Our leadership group consists of senior researchers across the University of Otago's Divisions of Commerce, Health Sciences, Humanities, and Sciences.
McAuley Professor of International Health, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
Professor Hill's fields of expertise include infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries.
School of Social Sciences
Dr Vakaoti is interested in issues experienced by Pacific children and young people. He offers advice on Pacific engagement and relationships.
School of Geography
Professor Binns has expertise in the fields of: development, environment and society, human geography, and rural livelihoods in developing countries.
Department of Food Science
Phil applies a multi-disciplinary approach involving microbiology, product development, flavour and sensory science and increasing social science to determine how the way a food is produced and promoted impacts on its suitability, acceptability and value in the market place.
McKinlay Professor of Global Health, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
Professor Crump's expertise is in infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries, and ethics in global health.
Department of Public Health
Professor Edwards has expertise in tobacco use epidemiology and control, environmental epidemiology, and non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
Professor of Economics, Otago Business School
Professor Fielding's expertise is in development macroeconomics and quantitative political economy, which explores election systems and public policy-making.
School of Social Sciences
Professor Fitzgerald's research interests are in the disciplinary subfield of medical anthropology, with a sociocultural approach. Her work is inspired from a deep commitment to the study of health and illness in its social and political context.
Department of Chemistry
Professor Frew’s interests include the geographical origin of food, which plays a role in issues relating to food safety. He also undertakes work aimed at understanding the biogeochemistry of nitrogen in the ocean and the implications of climate change on the marine fixed nitrogen pool.
Department of Economics
Stephen's research interests include the economics of altruism, with a specific focus on what motivates people to donate to international development charities.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Professor Quiñones-Mateu’s research interests include HIV, RNA viruses, viral evolution, drug resistance, drug discovery, metagenomics, and novel methodologies. His work currently focuses on the mechanisms and clinical consequences of drug resistant viruses, and studying latently HIV-infected cells aimed at evaluating novel strategies to eradicate HIV infection.
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Katrina is a biostatistician with broad interests in statistical methods for clinical and epidemiological research, and particular expertise in clinical trials. She is the lead statistician for Cancer Trials New Zealand, the Centre for International Health and the Pharmacoepidemiology Research Network, and is also a member of the Centre for Translational Research in Cancer. Katrina’s main areas of application are cancer, infectious disease and respiratory disease.
Department of Paediatrics, University of Otago, Christchurch
Associate Professor Walls trained in Paediatrics at both Christchurch and Dunedin Hospitals and has an ongoing clinical interest in the management of infection in immunocompromised children. He has also worked as a Consultant at Sydney Children’s Hospital, and was lead clinician for the Paediatric HIV Service.
OGHI Research Centre Manager
Jacqui has worked in health research and project management with experience in HIV, economics and development in southern Africa.
Our Advisory Group includes people from institutions, agencies, and business, who have international standing and expertise in their field.
Glaxo Smith Kline
Dr Adegbola works as a scientific director in GlaxoSmithKline's vaccines business. His experience working on pneumonia research in West Africa has led him to join the fight against pneumonia. Richard says "By training I'm a medical microbiologist, originally from Nigeria. After qualifying in the UK I joined the UK Medical Research Council, and was based in the Gambia in West Africa where pneumonia is a leading cause of death and disability in children under five years of age".
University of Otago
Emerita Professor Gibson has had a life-long interest in international nutrition, initially working in the Ethio-Swedish Children’s Nutrition Unit in Ethiopia, and subsequently in collaborative research studies on micronutrients in Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, and Ethiopia as well as Thailand, Mongolia and—more recently—Cambodia, and the Northeast region of Brazil and Indonesia.
Pacific Islands Centre, University of Otago
The Pacific Islands Centre has a very proud tradition of assisting Pacific people achieve their goals through education.
University of Otago
Professor Mann has been Professor in Human Nutrition and Medicine at the University of Otago and Consultant Physician (Endocrinology) in Dunedin Hospital for 25 years. He is Director of the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, the Director of Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research (EDOR), the WHO Collaborating Centre for Human Nutrition, and Principal Investigator for the Riddet Institute, a National Centre of Research Excellence at Massey University, Palmerston North.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Professor Mulholland is an Australian paediatrician with subspecialty training in immunology, respiratory medicine and epidemiology. He has spent much of his career working in the developing world, particularly Sudan and Gambia, and more recently in Fiji, Mongolia and Vietnam.
