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View recipients of the RHT Bates Postgraduate Scholarship.

Latest recipient:

 Peter Tremain (University of Auckland) was selected to receive the award to support his PhD project into the “Development of a minimally invasive device for imaging bioelectric gastric slow waves to aid in diagnosis of functional gastrointestinal disorders.”  

Previous recipients:

Year of study


Ayomikun Esan (University of Auckland) for his research on Fluorescence detection and enumeration of bacterial cells using microfluidic devices.


Mathew Goodwin (University of Auckland) for his evaluation of articular cartilage degeneration using polarisation-sensitive optical fourier domain imaging


Magdalena Urbanska (University of Auckland) for her project on an All-optical method to examine the vitreous humour as the key to stopping eye diseases.


Abi Thampi (University of Auckland) for his research developing classification models to measure the quality of meat non-invasively in real time and to detect different types of basal cell carcinoma cells in skin at its early stages


Ou Fang (University of Auckland) for her research developing a method for rapid monitoring of bacteria based on novel optical measurement and processing methods.


Lauren Vargo (Victoria University of Wellington). Quantifying glacier fluctuations is important for understanding how the cryosphere responds to climate variability and change. Photographs of past ice extents have become iconic images of climate change, but until now, incorporating these images into quantitative estimates of glacier fluctuations has been problematic. Lauren’s research includes the development of a new method to quantitatively measure past glacier fluctuations from historic images.  The method is being developed for application to 50 New Zealand glaciers that have been monitored by aerial photographs since 1977, but until now have only been qualitatively evaluated. Quantifying recent changes in New Zealand glaciers is of particular interest, as they provide one of the few Southern Hemisphere records of maritime glacier variability, and their high sensitivity to climate makes them excellent indicators of climate change.


Michelle Goodman's (University of Canterbury) PHD focused on understanding Alzhiemer's Disease, by using  simulated models of the calcium dynamics in the cerebral tissue. Vasomotion (irregular contraction and dilation of the cerebral arteries in the brain) has been identified as a possible bio-marker for Alzheimer’s disease. There is increasing evidence that a breakdown of blood brain interaction may accelerate and even initiate the disease process. Detailed numerical modelling of this interaction between the neurons and the blood vessel has led to further understanding of neuro-degenerative diseases. Michelle's research focused on the explanation of particular calcium concentrations and their wave formations seen in the grey matter of the brain. To do this research, large scale mathematical models of cell tissue were created. This process allowed the effects of the cell mechanics to be viewed at the tissue level. The tissue models are to be compared against various types of externally collected data such as refined BOLD (Blood-oxygen-level dependent) signals and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans.


Anton Gulley's PhD (University of Auckland) focused on imaging the Alpine fault. The Alpine Fault is a major tectonic boundary that runs up the west coast of the south island of NZ. It is capable of producing magnitude ~8 earthquakes that would have devastating consequences for the south island of New Zealand. In particular Anton is interested in a region called the fault zone. This is a narrow (~100m) region around the main slip plane of the alpine fault that has been dramatically weakened by repeated earthquakes and other geologic processes. To do this he is utilising a waveform known as a fault zone guided wave. This is an elastic wave that is trapped through total internal reflection by the low velocity fault zone. These waves can be produced by micro earthquakes and are recorded by a seismometer installed in the fault zone. Currently, imaging techniques are limited to 2-D forward modelling. Anton is developing a 2-D inversion methodology.


Kishore Rajendran Kishore’s (University of Otago) research involves the development of spectral image processing algorithms for preclinical orthopaedic applications. Spectral imaging using photon-counting detectors enables the capture of multiple x-ray energy ranges simultaneously. This facilitates the differentiation and quantification of biological tissue types and contrast pharmaceuticals for clinical diagnosis. Primary aims are directed towards the development of noise reduction algorithms for better data and dose utility, image analysis techniques for tissue type identification in osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and image classification for biomaterial research. The research contributes to the development of human scale spectral CT scanners in New Zealand expected within the next 6 years.


Joe Pin-Jen Chen Biological life forms as we know them are sustained by large molecules called proteins. The function of these molecules, ranging from photosynthesis to oxygen transport in the blood, are determined by their structure which details how they interact with their environment. Thus, in order to understand how these molecular machineries work, and in turn life itself, we must be able to specify the atomic structure of protein molecules. X-ray crystallography is a powerful technique for doing just that, it determines the structure of molecules arranged in an orderly fashion in the form of a crystal using x-rays. The recent advent of a new generation of x-ray source – the so-called x-ray free-electron laser, is able to provide x-rays with unprecedented intensities and ultra-short duration pulses. This type of source enables the technique of x-ray crystallography to be extended to small crystals and even single molecules. Joe’s research contributes to the development of algorithms for analysing and processing the data obtained from this type of x-ray source and for converting them into usable images of the molecule.


Jerry Gao His research focuses on specialised cells called interstitial cells of Cajal. The digestion process is facilitated by these cells which lie inside the muscular walls of the gut. Loss and injury of these cells has been associated with several diseases, but the mechanism in which gut function is affected is not well understood. Using image processing techniques and computer modelling, the relationship between structure and function of the interstitial networks can hopefully be deduced and then further applied to generate outcomes beneficial in the clinical setting.


Tim Angeli His research focuses on recording and imaging the bioelectrical activity of the small intestine.  The contractions of the small intestine are governed and coordinated by an underlying electrical activity.  Tim uses spatially dense arrays of hundreds of electrodes to simultaneously record this electrical activity from the small intestine in-vivo, in order to visualise and characterise the electrical activity in high spatiotemporal detail.  His research goal is to improve the knowledge and understanding of intestinal electrical activity in health and disease, with a future aim of providing therapeutic gain through improved diagnostic and treatment options for patients suffering from intestinal disorders.


Alexander Opie His research aims to enhance x-ray CT imaging by developing new methods of image generation, with hopes of creating colour CT images.  Secondary aims of the research are centred around CT imaging with limited data, which can be exploited to reduce harmful x-ray dose, amongst other uses.)


Samuel Lind For the theoretically driven, rational design of high-performance organic photovoltaics


Victor Lo For research involving biophysical imaging techniques for the reconstruction of molecules or molecular assemblies from measurements of x-ray or electron diffraction data


Callum Spence For his investigation into the effect of nasal interface flow rates on respiratory tract flow patterns and pressures using flow measurement technique particle image velocimetry and scaled in-vitro models with physiologically accurate flow


Nicolas Buchmann For research using in-vitro imaging of cerebral blood flow to help in understanding cardiovascular disease


Anthony Butler For research looking at improving the speed and accuracy of clinical radiology by applying eigen image processing to medical images


Matthew Brodie For research developing a “fusion motion capture” system that is able to collect human movement data in natural situations outside of a laboratory


Chi-Shang (Dean) Tai For research using modular fibre-optic transmural fluorescence imaging across the heart wall


Kristin Jane McLoughlin For research into breast cancer imaging. Her project focussed on developing a CAD system for the accurate detection of microcalcification clusters


Wun Ying Valerie Leung


Cressida Magdalen Harding For research using depth estimation for robot navigation using only an approximately calibrated translating camera


Rachel Johnston For research investigating inverse problems related to the improvement of astronomical images


Paul R. Davidson


Sven A. M. bstring


Michal Komlosh


Jovan Skuljan


David S. C. Biggs


David W. Hawkins


Timothy S. Banks