Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Three new professors for Department of Nutrition

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

nutrition-profs-image
Celebrating Women and Girls in Science, Otago's Department of Human Nutrition's new Professors (from left) Rachel Brown, Caroline Horwath and Lisa Houghton.

Today’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the Department of Human Nutrition’s three new Professors.

Head of Department Professor Lisa Houghton, and Professors Rachel Brown and Caroline Horwath’s promotions came into effect at the start of the month, and Professor Houghton says the triple recognition reflects more than just the high standards of teaching and research in the Department.

“We all receive high quality teaching evaluations and put a lot time, effort and care into developing new papers and programmes that remain both relevant and innovative for students,” Professor Houghton says.

"I’m really proud of these promotions as they also reflect the huge amount of work that has gone into curriculum changes which now ensure human nutrition students are job ready."

The trio are among 30 new Professors and 42 new Associate Professors at Otago.

Their promotions were announced late last year by Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne, who said the promotion to Professor recognised hard work, skill and dedication.

“The depth and breadth of research expertise, leadership, and commitment to their work demonstrated by these staff is highlighted with their promotion.

"I look forward to following with interest their teaching, research and service achievements in the future.”

Human Nutrition had the most academics promoted to Professor of all University departments in this latest promotions round, and Professor Houghton says she is very proud of her department.

“I’m really proud of these promotions as they also reflect the huge amount of work that has gone into curriculum changes which now ensure human nutrition students are job ready.”

Professors Brown and Horwath add that their promotions are also a credit to the Department as their individual teaching and research activities are supported by outstanding administrative and technical staff.

While Professor Houghton acknowledges the challenges associated with recent curriculum changes, she says the better learning environment and immediate positive enrolment trends have made it all worthwhile.

The Masters of Applied Science Programme has already offered 42 placements for this year, up from six last year, and the undergraduate programme has also experienced a marked increase in enrolments.

“We think we have achieved the right inter-disciplinary approach for the Masters programme which considers career pathways for students and also brings expertise from across the Divisions together.”

"It's very much appreciated that we have a Head of Department who is strongly encouraging of women applying for these higher-level promotions."

“As the changes have shown, it’s vital to keep the Department innovative and current for the benefit of our students, and respond to the constantly changing nutrition environment.”

Professor Houghton suggests the subject of human nutrition has gained significant global traction in the last decade as it links directly into many of the United Nations sustainable development goals.

The Department has its own collaborating centre with the World Health Organisation which for the past seven years has served the Western Pacific regions with capacity building and community health research.

However, while Professor Houghton says it’s great to be recognised with the promotion, it’s also important to ensure early and mid-career staff continue to be given the support they require.

“I want to see the Department flourish so it’s really important we continue to give back which includes mentoring our upcoming academics.”

Of particular relevance to the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Professor Horwath also credits Head of Department Professor Houghton on-going encouragement with promotions.

"It's very much appreciated that we have a Head of Department who is strongly encouraging of women applying for these higher-level promotions."

Otago’s new Professors (as of 1 Feb 2020):

  • Gillian Abel (Department of Population Health, University of Otago, Christchurch)
  • Joanne Baxter (Health Sciences Divisional Office)
  • Joseph Boden (Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch)
  • Rhiannon Braund (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine)
  • Rachel Brown (Department of Human Nutrition)
  • Pat Cragg (Academic Division and Department of Physiology)
  • Jacob Edmond (English and Linguistics Programme)
  • Colin Gavaghan (Faculty of Law)
  • Jean Hay-Smith (Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington)
  • Julia Horsfield (Pathology Department)
  • Lisa Houghton (Department of Human Nutrition)
  • Caroline Horwath (Department of Human Nutrition)
  • Christine Jasoni (Department of Anatomy)
  • Niels Kjaergaard (Physics Department)
  • Miles Lamare (Department of Marine Science)
  • William Levack (Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington)
  • Richard Macknight (Department of Biochemistry)
  • Fiona McDonald (Department of Physiology)
  • Alexander McLellan (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
  • Suzanne Pitama (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Whare) (Māori/Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI), University of Otago, Christchurch)
  • John Pickering (Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch)
  • Bruce Robertson (Department of Zoology)
  • Katrina Sharples (Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Department of Medicine)
  • Will Sweetman (Religion Programme)
  • Neil Waddell (Department of Oral Rehabilitation)
  • Debra Waters (School of Physiotherapy)
  • Esko Wiltshire (Department of Paediatrics & Child Health, University of Otago, Wellington)
  • Tim Woodfield (Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch)
  • Yolanda van Heezik (Department of Zoology)
  • Rachel Zajac (Department of Psychology)

Staff promoted to Associate Professor:

  • Chris Baldi (Department of Medicine)
  • Melanie Beres (Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology Programme)
  • Max Berry (Department of Paediatrics & Child Health (University of Otago, Wellington)
  • Melanie Bussey (School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences)
  • Anna Carr (Department of Tourism)
  • Marcelle Dawson (Sociology, Gender Studies and Criminology Programme)
  • Sinead Donnelly (Department of Medicine (University of Otago, Wellington))
  • Lara Friedlander (Department of Oral Rehabilitation)
  • Paul Gardner (Department of Biochemistry)
  • Tony Garry (Department of Marketing)
  • Richard Greatbanks (Department of Management)
  • Elaine Hargreaves (School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences)
  • Dione Healey (Department of Psychology)
  • Michael Jack (Department of Physics)
  • Anne-Marie Jackson (School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences)
  • Emily Keddell (Social and Community Work Programme)
  • Regis Lamberts (Department of Physiology)
  • Richard Linscott (Department of Psychology)
  • Sunyoung Ma (Department of Oral Rehabilitation)
  • Peter Mace (Department of Biochemistry)
  • Susan Mackenzie (Department of Tourism)
  • Alex Macmillan (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine)
  • Vijay Mallan (Higher Education Development Centre)
  • Rachael McLean (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine)
  • Carla Meledandri (Department of Chemistry)
  • Steven Mills (Department of Computer Science)
  • Hugh Morrison (College of Education)
  • Hilda Mulligan (School of Physiotherapy)
  • Garry Nixon (Department of General Practice and Rural Health)
  • Conor O'Kane (Department of Management)
  • Louise Parr-Brownlie (Department of Anatomy)
  • Rose Richards (Health Sciences Divisional Office)
  • Kirsten Robertson (Department of Marketing)
  • James Scott (Department of Geology)
  • Pat Silcock (Department of Food Science)
  • Debbie Snell (Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Musculoskeletal Medicine (University of Otago, Christchurch));
  • Jo-Ann Stanton (Department of Anatomy)
  • Michael Tatley (New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre)
  • James Ussher (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
  • Zach Weber (Philosophy Programme)
  • Lincoln Wood (Department of Management)
  • Emma Wyeth (Department of Preventive and Social Medicine)