Deputy Vice Chancellor (External Engagement), University of Otago
Professor Nicholson's role focusses on strengthening external engagement, raising the profile of the University of Otago and attracting high quality domestic and international students to study at Otago. Her external appointments include membership of the Confucius Institute Board, the Executive of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists. She is an Associate Trustee of Men’s Health Trust New Zealand and a member of the Governance group for the Ageing Well and Healthier Lives National Science Challenges.
Associate Dean Pacific, University of Auckland
Dr Tukuitonga is Associate Dean Pacific at the University of Auckland, and was formerly the Director-General of Pacific Community (SPC). He has also held senior roles in the New Zealand Ministries of Health and Pacific Island Affairs, University of Auckland, Fiji School of Medicine, New Zealand Health Research Council and regional health authorities. He has also worked with the World Health Organisation, the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and several Pacific cultural and leadership initiatives.
In addition to our leadership and advisory teams the Otago Global Health Institute has a large number of network members. These researchers have a diversity of technical expertise which enables our institute to draw upon a large pool of research fields.
Longitudinal dental health research
Senior lecturer in preventive dentistry, Associate Professor Broadbent's research to date has been in the field of dental epidemiology. He is currently leading the dental component of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. His specific research interests are in oral diseases such as dental caries and social factors that affect risk for those conditions. His research is funded by the New Zealand Health Research Council. Associate Professor Broadbent maintains an interest in oral health in the Pacific, and has provided dental aid in remote Fijian islands and Papua New Guinea.
Poverty, investment and urban land issues in Fiji; Pacific urbanisation, squatting; climate change adaptation; Pacific environmental management; aid
A Geographer working in Te Tumu School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, Associate Professor Bryant-Tokalau's interests are community adaptation to, and donor responses to, climate change in the Pacific; and private sector investment, housing and land issues in Fiji. She has published widely on Pacific poverty and inequality, water and sanitation and the health implications, disasters and community responses, including traditional, land, and urbanisation.
She is currently the lead researcher on the New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research project Commercial potential of land in the Pacific, where she is focusing on Solomon Islands and Fiji. The team is also working in Vanuatu and Samoa.
Plant biology, biotechnology, environmental impacts
Associate Professor Buritt, Department of Botany, has research interests including plant-based foods and bioactive molecules found in plants, plant breeding, and biotechnology, and the stress biology of plants and animals. He is a lead or co-investigator on projects funded by Callaghan Innovation, Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, and Zespri International Ltd. He contributes to collaborative research projects in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, and has supervised more than 50 post-graduate students, including 22 PhD students, and has 99 peer-reviewed publications.
Paediatrics, University of Otago, Christchurch
Professor Darlow is an academic neonatologist with research interests in free radical disease in the newborn, and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), which may progress to severe visual impairment or blindness.
In middle-income countries, developing neonatal care has led to increased survival of preterm infants but also an epidemic of ROP, which often goes untreated. From 2007, Brian has contributed to workshops aimed at improving newborn care and the prevention and treatment of ROP in Latin America and Asia under WHO Vision 2020 objectives. A self-administered teaching package for nurses, trialed in Rio de Janeiro, has since been adopted by the Brazilian Ministry of Health.
Drug formulation and delivery
Dr Das is an expert on drug formulations and delivery, and a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science. His research is focused on the pulmonary delivery of dry powders to improve drug therapy of tuberculosis, lung cancer, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. On these, he has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and was the winner of New Zealand Health Research Council Emerging Researcher Award in 2014.
He has been involved in organising two international conferences on respiratory delivery: Drug Delivery to the Lung (annually at Edinburgh) and Inhalation Asia (biennially in Asia). He has supervised students from, and has links with, Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, China, New Zealand, and Australia.
Dean, Otago Business School
Professor Gauld was formerly a Professor of Health Policy; Head Department of Preventive and Social Medicine; and Director of the Centre for Health Systems, University of Otago Dunedin. Prior to this he was New Zealand-United Kingdom Link Foundation Visiting Professor at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow at Boston and Harvard Universities. He is Independent Chair of the Alliance South.
Robin has authored around 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, many book chapters and several books. In December 2016, he took up a new role as Dean of the Otago Business School.
Health economics; decision analysis
Associate Professor Hansen is a health economist and co-inventor of 1000Minds decision-making software (1000minds.com). Applications of 1000Minds in the health sector include prioritising patients for access to elective services, health technology prioritisation, disease classification and developing clinical guidelines.
