Housing, our communities, and environment, all contribute to our health and well-being. Our research encompasses major health issues of local and global significance.
Visit the listings of our research groups below, or check out our featured projects.
Featured research projects
Ageing Well National Science Challenge
The Ageing Well National Science Challenge vision is to add life to years for all older New Zealanders. This will be achieved by harnessing science to sustain health and wellbeing into the later years of life. The mission of Ageing Well is to push back disability thresholds to enable all New Zealanders to reach their full potential through the life course with particular reference to the latter years of life.
Centre for International Health
The Centre for International Health facilitates and promotes research to contribute to the understanding and improvement of health in under-resourced countries, and focuses on postgraduate training and strategic mentorship of leaders.
Centre for Pacific Health (Va'a o Tautai)
The Va'a o Tautai – Centre for Pacific Health is home to a dedicated team of Pacific and non-Pacific researchers working in areas of importance to Pacific communities in New Zealand and internationally.
Pacific health is a holistic concept that encompasses broader ideas on well-being to encompass physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. With more than 20 different cultures captured under the umbrella of ‘Pacific’, there are unique approaches to health that mean health care, health systems and health services can be enriched with further understanding of Pacific-specific approaches to health.
Co-Search: COVID-19 Research Collaborative
Guiding an effective and fair COVID-19 pandemic response in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Co-Search is a collaboration of researchers, universities, community organisations and a Crown Research Institute. It is led by Professor Michael Baker and Dr Amanda Kvalsvig of the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington.
Health, Environment and Infection Research Unit (HEIRU)
The Health, Environment and Infection Research Unit is a collaboration of researchers focused on the impact of infectious diseases and adverse environmental factors on population health. We use a range of research methods to investigate these health concerns; to identify effective interventions to reduce the burden of disease and inequalities; and to support the move to greater environmental sustainability. HEIRU aims to provide evidence-based recommendations and advice to support New Zealand and international agencies and practitioners in their disease prevention and control activities.
He Kainga Oranga | Housing and Health Research Programme
He Kainga Oranga, the Housing and Health Research Programme, examines and clarifies the links between Housing and Health. Although the association between poor housing and ill health is known, the links that make up the causal chain have until recently been poorly understood. Conducting our own studies and examining existing evidence enables us to identify and evaluate housing-related interventions to improve individual, family and community health. Our multi-disciplinary team has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative disciplines.
Injury Prevention Research Unit
The Injury Prevention Research Unit (IPRU) undertakes research that contributes to reducing the incidence, severity and consequences of injury in New Zealand.
New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities
The Centre for Sustainable Cities is an inter-disciplinary research centre dedicated to providing the research base for innovative solutions to the economic, social, environmental and cultural development of our urban centres.
Otago Global Health Institute (OGHI)
We aim to improve global health and save lives, by identifying and evaluating solutions to important health problems in low-resource settings.
We work to address the world's most pressing health problems through research collaborations with low- and middle-income countries, and with disadvantaged groups in New Zealand.
We draw upon New Zealand's unique connections with Asia and the Pacific. Our extensive international partnerships and cross-disciplinary collaborations enable us to carry out innovative and rigorous research to advance global health.
Pacific Health Research at Otago
Talofa lava, kia orana, malo e lelei, fakaalofa lahi atu, bula vinaka, malo ni, halo ola keta, mauri, fakatalofa atu, and warm Pacific greetings!
We're celebrating our Pacific health research in the Division of Health Sciences.
Learn about what's going on in Pacific health research, how we can support researchers, and where to start if you're excited about research.
Sustainability Research at Otago
Sustainability Research at Otago is a guide to our specialised research collaborations working towards a sustainable future.
Our multidisciplinary knowledge base and extensive networks provide a powerhouse of research expertise to find solutions to the planet's most pressing challenges.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals guide our research. Our expertise in applied practice focuses on delivering a better future for people and our environment.
Featured research projects
The potential of fruit and vegetable peels to remove heavy metals from water could revolutionise water purification around the world.
Internet impacts 'oldest profession'
The world’s 'oldest profession' is undergoing changes due to technology and a University of Otago, Christchurch researcher is at the forefront of investigations into the phenomenon.
A world-first intervention study of suburban street design aims to improve public health outcomes by changing the way people drive or – even better – getting them out of their cars.
Health and home
Multidisciplinary research providing practical solutions to improve the health and well-being of New Zealanders.