Neuroscientists at the University of Otago are located in various departments depending on their area of specialisation. The neuroscientists below may be available to supervise your postgraduate neuroscience research.
Associate Professor Stephanie Hughes BSc(Hons) PhD
Molecular pathways that regulate neuronal development, maintenance and disease. Gene and drug therapies in childhood Batten disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Warren Tate MSc PhD FNZIC FRSNZ MA-PIMBN
Molecular aspects of long term storage of information in the brain.
Professor Grant Gillett MSc MB ChB DPhil FRACS FRSNZ
Bioethics, neuroethics, philosophy of psychiatry, and post-structuralist philosophy.
Associate Professor Alistair Knott BA MSc PhD
Neural models of language and sensorimotor cognition. Computational linguistics, in particular in theories of discourse structure and natural language generation.
Professor Anthony Robins BSc(Hons) MA DPhil
Neural networks as a tool for modeling cognition, with a particular focus on modelling aspects of memory and forgetting.
Dr Mei Peng
Dr Nick Cutfield MB ChB FRACP
Vestibular neurology, eye movements, functional MRI.
Associate Professor Graeme Hammond-Tooke PhD FRACP FCP
Clinical Neurologist with particular interests in neuromuscular diseases, psychogenic disorders and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Current studies include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation as a treatment for neurological disease, and the combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography to assess cortical excitability and connectivity.
Associate Professor Patrick Manning BHB MBChB MMedSc FRACP
Neuroimaging in obesity and addiction; Neuromodulation
Dr John Mottershead BM BCh BA FRCP
General neurology and multiple sclerosis.
Dr Alan Wright MBhB MD ECFMG FRACP
Neuromuscular disease, in particular diabetic neuropathy. Clinical neurophar¬macology.
Professor Mauro Farella DDS PhD PD
Masticatory function, bruxism, orofacial pain and their implications in orthodontics and craniofacial growth.
Dr John Ashton BSc(Hons) PhD
The endocannabinoid system, particularly in models of ischaemic stroke and in neuropathic pain. Currently investigating the role of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid “cannabidiol” (CBD) in the control of refractory epilepsy, using in vitro and in vivo techniques.
Associate Professor Cynthia Darlington BA PhD
Neural basis of tinnitus; drug treatments for tinnitus; cognitive impairment follow¬ing inner ear damage.
Associate Professor Steve Kerr BSc PhD
Hippocampus, glutamate, brain aging, seizures, AMPA and KA receptors, domoic, kainic, excitotoxins, neuroprotection, cardiac damage, SUDEP (Sudden Death in Epilepsy), fungal toxins.
Dr Ivan Sammut BSc(Hons) PhD
Profiling cardio-renal and CNS damage in ischaemic disease. Development of novel therapeutic interventions.
Professor Paul Smith BA(Hons) PhD GradDipApplStat MApplStat(Hons) DSc
Lesion-induced plasticity in the vestibular and auditory systems; tinnitus; effects of vestibular and auditory damage on the hippocampus; biostatistics.
Dr Olivia Harrison (née Faull) DPHil (Oxon) BPhEd(Hons) BSc
Research into mental health and its relationship to interoception (how we perceive our body), with a particular focus on perceptions of breathing (MRI, computational modelling).
Dr Alisa McGregor
Translational research, including development of clinically relevant disease models as a platform to investigate potential therapies for neurological conditions (like stroke and HD).
Professor Bruce Russell
Discovery of biomarkers that could be used to predict drug effects and treatment outcomes for people with either drug addiction, schizophrenia, depression, or anxiety (MRI, EEG).
Dr Rebekah Blakemore BSc MPhEd PhD
Movement neuroscience, especially control and planning of voluntary movement, integration with affective neuroscience (stress), movement disorders (EMG, fMRI).
Professor Jim Cotter BSc MPhEd PhD
Integrative physiology, including cerebrovascular function, in response to acute and chronic exercise and environmental stressors.
Professor Paul Glue MB ChB MD MRCPsych
The pharmacology of drug treatments in psychiatry. Disease mechanisms in neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Professor Dirk De Ridder MD PhD
Phantom percepts, addiction, clinical neuromodulation (TMS, tDCS, tACS, tRNS).
Professor Barbara Galland BSc(Hons) PhD NZCS
Sleep related breathing disorders. Autonomic nervous system function. SIDS. Chronic fatigue syndrome.
Professor Barry Taylor MB ChB FRACP
Childhood sleep disorders. SIDS. Oxytocin in parenting and attachment. The genetics and neural control of apetite.
Professor Alison Mercer ONZM BSc(Hons) PhD FRSNZ
Modulatory actions of dopamine and serotonin in the developing nervous sys¬tem; Structural and functional plasticity of the insect brain.
Associate Professor Mike Paulin BSc(Hons) PhD
Perception and control of movement; cerebellum and cerebellar-like structures; shark electric sense; legged locomotion; technology development for motion analysis and robotics.
Dr Paul Szyszka Dipl. Biol., Dr. rer. nat.
Neural bases of olfactory perception and learning in insects; active smelling strategies; olfactory spatial learning; social effects on olfactory learning.