Though mostly used in high-income countries and for international collaborations, the software and associated expertise is applicable for low- and middle-income countries. 1000Minds applications in LMICs include prioritising vaccinations research (WHO), investigating women’s preferences for contraception (Marie Stopes International), and prioritising emergency responses to natural disasters (UNICEF's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH). 1000Minds is also used for research and teaching at 140 universities worldwide.
Social anthropology, history and development studies within the South Pacific and South Asia—especially gender, ethnicity, power, diaspora.
Associate Professor Jacqueline Leckie has taught at the University of the South Pacific, Kenyatta University, and for 27 years ar Otago University. In 2018 she was the JD Stout Research Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, where she is currently an adjunct research fellow. She is also a conjoint associate professor with the University of Newcastle in Australia. Her research and publications are on the history and anthropology of Asia Pacific, especially mental health, migration, gender, heritage, ethnicity, development, and labour.
Genetic basis of gout and rheumatoid arthritis
Professor Merriman leads a research group studying the genetic and environmental causes of gout in Māori and Pacific people, aiming to increase our basic knowledge of the disease process, and hopefully leading to improved preventive and therapeutic approaches.
He also serves as a Maurice Wilkins Centre Associate Investigator developing a programme of research into the genetic causes of obesity and diabetes in the NZ Māori and Pacific populations. He is Chair or Co-Chair for international gout recruitment initiatives in Europe, the United States, and Australasia. Has led two consecutive NZ Health Research Council Programmes and has a sustained research relationship since 2007 with Ngāti Porou Hauora.
Infectious diseases; medical microbiology
Professor David Murdoch is Dean of the University of Otago, Christchurch.
He is the co-leader of The Infection Group, a Senior Associate in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and a clinical microbiologist at Canterbury Health Laboratories. A clinical microbiologist and infectious diseases physician by background, he is regarded as a global leader in the field of respiratory infections with a major focus on childhood pneumonia in developing countries. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Centre for International Health since its inception.
Medical ethics in China and Asia, transcultural and global bioethics, medical humanities, traditional Chinese medicine
Based at the Bioethics Centre, Professor Nie is also Adjunct Professor at Peking University Medical School, China, and an Associate of the Asia Center, Harvard University. He was trained originally as a physician in Chinese medicine in China, then studied sociology and medical humanities in North America.
His extensive research takes a distinctive transcultural and trans-global approach to medical ethics. His projects were supported twice by the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Currently, he is co-conducting a Harvard China Fund project on rebuilding patient-physician trust and serves as a consultant and collaborator of an US National Institutes of Health project on social and ethical issues of HIV cure research.
Social pharmacy; access to and use of medicines
Many people in developing countries lack access to basic medicines, the quality of medicines available is often poor, and inappropriate use is common. Professor Norris has carried out work on antibiotic use in Samoa, and supervised postgraduate students from Nepal, South Africa, Pakistan and Indonesia on projects related to access, quality, and use of medicines. She is Pacific Student Support person in the School of Pharmacy, is committed to building research capacity, and has supervised numerous Pacific and Māori student projects. Professor Norris’s research in New Zealand is related to access to medicines. She co-founded the Otago Poverty Network.
Autobiographical memory development; language and literacy development; social influences on cognitive development.
Professor Elaine Reese is based in the Department of Psychology and is a named investigator on the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study. Her training is in the role of adult-child interactions in children's and adolescents' language, cognition, and well-being. She has acted as lead or co-investigator on grants from the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and the US National Institute of Child Health and Development. Elaine serves on the Social Science Panel of the Marsden Fund.
Faumuina is a Public Health Physician, Associate Dean (Pacific), Division of Health Sciences, and Director of the Pacific Islands Research and Student Support Unit, Health Sciences. She is leading the development of engagement and relationships from the Division of Health Sciences in the Pacific region. Her research interests are in health workforce capacity building for Pacific peoples in New Zealand and the Pacific region.
She is also interested in Pacific health and the wellbeing of Pacific youth. She is currently on the NZ Pacific Research Institute Advisory Board, served on the Oversight and Governance Group for the National Science Challenges, chaired the New Zealand HRC Pacific Research Guidelines Group, and was on the University of Otago Pacific Research Protocol steering committee.
Dr Sowerby has a background in molecular and physical sciences applied to technology development and its translation. He invented and facilitated the commercialisation of nanoscience tools (izon.com) and recently an innovative point of care parasite diagnostic technology being used globally in agricultural and clinical settings (techiongroup.co.nz/Products/FECPAKG2), which has attracted Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, governmental and private equity support.
