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Alumni profiles

Browse the profiles of some of our Anatomy students and staff.

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Brain Health

Brain Research New Zealand – Rangahau Roro Aotearoa is bringing together expertise to gain a better understanding of the ageing brain and to develop new therapies to enhance lifelong brain health.

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University of Otago researchers are at the forefront of identifying biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease – and new treatment options – that could lead to early diagnosis and better outcomes for the world's ageing population.

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Bridget Gentle

Bridget Gentle has dressed wounds using only the light of the cell phone.

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Charlotte Verstappen

“I am fascinated by the concept that the body can adapt over the course of a lifetime, and how the changes in muscle, tendon and bone are able to reflect different aspects of an individual’s life."

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Dr Charlotte King

Charlotte King’s world is full of mystery and intrigue, and she would have it no other way: it’s exactly the world she dreamed of as a child.

Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith

Following ancient DNA trails

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.


Game-changing Parkinson's research

Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie’s (Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Pikiao) career as a research academic has been entirely devoted to Parkinson’s disease– a devotion that is now receiving international attention and generous Neurological Foundation funding.

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Jaye Moors

Most new students expect challenges in their first year at University, but Jaye Moors had the added pressure of acclimatising to Dunedin’s climate after moving from Samoa.


Kirstin McKenzie

Kirstin McKenzie is doing what many young scientists dream of: she’s training in forensics, and working for ESR (Environmental Science and Research), New Zealand’s independent forensic science institute.

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Laurel Quirke

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.

Professor Gareth Jones & Maja Whitaker

Life after death

“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.”


Louise Sandford

When Louise Sandford completed her undergraduate degree in Anatomy, she never imagined that her postgraduate studies would take her to a dream job in Wellington with one of the largest non-profit organisations in New Zealand. But this is exactly what happened, and Louise is now the National Research and Policy Manager for the Cancer Society.

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Marc Matsas

"I’m passionate about science and about teaching, and Otago gave me the life skills to be good at my work."

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New face to ancient history

Resurrecting the dead may be impossible, but Dr George Dias is achieving the next best thing.

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Sneha George

My research helped me stand out from the others

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The secret life of bones

The work of bioarchaeologist Dr Sian Halcrow can be likened to that of a modern-day detective – except her clues are ancient, locked inside the bones and teeth of people who lived thousands of years ago.

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Thesis aims to find out why younger ewes are less fertile

Mysterious and little-studied structures within sheep oocytes have caught PhD student Karen Reader’s eye through the microscope.

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Tissue transparency

The development of strategies to future-proof human tissue research throughout New Zealand is the aim of a virtual biobank initiative being driven by the Centre for Society, Governance and Science