The University of Otago has promoted 24 of its leading
academics to full professorships.
The new professors specialise in a diverse range of subjects,
from dolphins and whales to cancer treatments.
Otago University vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said
promotions were ''hard earned'' and ''well deserved''.
''These appointments reflect the breadth and depth of the
talent we enjoy here at Otago. The work of these individuals
is of enormous value to the university and is often of
considerable international significance,'' Prof Hayne said.
The following academics were promoted to full
professorships, most being effective from February next year.
• Michael Albert (department of computer science), whose
research helps with the modelling of phenomena such as
symmetry, genome rearrangement and data processing.
• Michael Baker (public health, in Wellington), who has
researched New Zealand's unusually high rates of many
• Chris Charles (medicine), a senior member of the
Christchurch Heart Institute, which develops improved
diagnostic tests for cardiovascular conditions.
• Steve Dawson (marine science), who studies the ecology and
behaviour of dolphins and whales.
• Susan Dovey (general practice), whose research includes
patient safety in general practice.
• Julian Eaton-Rye (biochemistry), who studies how plants
harvest light, using Photosystem II.
• John Evans (obstetrics and gynaecology), who studies how
cells in the human body are stimulated and inhibited, causing
the body to operate the way it does.
• Sean Fitzsimons (geography), who studies glaciers and the
processes of erosion beneath them.
• Liz Franz (psychology), who explores the psychological and
neural processes underlying actions of the left and right
hands in humans.
• Russell Frew (chemistry), who studies connections in the
natural environment, which includes tracing the origin of
illicit drug batches to a common source.
• Parry Guilford (biochemistry), who uses new-generation
genetic technologies to improve the diagnosis and treatment
• Jamin Halberstadt (psychology), who studies a diverse range
of subjects including decision making, emotion, facial
attractiveness, and social categorisation.
• Gary Hooper (orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal
medicine), whose interests include running clinical trials
investigating improving outcomes after joint replacement.
• Richard Jackson (National Centre for Peace and Conflict
Studies), who researches a range of topics bound together by
an overall interest in the nature, causes, and resolution of
• Ian Jamieson (zoology), who studies avian conservation
biology and molecular ecology.
• Etienne Nel (geography), who studies economic and urban
geography, including urban livelihood and survival strategies
• Elaine Reese (psychology), who studies how parents talk and
read with their children in ways that help children's and
adolescents' learning, memory, literacy, and wellbeing.
• Alison Rich (oral diagnostic and surgical sciences), who
studies the causes of oral cancer, which accounts for about
2% of malignant tumours in New Zealand.
• Anthony Robins (computer science), who studies
computational models of memory using artificial neural
• Jae Jung Song (English and linguistics), who studies
linguistic typology, syntax and language policy.
• Rachel Spronken-Smith (higher education development
centre), whose two main areas of research are in the fields
of higher education and geography.
• Lisa Stamp (medicine), who is director of the Canterbury
rheumatology immunology research group and the University of
Otago arthritis research theme.
• Margreet Vissers (pathology), who is a biochemist and cell
biologist whose research focuses on acute infection and
• David Wharton (zoology), who is interested in how organisms
survive extreme environmental stress, including frogs and
insects that survive ice forming within their bodies.
The following academics have been promoted to associate
Dr Simon Adamson (psychological medicine, Christchurch), Dr
Greg Anderson (anatomy), Dr Ian Barber (anthropology and
archaeology), Dr David Bell (College of Education), Judy
Bellingham (music), Dr Hallie Buckley (anatomy), Dr Jim
Cotter (physical education), Dr Jacob Edmond (English,
linguistics), Shelley Griffiths (law), Dr Caroline Horwath
(human nutrition), Dr Zhiyi Huang (computer science), Alan
King (economics), Dr Jan McKenzie (psychological medicine,
Christchurch), Dr Igor Meglinski (physics), Ross Notman
(College of Education), Dr Nancy Rehrer (physical education),
Dr Brian Roper (politics), Jacinta Ruru (law), Dr Diana
Sarfati (public health, Wellington), Dr Michael Schultz
(medicine), Dr Andrew Trotman (computer science), Dr Erika
Wolf (history and art history).
The following academics have been promoted to research
Dr Haxby Abbott (surgical sciences), Dr Joseph Boden
(psychological medicine, Christchurch), Dr Barbara Galland
(women's and children's health), Dr Bev Lawton (primary
healthcare and general practice, Wellington), Dr Chris
Pemberton (medicine, Christchurch), Dr George Thomson (public