With a current research focus on the development of tuberculosis diagnostic technology, his role with Otago Innovation Limited brings an emphasis on intellectual property management and the translation of knowledge to maximise the benefit of science and medical research.
Health care delivery and implementation research
Professor Stokes is the Elaine Gurr Chair of General Practice and Head of Department, General Practice and Rural Health, Dunedin School of Medicine. He is a general practitioner who conducts health care delivery and implementation research with a focus on:
- New ways of delivering health services for acute and chronic clinical conditions in primary care and across the primary / community-secondary care interface
- The adoption of research evidence into routine clinical practice and within health systems
He has carried out implementation research on obstetric care in low- and middle-income countries in collaboration with colleagues at the Universities of Birmingham and Aberdeen, UK.
Pacific archaeology, in particular Melanesia; the archaeology of trade and exchange; the development of social complexity
Professor Summerhayes is a Professor, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, focusing on understanding the histories of people living in western Melanesia from first settlement around 50,000 years ago to the arrival of Europeans. He undertakes archaeological research focusing on colonisation and subsequent adaptations to a variety of landscapes, and assessing the life of these peoples. This includes understanding the subsistence patterns and subsequent health of ancient populations, leading to the modern peoples seen today.
Children's social understanding, parent-child conversations about mental states, culture and social understanding
Dr Taumoepeau is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, as well as a speech and language therapist. She is Associate Dean (Pacific) for the Division of Sciences.
Dr Taumoepeau conducts small-scale longitudinal studies that examine the effects of parent-child interactions on very young children’s socio-cognitive development.
She has a particular interest in articulating the role of culture on childhood development, and especially in the development of Pasifika children and families. She also has an interest in Pacific adolescent wellbeing and its associations with physical markers of health. She has published in the areas of childhood socio-cognitive development, language development, and culture and socio-emotional development. Mele is a former chair of the Health Research Council of New Zealand Pacific research committee.
Professor Wigham is Director of the Spatial Information Research Centre and actively pursues research interests in spatial modelling, theoretical population genetics, and evolutionary computation models.
Professor Whigham's interests include many aspects of spatial research including the use of machine learning and statistical techniques for modelling spatio-temporal patterns and the use of spatial systems for modelling ecological behaviour, aspects of public health, and theoretical population genetics. He also performs basic research in the field of evolutionary computation, especially genetic programming. His teaching interests include data mining, spatial modelling and intelligent information systems. Current postgraduate students work in ecology, spatio-temporal representation, and financial modelling.
- Dr Htin Lin Aung Department of Microbiology and Immunology
- Professor Michael Baker Department of Public Health
- Dr Angela Ballantyne Bioethics Centre
- Professor Judy Bennett School of Arts
- Professor Barbara Brookes School of Arts
- Professor Hallie Buckley Department of Anatomy
- Associate Professor Anitra Carr Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science
- Professor Steve Chambers Department of Pathology
- Dr Angela Clark Department of Anatomy
- Dr Cristina Cleghorn Department of Public Health
- Associate Professor Gerry Closs Department of Zoology
- Professor Greg Cook Department of Microbiology and Immunology
- Associate Professor Kirsten Coppell Department of Medicine
- Dr Shaun Counsell Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice
- Associate Professor Brian Cox Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
- Professor Peter Crampton Dunedin School of Medicine
- Dr Tilman Davies Department of Mathematics and Statistics
- Ms Louise Delany Department of Public Health
- Mrs Jen Desrosiers Department of Population Health
- Associate Professor John Dockerty Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
- Professor Tony Dowell Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Dr Christina Ergler Department of Geography
- Dr Stephen Fleming Department of Microbiology and Immunology
- Professor Frank Griffin Department of Microbiology and Immunology
- Dr Siân Halcrow Department of Anatomy
- Associate Professor Simon Hales Department of Public Health
- Dr Sarah Harris Department of Paediatrics
- Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit (HePPRU) University of Otago Wellington
- Dr Donna Hendry PBRF and Publications Office
- Dr Susan Heydon School of Pharmacy
- Associate Professor Merilyn Hibma Department of Microbiology and Immunology
- Associate Professor Doug Hill Department of Geography
- Dr Pauline Horrill Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice
- Professor Lisa Houghton Department of Human Nutrition
- Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman Department of Public Health
- Dr Noelyn Hung Department of Pathology
- Dr Susan Jack Centre for International Health
- Dr Marissa Kaloga School of Social Sciences
- Associate Professor Roslyn (Ros) Kemp Department of Microbiology and Immunology
- Dr Michael Knapp Department of Anatomy
- Professor Kurt Krause Department of Biochemistry
- Associate Professor Jonathan Leichter Department of Oral Science
- Dr Nicola Liebergreen Department of Women's and Children's Health
- Dr Mark Lokman Department of Zoology
- Dr Christian Marchello Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
- Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith Department of Anatomy
- Dr Michael Maze Centre for International Health
- Dr Sue McAllister Centre for International Health
- Associate Professor Arlene McDowell School of Pharmacy
- Professor John McMillan Bioethics Centre
- Professor Andrew Mercer Department of Microbiology and Immunology
- Dr Kiki Maoate Department of Paediatrics
- Professor Richard Morgan School of Geography
- Dr Hilda Mulligan School of Physiotherapy
- Dr Shyamala Nada-Raja Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
- Professor Etienne Nel School of Geography
- Professor Indrawati Oey Department of Food Science
- Dr Helen Opel-Reading Department of Biochemistry
- Professor Dorian Owen Department of Economics
- Dr Arlene Ozanne Department of Economics
- Dr Sherly Parackal Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
- Dr Matthew Parry Department of Mathematics and Statistics
- Emerita Professor Charlotte Paul Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
- Dr Erin Penno Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
- Professor David Prior Department of Geology
- Dr Greg Rawlings School of Social Sciences
- Dr Antoinette Righarts Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
- Dr Ruth Savage New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre
- Dr Pippa Scott The Infection Group
- Dr John Shaver School of Social Sciences
- Associate Professor Louise Signal Department of Public Health
- Associate Professor Sheila Skeaff Department of Human Nutrition
- Professor Sir David Skegg Dunedin School of Medicine
- Dr Margot Skinner School of Physiotherapy
- Dr Sandy Slow The Infection Group
- Dr Moira Smith Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit (HePPRU)
- Dr Trenton Smith Department of Economics
- Dr Jo-Ann Stanton Department of Anatomy
- Dr Trudy Sullivan Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
- Dr Michael Tatley New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre
- Professor Barry Taylor Dunedin School of Medicine
- Associate Professor Nicola Taylor School of Social Sciences
- Dr Tasileta Teevale Pacific Development
- Professor Jean-Claude Theis Department of Surgical Sciences
- Dr Kate M Thomas Centre for International Health
- Associate Professor George Thomson Department of Public Health
- Emerita Professor Christine Thomson Department of Human Nutrition
- Professor Murray Thomson Department of Oral Sciences
- Associate Professor June Tordoff School of Pharmacy
- Dr Monica Tromp Department of Anatomy
- Dr Murat Ungor Department of Economics
- Dr James Ussher Department of Microbiology and Immunology
- Dr Bernard Venn Department of Human Nutrition
- Dr Ayesha Verrall Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine
- Melandri Vlok Department of Anatomy
- Aimee Ward Dunedin School of Medicine
- Associate Professor Sara Walton Department of Management
- Professor Nick Wilson Department of Public Health
Annie's research background is in social and behavioral interventions with a strong emphasis on qualitative research and methods. She also has experience in project management in the non-profit sector, and has worked on projects related to health system strengthening, capacity building, maternal and child health, HIV, Ebola, gender based violence and infection control in Africa.
The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ works to end avoidable blindness in the Pacific. The Foundation provides sight-restoring surgery and trains doctors and nurses. They also work alongside governments, healthcare providers and communities to strengthen health systems and drive innovation and research in eye health.
Associate Professor Stephen Howie University of Auckland
Stephen Howie is currently Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Auckland. He holds a PhD in clinical epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and his research interests include the prevention and treatment of high-morbidity, high-mortality, child health conditions, including pneumonia, vaccine-preventable infections, nutritional problems, diarrhoea, and maternal & newborn illness.
Dr Sheena Dias Viegas Dept of Communicable Diseases, Timor-Leste Ministry of Health
Dr Merita Monteiro Dept of Communicable Diseases, Timor-Leste Ministry of Health
Dr Gavin George University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Gavin is a Programme Leader at the Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. He is a specialist in HIV research with experience in qualitative and quantitative methods, development of interventions, design of tools and data collection processes in complex settings.
Dr Hazel Dobinson Capital and Coast District Health Board
Dr Viliami Puloka Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand