Current postgraduate students

Meet the current postgraduate students at the School of Biological Sciences, and find out what their thesis topics are.

ANTON-Victor3-Profile

Victor Anton

Supervisor: Heiko Wittmer

Thesis title: Estimating pest abundance in urban areas


ASHTON-David-Profile

David Ashton

Supervisor: Peter Ritchie

Thesis title: Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) in New Zealand Snapper (Pagurus quratus)


ATIGARI Diana

Diana Atigari

Supervisor: Bronwyn Kivell

Thesis title: Evaluation of the behavioural and cellular actions of novel kappa opioid receptor agonists


Holly-Bennett-Profile

Holly Bennett

Supervisor: James Bell

Thesis title: Climate change and tropical sponges: Implications for coral reef functioning


Carl Beyers

Carl Beyers

Supervisor: Anne La Flamme

Thesis title: Evaluating immune cell phenotype and function in healing, and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients treated with clozapine and risperidone


BHATT-Bhumika-Profile

Bhumika Bhatt

Supervisor: Lifeng Peng

Thesis title: Effect of DGAT1 on the lipid metabolism of HEPG2 cells


BIGGERSTAFF-Andrew-Profile

Andrew Biggerstaff

Supervisor: James Bell

Thesis title: Phase-shifts from coral to sponge dominated reefs in the Wakatobi Marine Reserve


BOSE-Samhitia2-Profile

Samhita Bose

Supervisor: Heiko Wittmer

Thesis title: An integrative approach to understand animal movements and consequences for species management and conservation relative to anthropogenic disturbances


BRENTON-RULE-Evan-Profile

Evan Brenton-Rule

Supervisor: Phil Lester

Thesis title: The interface between invasive species science and international trade law


BROWN-Alastair-Profile

Alistair Brown

Supervisor: David Ackerley

Thesis title: Screening for PPTase inhibitors: Taking aim at a previously inacessible bacterial drug target


Phoebe Caie

Phoebe Caie

Supervisor: Jeff Shima

Thesis title: Context dependent selective mortality of a tropical wrasse


Georgia Carson

Georgia Carson

Supervisor: Melanie McConnell

Thesis title: Mitochrondrial DNA transfer to cells with mitrochondrial genome damage following bone marrow transplantation



CHAN-HYAMS-Jasmine-Profile

Jasmine Chan-Hyams

Supervisor: David Ackerley

Thesis title: The use of Nitroreductases for biomedical purposes


Charlie-Clark-Profile

Charlie Clark

Supervisor: Stephen Hartley

Thesis title: Evolutionary ecology of plant traits


Zara Clark

Zaramasina Clark

Supervisor: Janet Pitman

Thesis title: Investigating the intrafollicular factors affecting oocyte competency


Taylor Cooney

Taylor Cooney

Supervisor: Gavin Painter

Thesis title: Formulation of self-adjuvating peptide vaccines


COOREY-Namal2-Profile

Namal Coorey

Supervisor: Andrew Munkacsi

Thesis title: Use of S. cerevisiae to identify potential anticancer target and therapeutics in humans



DEMPSEY-Sandi-Profile

Sandi Dempsey

Supervisor: Darren Day

Thesis title: Ovine forestomach extracellular matrix biomaterial as a scaffold for stem cell culture


DENISON-Hayley-Profile

Hayley Denison

Supervisor: Elaine Dennison

Thesis title: Eipidemiology of sexually transmiited infections in the student population


DIAZ-Sergio-Profile

Sergio Diaz

Supervisor: Joe Zuccarello

Thesis title: Sympatric speciation in Cladophorales from Lake Baikal



FEA-Nyree-Profile2

Nyree Fea

Supervisor: Stephen Hartley

Thesis title: Monitoring populations and nesting success of NZ birds in response to mammal control


FELDEN-Antoine-Profile

Antoine Felden

Supervisor: Phil Lester

Thesis title: Ecological consequences and evolution of Argentine ant behaviour along an introduction pathway


FINUCCI-Brit-Profile

Brittany Finucci

Supervisor: Matthew Dunn

Thesis title: An ecologiclal risk assessment for the effects of New Zealand fishing: A novel approach to deep-sea shark management


FOCHT-Becky

Becky Focht

Supervisor: Jeff Shima

Thesis title: Evaluations of patterns, consequences and resistance to anthropogenic or natural disturbances by reef fish


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Vivian Fu

Supervisor: Harry McNaughton

Thesis title: A novel intervention for stroke rehabilitation in the community


GABAY-Jasmine

Yasmin Gabay

Supervisor: Simon Davy

Thesis title: What are the cellular and physiological implications of a parasitic vs mutualistic symbionts in the cnidarion-dinoflagellate symbiosis?


