Our People

Carina Walters – Pharmacy

Supervisors: Professor Janie Sheridan, Dr David Newcombe, Professor Chris Bullen

Research topic: Pharmaceutical opioid misuse in New Zealand: Exploring experiences of individuals with non-illicit pathways to dependence

Alison Schneller – Population Health

Supervisor: Associate Professor Peter Adams

Research topic: Critical analysis of mechanisms used in compulsory community treatment orders

Sam White – Population Health/Medicine

Supervisors: Dr Peter Huggard and A/P Marcus Henning

Research topic: Evaluation of the University of Auckland Addiction Workforce Development Programme

Rayna Sharma – Pharmacy

Supervisors: Associate Professor Jo Barnes and Dr Rhys Ponton

Research topic: Use of herbal substances as treatments for substance use disorder, and as drugs of misuse

Anantha Kumar Population Health

Supervisors: Professor Chris Bullen and Dr Karen Bissell

Research topic: Smoking cessation in rural India

Rhiannon Martel – Population Health

Supervisor: Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith

Research topic: An evaluation of primary care e-screening for mental health risky health behaviours among TeTai Tokerau youth

Estelle Miller – Pharmacy

Supervisors: Dr Rhys Ponton (main), Associate Professor Suresh Muthukumaraswamy, Dr David Menkes, Dr Geoff Noller

Research topic: Characterising the use of psychedelic drugs in ‘microdoses’​

Delia Cotoros – Population Health

Supervisors: Dr David Newcombe, Dr Rob McNeil

Research topic: Internet Addiction (IA) – exploring the relationship between IA and certain psychopathologies

Oliver Birch – Population Health

Supervisors: Professor Peter Adams, Associate Professor David Newcombe, Associate Professor Bruce Cohen (Faculty of Arts)

Research topic: Responsibilising Opioid Users: OST as Biopower

Alesha Wells Health Psychology

Supervisors: Dr Lisa Reynolds (main); Associate Professor Suresh Muthukumaraswamy; Eva Morunga (advisor)

Research topic: An investigation into the feasibility, acceptability, and safety of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.

Jiayi Gong – Pharmacy
Supervisors: Dr Amy Chan, Associate Professor Peter Jones, Professor Alan Merry

Research topic: Persistent opioid use and opioid-related harm after hospital admissions for surgery and trauma in New Zealand: A Population-based Cohort Study

Pyi Pyi Phyo – School of Population Health

Supervisors: Professor Chris Bullen, Associate Professor Natalie Walker, Dr Karen Bissell, Dr Braden Te Ao, and Dr Erwann Sbai

Research topic: The illicit tobacco trade in New Zealand: the impacts of tobacco control policy changes.

Paul Ware – Social and Community Health and Sociology
Supervisors: Professor Peter Adams, Associate Professor Peter Saxton and Associate Professor Bruce Cohen

Research topic: A comparative analysis of Social Cohesion and Covid-19 health outcomes between Aotearoa-NZ, England and Taiwan. I have undergraduate degrees in Health Sciences and Sociology and a postgraduate Honours in Health Sciences. My honours research investigated the experiences of self-diagnosed pornography addicts and their reasons for seeking help to change their relationship with pornographic materials. I have an interest in critical perspectives on addiction and public health more generally, the ways in which profit-making organisations seek to shape culture and identities to support their goals and how identity materialises in health.

Abdullah (Dilla) Kalantan – School of Population Health
Supervisors: Professor Chris Bullen, Samantha Marsh, Amer Siddiq Bin Amer Nordin (University Malaya, Malaysia), and Sarah Monshi (Umm Al-Qura University, Saudi Arabia)

Research topic: Using a qualitative approach, I aim to explore factors associated with smoking among Muslims in Saudi Arabia and New Zealand, understand perceived barriers to smoking cessation, and gather their views on the role of religion in smoking behaviours. Then, we aim to develop a faith-based smoking cessation intervention, in collaboration with religious leaders, consisting of health and religious text messages. The intervention will be piloted during Ramadan, a sacred period many Muslims see as an opportunity to reduce and quit smoking.

Jennifer Jiyun Park – School of Population Health
Supervisors: Dr Laura Wilkinson-Meyers (University of Auckland), Associate Professor Simone Rodda (AUT), Associate Professor Daniel King (Flinders University)

Research topic: Jennifer Jiyun Park is a PhD student at the School of Population Health. In the field of behavioural addiction research, Jennifer is particularly interested in gaming disorder and internet-delivered interventions to help people reduce gaming hours. Jennifer’s PhD examines the content and effectiveness of brief internet-delivered interventions for gaming reduction, and the feasibility of SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) for gaming disorder in pre-existing addiction services.

Abeeha Batool Zaidi Syeda – School of Population Health

Supervisors: Associate Professor Natalie Walker (UoA), Professor Chris Bullen (UoA), Professor Zac Morse (AUT).

Research topic: The role of New Zealand Oral Health Professionals in supporting people stop vaping. Abeeha has a Bachelor’s degree in Dentistry and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Pakistan.