enable interventions.

He is involved in collaborative research projects in New Zealand, the Pacific, Asia, and the United Kingdom.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he co-led the establishment of the Vaccine Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand - Ohu Kaupare Huaketo (VAANZ), a multi-institutional team of researchers and industry focused on building New Zealand's capability and platforms for vaccine development.

He was a member of the Government's COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce and is a member of the COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Advisory Group.

Patrick Vakaoti
Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology

Patrick Vakaoiti profile
Patrick Vakaoti

Patrick is a Fijian sociologist with an interest in street youth and youth participation in the Pacific.

In 2018, he published Street-Frequenting Young People in Fiji: Theory and Practice, the first book about street youth in Fiji.

He is a leading scholarly voice on youth in the Pacific and is engaged in research and policy initiatives with collaborators, nationally, in the Pacific and internationally.

Patrick actively shapes the Pacific and interdisciplinary research agenda at Otago. He initiated the Pacific Thought Network and is currently Co-Director of the Otago Global Health Institute.

His expertise attracts doctoral students working on topics like youth activism, child protection, governance and boyhood in Fiji and the Pacific.

Patrick's strong emphasis on research-informed teaching was recognised with a 2022 Te Whatu Kairangi – Aotearoa Tertiary Educator Award.

He is the incoming Manutaki (Dean) of Te Tumu – School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies.

Tony Walls
Department of Paediatrics, Christchurch

Tony Walls profile
Tony Walls

Tony is a paediatrician and infectious diseases specialist who works at Te Whatu Ora -Waitaha Canterbury.

He trained at Great Ormond St Hospital for Children and completed an M.D. in clinical virology through the University of London.

He recently set up a new research collaborative called Research for Children Aotearoa of which he is Co-Director.

This brings together established and developing researchers across regions, disciplines and institutions to focus on research that will improve child health and wellbeing.

A key focus of his research has been vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases. Recent epidemiological work has led to PHARMAC changing the pneumococcal vaccine it funds on the infant immunisation schedule.

He also has an interest in bone and joint infections in children and is currently involved in research to develop new diagnostic techniques and new approaches to antimicrobial treatment.

Ben Wheeler
Department of Women's and Children's Health (Dunedin)

Ben Wheeler profile
Ben Wheeler

Ben is an Otago/Southland-based paediatrician and paediatric endocrinologist.

He is passionate about improving care and lives for people impacted by diabetes.

His academic interests stem largely from his clinical work, with a particular focus on childhood type 1 diabetes including clinical trials and research on advanced technology for the management of diabetes (at all ages).

This research is highly collaborative with very close ties to colleagues and teams based out of the University of Otago, Christchurch and Wellington, as well as regular collaboration with Waikato, Auckland and beyond.

In addition, he is Head of Child Health within the Dunedin School of Medicine, Co-Director of the New Zealand Paediatric Surveillance Unit, and a member of council for both the Asia Pacific Paediatric Endocrinology Society and the Australian and New Zealand Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes.

Emma Wyeth
Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit

Emily Wyeth profile
Emma Wyeth

Emma (Kāi Tahu, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Mutunga) is Director of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research and Associate Dean Māori, Division of Health Sciences.

Emma specialises in hauora Māori and health systems research and has been awarded several large highly contestable grants.

Her primary research focus over the last 15 years has been on understanding and improving outcomes and experiences for injured Māori and their whānau through a national longitudinal injury study.

Her work contributes to bringing about a society where Māori individuals, whānau and communities can enjoy vastly better health access, services, outcomes and experiences than we currently do.

She was a longstanding member of the Health Research Council of New Zealand's statutory Māori Health Committee, and currently sits on Te Tauraki – Ngāi Tahu's Iwi-Māori Partnership Board for the current health reforms, WellSouth Primary Health Network and is an alternate on Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu.

Staff promoted to Associate Professor:

Philip Adamson (Department of Medicine, Christchurch); Julia Albrecht (Department of Tourism); Louise Bicknell (Department of Biochemistry); Lynette Brownfield (Department of Biochemistry); Heather Cunliffe (Department of Pathology); Martin de Bock (Department of Paediatrics, Christchurch); Christina Ergler (School of Geography); Graham Eyres (Department of Food Science); Martin Fronius (Department of Physiology); Allan Gamble (School of Pharmacy); Anna Garden (Department of Chemistry); Jemma Geoghegan (Department of Microbiology and Immunology); Rob Griffiths (Department of Medicine, Wellington); Anna High (Faculty of Law); Karl Iremonger (Department of Physiology); Miranda Johnson (Department of History); Sherlock Licorish (Department of Information Science); Suzanne Little (School of Performing Arts); Christina McGraw (Department of Chemistry); Ailsa McGregor (School of Pharmacy); Rebecca McLean (Department of Population Health, Christchurch); Susan Moffat (Department of Oral Sciences); Matthew Parry (Department of Mathematics and Statistics); Tess Patterson (Department of Psychological Medicine); Will Rayment (Department of Marine Science); Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere (Faculty of Law); Joy Rudland (University of Otago Medical School); Damian Scarf (Department of Psychology); Tania Slatter (Department of Pathology); Inga Smith (Department of Physics); Frances Steel (Department of History); Bridgette Toy-Cronin (Faculty of Law); Anaru Waa (Department of Public Health, Wellington); Shayne Walker (Department of Social and Community Work); Dennis Wesselbaum (Department of Economics); Annie Zhang (Department of Management).

Research Associate Professors:

Andy Anglemyer (Department of Medicine); Jaydee Cabral (Department of Microbiology and Immunology); Ruth Cunningham (Department of Public Health, Wellington); Katie Douglas (Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch); Jill Haszard (Biostatistics Centre); Amanda Kvalsvig (Department of Public Health, Wellington); Kim Meredith-Jones (Department of Medicine); Adam Pomerleau (National Poisons Centre).

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