Justyna Giejsztowt

Justyna Giejsztowt

Supervisor: Julie Deslippe

Thesis title: Interactive effects of climate change and plant species composition on alpine biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics


Andrea Glockner

Andrea Glockner

Supervisor: Nicole Phillips

Thesis title: Effects of multiple stressors on different life stages of kina


Gabby Greig

Gabby Greig

Supervisor: Joanna MacKichan

Thesis title: Neisseria meningitidis: metabolism and virulence


Kelsi Hall

Kelsi Hall

Supervisor: David Ackerley

Thesis title: Directed evolution of nitroreductases


HALLY-Kathryn-Profile

Kathryn Hally

Supervisor: Peter Larsen / Scott Harding

Thesis title: Investigating alternative pathways of platelet activation in acute coronary syndrome patients


Jo Hardy

Joanne Hardy

Supervisor: Richard Beasley

Thesis topic: An assessment of the efficacy and safety on a ICS/LABA reviver therapy regimen in mild asthma


Sarah Herbert

Sarah Herbert

Supervisor: Nicola Nelson

Thesis title: Can habitat enhancement improve the resilience of resident NZ native lizard populations


HOLLEY-Ana-Profile

Ana Holley

Supervisor: Scott Harding

Thesis title: Elucidating the role of glutathione peroxiclase in aeote coronery syndrome


IlYUSHKINA-Irina-Profile

Irina Ilyushkina

Supervisor: James Bell

Thesis title: Ecology of NZ Rock Lobster


JACKSON-Michael-Profile

Michael Jackson

Supervisor: Wayne Linklater

Thesis title: Olfactory communication in rats (Rattus spp.) and Possums (Trichosurus velpecula) and its implications to the development of chemical lures


Maedeh Jafari Rad

Maedeh Jafari Rad

Supervisor: Julie Deslippe

Thesis title: The effects of plant arrival order and succession on the assembly and composition of communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi


JIMENEZ-Balam-Profile

Balam Jimenez

Supervisor: Peter Ritchie

Thesis title: Coastal marine connectivity of the grey mullet (Mugil cephalus through microsatellite DNA markers


JOBLIN-MILLS-Aidan-Profile

Aidan Joblin-Mills

Supervisor: Andrew Munkacsi

Thesis title: A chemogenomic screen for lipotoxicity supression: Investigating positive regulators of lipid-induced pathologies from yeast to humans


JONES-Nicole-Profile

Nicole Jones

Supervisor: Melanie McConnell

Thesis title: The mechanism of BLL6 in Glioblastoma Multiforme


Nora Kandler

Nora Kandler

Supervisor: James Bell

Thesis title: Climate change impacts on sponges


Tanja Karl

Tanja Karl

Supervisor: Kevin Gould

Thesis title: The role of betalains in plant salinity tolerance


KELLY-Laura-Profile

Laura Kelly

Supervisor: Ken Ryan

Thesis title: Toxic benthic cyanobacteria (phermidium autumnale) in NZ: Genetic structure, cyanotoxin production and ecological effects


LABRA-SPROHNLE-Fabian-Profile

Fabian Labra-Sprohnle

Supervisor: Paul Teesdale-Spittle

Thesis title: The dynamic patterns of thinking in attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD): Diagnostic accuracy of Euclidean, multifractal lacunarity measures


Zoe Lennon

Zoë Lennon

Supervisor: Nicola Nelson

Thesis title: Mitigation translocation for conservation of New Zealand's skinks


LITTLE-Richard2-Profile

Richard Little

Supervisor: Paul Teesdale-Spittle

Thesis title: The molecular mechanism of elf4A inhibition


LOEPELT-Julia2-Profile

Julia Loepelt

Supervisor: Kevin Burns

Thesis title: Cognition and foraging in kaka (Nestor meridionalis)


