Psychology - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

News Archive

College of Science Doctoral Scholarships Awarded

Congratulations to two of our Doctoral candidates who have been awarded College of Science Doctoral Scholarships in 2016. Meredith Blampied will be working with Professor Julia Rucklidge and Nadia Andrew will be working with Dr Kumar Yogeeswaran.

Masters Scholarships

Congratulatoins to Philippa Connell (MSc APSY student), the recipient of a Freemasons scholarship in June to assist her esearch exploring employee resilience under the supervision of Dr Joana Kunzt. Read more.

Congratulations also to Sophia Bennetts and Ailsa Walker who were recently awarded a UC Masters Scholarship. Sophia is working with Dr Jacki Henderson looking at the the psychosocial risk and resilience factors predicting children born to opiate-dependent women remaining in the care of their biological moterhs. Ailsa is working with Dr Zhe Chen looking at the repeitiion priming in mathematical cognition, investigating into stimulus-response bindings.

NZPsS Best Student Conference Paper Prize

Congratulations to Sam Lee, PhD Student, who recently was the joing winner of the New Zealand Psychology Society (NZPsS) Best Student Conference Prize for her presentation titled "Middle childhood academic outcomes of children born to mothers maintained on methadone during pregnancy".

Teaching Development Grant Awarded

Dr Eileen Britt was granted a Teaching Development Grant to attend the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers Pre-Forum workshop in Montreal.

New Staff Members

Two new General Staff members were welcomed to the Department of Psychology. Ben McGinlay as Technical Officer and Anya Armstrong as Technician.

College of Science Emerging Researcher Award 2015 

Congratulations to Dr Kumar Yogeeswaran who has been awarded the College of Science Emerging Researcher Award for 2015. Kumar is an experimental social psychologist, with special expertise in the area of intergroup relations. Kumar carries out research on a range of issues associated with diversity, social identity and prejudice and is publishing in the top journals in these areas with collaborators from around the world.  In 2015 he was identified as an ‘Admired Scholar’ by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Diversity Committee, the leading professional society in the area, and is receiving a wide range of invitations from around the world of various kinds. Kumar is bringing the benefits of his work to bear at UC through his work with the University’s Māori Development Team to find research-based interventions that support Māori student success. Personal website with further research information and postgraduate supervision (October 2015)

Why do so many experienced hunters shoot their mates?

Mistaken for Game Hunting Accidents - A Human Factors Review: the report's author is PhD student, Kyle Wilson. A Radio New Zealand interview given by Kyle and a colleague can also be downloaded. (October 2015)

Two UC professors Women of Influence finalists

Two University of Canterbury professors are among the finalists for the Women of Influence awards for 2015. UC academics Jennifer Hay, Professor of Linguistics, and Julia Rucklidge, Professor of Clinical Psychology, are among eight finalists in the Innovation category of the prestigious annual awards. (Sept. 2015)

NZPsS Ballin Award

Congratulations to Professor Julia Rucklidge who was awarded the NZPsS Ballin Award at the NZPsS Annual Conference held in Hamilton recently. This award honours Dame Ann Ballin, ONZ, DBE clinical psychologist and first woman President of the NZPsS who received the DBE for a lifelong contribution to advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities.  The Ballin Award is awarded to a Member/Fellow of the Society who is deemed to have made a notably significant contribution to the development or enhancement of clinical psychology in the Aotearoa/New Zealand context through, original research; dissemination of research and/or best practice; the sustained exemplary or innovative practice of clinical psychology; or through professional development, organization, supervision and/or mentoring of others in the field of clinical psychology.  (Sept. 2015)

Positive thoughts potentially dangerous (CTV 17 July 2015)

Positive images of the Christchurch recovery are a "time travel dream machine", but more distracting than negative ones, according to UC research findings. Postgraduate student Nicola Hancock, UC Psychologist Professor Deak Helton and colleagues from UC and industry partner Opus have been examining the effects of the Christchurch recovery on people, and have been surprised by the results. (read article) (July 2015)

Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group

The Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group was the cover story in the NZ Listener back in June. Check the article out the “Pills & Ills” (July 2015)

Computer Information Getting Closer

The university’s psychology experts are collaborating with their human interface technology colleagues to investigate how skills used in daily lives can be made easier or improved by using the in-development Google Glasses. Research is being carried out by Professor Deak Helton and Psychology PhD student Matt Ward, along with the university’s HIT Lab Professor Mark Billinghurst. (15 Jan 2015) more

Lotteries Health Research Scholarship

PhD psychology student Samantha Lee has been awarded a three year $120,000 Lotteries Health Research scholarship to continue researching children born to mothers on methadone during pregnancy. more

Our Changing World

Recent research conducted by Professor Deak Helton and MSc Applied Psychology student, Alex Woodham, on Google Glass in Emergency Situations - a link to an interview on Radio New Zealand (Our Changing World) can be found at the end of the News article. (Refer also to Marsden Funding details below)
Visual displays, such as Google Glass or the Recon Jet, are one way to provide information in situations like search and rescue, law enforcement, or firefighting operations, but the question is, how will these new technologies impact on performance? (20 November 2014)

Marsden Funding - "Canterbury University gets funding to develop user-friendly wearable computers"

Two University of Canterbury researchers have received $870,000 in Marsden funding over three years to research how engineering and psychology could combine to make wearable computer systems easier to use. HIT Lab NZ Director Professor Mark Billinghurst and Psychology Department's Professor Deak Helton have been working since early this year on using cognitive psychology techniques to model the user and the wearable computer as a single system. The New Zealand Herald (5 Nov); NBR (4 Nov); UoC Communications (4 Nov 2014)

Takitaki mai:  A guide to Motivational Interviewing for Māori

Dr Eileen Britt, in collaboration with Daryl Gregory, Tohi Tohiariki, and Terry Huriwai, has developed Takitaki mai: A guide to Motivational Interviewing for Māori, as a resource for Māori seeking to learn Motivational Interviewing. The guide has been made freely available through Te Pou and Matua Raki websites. Takitaki mai comes from the phrase ‘ka takitaki mai te ata’ which speaks to the harbingers of morning’s arrival. The art and science of the motivational practitioner is to pick up and enhance the glimmer of new dawns. Takitaki mai (pdf document, 12.83MG)

Health Research Council of New Zealand - 2014 Funding Round

Emerging Researcher First Grant: Dr Jacki Henderson, Academic Staff, Psychology Department
Health Research Council of NZ - Neurodevelopmental outcomes of children exposed to methadone during pregnancy
NZ Herald article - 2 October 2014 (scroll down)

Research into the development of personal robots

A group of University of Canterbury students are developing a personal robot with the aim of bringing robotics to people to improve quality of life. Psychology PhD student Kyle Wilson, Physics and Finance graduate Owen Flanagan and Electrical Engineering graduate Luke Schwartfeger are the co-founders of the SelfieBot company and its first personal robot. Read more

Investigating the impact of brain protein

University of Canterbury researchers are investigating a brain protein which may impact on the memory of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Memory problems are common in many diseases of the brain and they are the hallmark of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. More than 48,000 New Zealanders had dementia in 2011 and the number is expected to triple by 2050. The financial cost of treating dementia in New Zealand in 2011 was $954 million. University of Canterbury Psychology PhD researcher Susan Rapley says there is no effective treatment for memory loss for those with Alzheimer’s. Read more

Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group

Employee Resilience Research

This research group comprises of a team of researchers from Psychology as well as Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, the Employee Resilience Research group combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies to investigate and understand resilience from the standpoint of the employee, and of the organisation at large. Employee Resilience Research

William 'Deak' Helton's research

Psychology Department's Earthquake Research

Canterbury Child Development Research Group

Pre-term babies risk intellectual difficulties (The New Zealand Herald, 24 April 2013)



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