School of Medicine


Chronobiology research - students

Students can conduct research at the University of Auckland at an honours, masters or PhD level. We currently have a number of students working with us.

Information regarding studying at a postgraduate level at the University of Auckland can be found on our Graduate Centre website.

Below are a list of students and the projects they are currently working on in the department.

Current research students


  • Miss Nicola Ludin (PhD student) Supervisors: Associate Professor Guy Warman, Dr James Cheeseman and Professor Alan Merry. Miss Ludin is investigating jet-lag which results from general anaesthesia in humans and other mammals, and how it might be treated. The significance of this research is in the potential to expedite post-operative recovery. By understanding the cause of anaesthesia-induced jet-lag on the biological clock, it becomes possible to treat with interventions such as light therapy. This work has the potential to improve patients’ wound healing, immune function and feeling of well-being in the post-operative period. There are also the obvious financial benefits of shortening post-operative recovery times.
  • Ms Dongni Li (PhD student) Supervisors: Dr James Cheeseman and Associate Professor Guy Warman. Ms Li is investigating the effects of general anaesthesia on the circadian clock in Drosophila.   In her PhD project, Drosophila are used to investigate how anaesthesia shifts the circadian clock through the study of locomotor activity and bioluminescence measuring clock gene expression. A second theme of her project is to investigate the mechanics of anaesthesia in this invertebrate model. 
  • Mr Joshua Paul (Master student) Supervisors: Dr James Cheeseman and Associate Professor Guy Warman.  Mr Paul is investigating the effect of anaesthesia on learning and memory in the honey bee
  • Ms Alma Orts-Sebastian (PhD student) Supervisors: Associate Professor Guy Warman and Dr James Cheeseman.  Ms Orts-Sebastian is investigating the effect of general anaesthesia on murine circadian rhythms
  • Ms Jia Zhao (PhD student) Supervisors: Dr James Cheeseman and Associate Professor Guy Warman. Ms Zhao is investigating the pre-adult development and age-related decline of the circadian clock in Drosophila melanogaster. Her research focuses on answering questions like: When does the developing circadian clock start to show mature characteristic as the adult clock does? Is this clock able to develop without the requirement of entrainment stimuli such as light? What happens to the circadian clock when animals grow old? By using the combination of luciferase real-time reporter and locomotor activity recording, she keeps track of the rhythmic expression of clock genes and output behaviours, which can mostly define a functional circadian clock. Furthermore, light/temperature treatment will be given to entrain the developmental or aging clock at different timing, in order to test the health outcome by affecting the running of the circadian clock.

List of student that have completed theses on chronobiology or chronobiology-related topics at the University of Auckland

  • Dr Anisoara Jardim (PhD student 2008-2014)
  • Dr Eva Winnebeck (PhD student 2008-2012)
  • Ms Tessa Popay (BSc hons 2013-2014)
  • Ms Yoon Choi (Master student 2013-2014)
  • Ms Kerry de Villiers (Master student 2012-2013)
  • Ms Andrea Pillay (Master student 2012-2013)
  • Ms Nicola Ludin (Master student 2011-2012)
  • Ms Catherine Davis (Master student 2011-2012)
  • Ms Rebecca Norris (BSc hons first class 2010)
  • Ms Lisa Fendall (BSc hons first class 2010)
  • Ms Sarah Milton (Master student first class 2009-2010)
  • Dr Amanda Potts (PhD student Dean's list 2007-2011)
  • Ms Anisoara Jardim (Master student 2007-2008)
  • Ms Yasamin Al-tiay (Master student first class 2007-2008)
  • Ms Jacqueline Hannam (BSc hons 2006)
  • Ms Amanda Potts (Master student first class 2006-2007)
  • Ms Hanie Amir-Shahpari (Master student 2004-2005)
  • Dr James Cheeseman (PhD student 2003-2007)
  • Dr Hayley Tripp (PhD student 1999-2003)