MARLOW-Joe2-Profile

Joe Marlow

Supervisor: James Bell

Thesis title: The impact of habitat degradation on the abundance, diversity and erosion rates of Bioeroding Sponges on Indo-Pacific Reefs


MATTHEWS-Jennifer-Profile

Jennifer Matthews

Supervisor: Simon Davies

Thesis title: Coral and symbiodinium relationships


MAXWELL-Kimberley-Profile

Kimberley Maxwell

Supervisor: Matthew Dunn

Thesis title: Advising fisheries managers using ecosystems-based fisheries model that integrate stakeholder perspectives: a BOP Kahawai Fishery case study


McGRATH-Emily-Profile

Emily McGrath

Supervisor: James Bell

Thesis title: Ecology of Xestospongia species


Vidette McGregor

Vidette McGregor

Supervisor: Matt Dunn

Thesis title: Ecosystem model for Chatham Rise


Steven McKinstry

Steven McKinstry

Supervisor: Richard Beasley

Thesis title: Nasal high-flow (NHF) therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Michelle McLellan

Michelle McLellan

Supervisor: Heiko Wittmer

Thesis title: Understanding the dynamics of 2 small populations of Grizzly bears in British Columbia


Daniel McNaughtan

Daniel McNaughtan

Supervisor: Jeff Shima

Thesis title: How selected larval processes shape temperate reef fish populations


MICHAEL-Keith-Profile

Keith Michael

Supervisor: Jeff Shima

Thesis title: Understanding production in oyster fishery


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Pauline Mitterwallner

Supervisor: Jeffrey Shima

Thesis title: Reproduction, patterns of movement, social dynamics and life history of the hermaphroditic wrasse th. hardwicke


MOKHTARI-Mona-Profile

Mona Mokhtari

Supervisor: Andrew Munkacsi

Thesis title: A functional genomics approach to the mode of action of bioactives derived from Feijoa and symbiotic fungal species


Charli Mortimer

Charli Mortimer

Supervisor: James Bell

Thesis title: Trophic consequences of regime shifts towards sponge dominated reefs


MURRAY-Latarsha-Profile

La'tarsha Murray

Supervisor: Janet Pitman

Thesis title: Oocyte quality in dairy cows


NAIDOO-Karmella-Profile

Karmella Naidoo

Supervisor: Elizabeth Forbes-Blom

Thesis title: Halting the allergic march via immune checkpoints of allergic skin inflammation


Hansa Patel

Hansa Patel

Supervisor: Elaine Dennison

Thesis title: Sporting activity and bone health in New Zealand adolescents and young adults


Vimal Patel

Vimal Patel

Supervisor: Anne La Flamme

Thesis title: A screen to identify novel immunomodulators


PATON-Kelly2-Profile

Kelly Paton

Supervisor: Bronwyn Kivell

Thesis title: An investigation of novel kappa opioid receptor agonists and bioactive lipids as potential therapeutics


sharada-paudel

Sharada Paudel

Supervisor: Kevin Burns

Thesis title: Phenological patterns in fruits and frugivores in a New Zealand forest


Sonali Pawaskar

Sonali Pawaskar

Supervisor: Jonathan Gardner

Thesis title: Quantifying how man-made structures modify marine biodiversity


Janine-Pilcher-Profile

Janine Pilcher

Supervisor: Richard Beasley

Thesis title: High concentration oxygen and hypercapnia in respiratory disease


Kef Prasit

Kef Prasit

Supervisor: Ian Hermans

Thesis title: Polyugient synthetic vaccines: combining a-wallner with TLR agonists


PREUSS-Maren-Profile

Maren Preuss

Supervisor: Joe Zuccarello

Thesis title: Diversity of New Zealand red algal parasites


PRICE-Stephanie-Profile

Stephanie Price

Supervisor: Nicola Nelson

Thesis title: Can tuatara survive outside of their ecological region? Phenotypic plasticity in tuatara


QUINN-Oliver-Profile

Oliver Quinn

Supervisor: Phil Lester

Thesis title: Using interaction networks to explain invasion success and community dominance: wasps in an old and new world


Tamayanthi Rajakumar

Tamayanthi Rajakumar

Supervisor: Andrew Munkacsi

Thesis title: Characterizing debiquitination as a modifier of Niemann-Pick C disease


RAMIREZ-Patricia-Profile

Patricia Ramirez

Supervisor: Nicola Nelson

Thesis title: Individual behaviour as a component of the population visability of threatened native frogs


