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The O-zone Group


What is the O-zone group?

O-zone members are winners of either an Early Career Award for Distinction in Research, or the prestigious Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Medal.

The O-zone group was modelled on the Oxygen group, developed in 2005 by the then Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment). The Oxygen group was established as a forum to provide a voice to bright younger scientists and tap into their experience.

Though the Oxygen group is no longer, both Otago and Auckland Universities have established similar groups. The Auckland group is STRATUS and Otago group O-zone, reflecting the “atmospheric” theme and the University name.

O-zone was established in early 2007, comprising early to mid-career researchers recognised by the University of Otago for significant contributions to their fields.

To maintain focus on early career researchers, award winners remain members of the group for a five-year term. The group elects two conveners, with convenership rotated biennially. O-zone conveners sit on the University of Otago Research Committee to represent early career staff.

The group exemplifies the University of Otago’s national and international leadership, including world-class researchers across the spectrum of disciplines – science, medical science, social science, commerce, business, humanities and the arts.

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What does O-zone do?

The O-zone group promotes interdisciplinary thinking and collaborations, and presents a positive, clear, innovative, and independent voice for research within the University, locally, regionally, and nationally.

The main goals of the O-zone group are:

1. To advocate for and promote research:

  • Within the University of Otago

  • To the broader New Zealand government, industry, and research sectors

  • To the New Zealand public

2. To facilitate networking and collaborations among early to mid-career researchers at University of Otago.

The group organises a biennial visit to parliament to showcase research being conducted by early career staff at Otago, and highlight issues to support better research opportunities for early career staff at a national level. In the alternate year O-zone organises a public symposium, showcasing Otago's cutting-edge research. The group also elects two key agendas to focus on over a two-year period.

O-zone strongly encourages early career research staff across the University's campuses to make contact with convenors to raise any specific issues they may be experiencing conducting their research, or to alert the group to any assistance they might provide for early career staff.

Academic and research-only O-zone group members are available to meet with individual early career staff to discuss the challenges involved in starting out. To set up meetings please email a convenor or any of the members directly.

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Dr Louise Bicknell
Tel 64 3 479 7172

Dr Nic Rawlence
Tel 64 3 479 5385

Nadya Shaw Bennett
Tel 64 3 479 8835

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O-zone members

O-zone members' research interests and past O-zone members

Dunedin campus

Associate Professor Haxby AbbottAssociate Professor Guy Jameson
Dr Louise BicknellDr Sheri Johnson
Associate Professor Chris BrickellDr Michael Knapp
Dr Rebecca CampbellDr Peter Mace
Dr Andrew ClarksonDr Simone Marshall
Dr James CrowleyDr Carla Meledandri
Dr Anita DunbierDr Rob Middag
Associate Professor Jacob EdmondAssociate Professor Jessica Palmer
Dr Peter FineranProfessor Jacinta Ruru
Dr Lyndie Foster-PageDr Damian Scarf
Dr Khaled GreishDr Ben Schonthal
Dr Sian HalcrowDr Virginia Toy
Dr Dione HealeyAssociate Professor Angela Wanhalla
Dr Jorg HennigDr Zach Weber
Dr Karl IremongerAssociate Professor Pat Wheatley

Christchurch Campus

Dr Anitra CarrDr Anna Pilbrow
Associate Professor Richard GearryProfessor Lisa Stamp
Dr Suetonia PalmerDr Logan Walker

Wellington Campus

Dr Jason Gurney
Dr Giles Newton-Howes
Dr Shieak Tzeng

Current members living overseas

Dr Karen Brounéus
Dr Clare Strachan

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