Sumeet-Reddy-Profile

Sumeet Reddy

Supervisor: Richard Beasley

Thesis title: Intravenous fluid therapy - comparing plasmalyte to 0.9% saline


RICH-Michelle-Profile

Michelle Rich

Supervisor: David Ackerley

Thesis title: Directed evolution of nitroreductase enzymes for PET-imaging capability


Alberto Rovellini

Alberto Rovellini

Supervisor: James Bell

Thesis title: Modeling transition to sponge-dominated reef


Matthew Rowe

Matthew Rowe

Supervisor: Melanie McConnell

Thesis title: Inter-cellular mitochondrial transfer: A cell survival mechanism in response to disease and therapy


Jo Hardy

Joanna Hardy

Supervisor: Ken Ryan

Thesis title: Bryzoan taxonomy and morphology along ecological gradients


SCHNEIDER-Remy2-Profile

Remy Schneider

Supervisor: Melanie McConnell

Thesis title: Effect o mitrochondrial dysfunction on intercellular movement of mitrochondria through tunnelling nanotubes (TNTs)


Alexander Semprini

Alexander Semprini

Supervisor: Melanie McConnell

Thesis title: Kanuka honey for the treatment of cold sores


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Ruth Semprini

Supervisor: Melanie McConnell

Thesis title: Periostin - a novel biomarker in adult asthma


SHAFFER-Megan2-Profile

Megan Shaffer

Supervisor: James Bell

Thesis title: Population genetics and reproductive ecology of NZ sponges


SHARROCK-Abby-Profile

Abby Sharrock

Supervisor: David Ackerley

Thesis title: Mutagenesis of nitroreductase enzymes for improved activation of prodrugs and imaging molecules


SOUNDY-Jennifer-Profile

Jennifer Soundy

Supervisor: Darren Day

Thesis title: Invitro selection of DNA aptimers against Pseudomonas aeruginosa using a whole-cell SELEX approach


SPROLES-Ashley-Profile

Ashley Sproles

Supervisor: Simon Davy

Thesis title: The adaptability of corals to climate change, switching partners and the role of nutritional interactions in the coral-algal symbiosis


Luke Stevenson

Luke Stevenson

Supervisor: David Ackerley

Thesis title: High-throughput screening for the recovery and characterisation of new bioactive compounds from Metagenomic libraries


Matt Storey

Matthew Storey

Supervisor: David Ackerley

Thesis title: Metagenomic based drug discovery from marine invertebrates



TEMPLETON-Nicky-Profile

Nikki Templeton

Supervisor: Anne La Flamme

Thesis title: Effects of immunemodulatory drugs on demuelination and remyelination in the cuprizone model


VENKATESH-Varun-Profile

Varun Venkatesh

Supervisor: Darren Day

Thesis title: The role of the apelinergic system in metabolism in adipocyte differentiation


VERGARA-Olivia-Profile

Olivia Vergara

Supervisor: Stephen Hartley

Thesis title: Effects of rodent control on invertebrate populations


WEBB-Elizabeth-Profile

Elizabeth Webb

Supervisor: Elaine Dennison

Thesis title: The prevalence of dental caries and the flurosis status of rural Ni-Van children continously exposed to different flouride concentrations through venting volcanoes


Julie Whitburn

Julie Whitburn

Supervisor: Wayne Linklater

Thesis title: Nature as a health resource



WOLF-Paul-Profile2

Paul Wolf

Supervisor: Nicole Phillips

Thesis title: Biology, development and ecology of in New Zealand common serpulids and related biogenic reefs


Ruojin Yan

Ruojin Yan

Supervisor: Jonathan Gardner

Thesis: Population genetics and phylogeography of three munida species in New Zealand


YULE-Kirsty-Profile

Kirsty Yule

Supervisor: Kevin Burns

Thesis title: Tri-trophic interactions between a predator-parasite-host assemblage in New Zealand forests


ZAREIE-Pirooz2-Profile

Pirooz Zareie

Supervisor: Anne La Flamme

Thesis title: Mechanism of action of atypical antipsychotics during EAE


ZENG-Cong-Profile

Cong Zeng

Supervisor: Jonathan Gardner

Thesis title: Vulnerable marine ecosystems - population connectivity