Keep Track of Past Group Members Here…..:-)
Mariela came to us from Cuba where she undertook her undergraduate studies and a Masters in the Physics Department, at the University of Havana.
After moving to the Aimé Cotton Laboratory, Paris-Sud 11 University, Orsay, France to obtain her PhD in “Optical tweezers to manipulate nano and micro objects interesting for chemical or biological applications” she then undertook postdoctoral work in Italy at the NanoScience Institute S3 – National Research Council (CNR-Nano) and University of Modena e Reggio Emilia studying protein denaturation.
She worked with us on improving our Optical Tweezers set-up, in particular working on particle position detection with a probe laser and a QPD, temperature controlled sample cells, and the trapping of emulsion drops. She has recently (2019) returned to Europe with her partner Max and kiwi-born daughter Isabella. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Val came to us from Paul Knox’s group in Leeds where she had been working on, among other things, developing antibodies to help in the characterisation of the fine structure of plant polysaccharides. She spend 18 months in the group as a postdoctoral fellow, learning about microrheology and teaching us about ELISA and antibodies, and undertook some fascinating AFM studies of mucilage polysaccharides with Bill and Jenny Malmstrom from Auckland University. She has now moved back to England with her partner Andy and daughter Clem and has taken up a position as a science teacher – enthusing the next generation of scientists. She can be contacted at email@example.com
Steve joined us on a two year postdoctoral fellowship funded by the MacDiarmid Institute (2009). Steve carried out his PhD studies in the Optical Tweezers group in Glasgow, where he worked on a variety of problems involving hydrodynamic interactions, high speed cameras and microrheology. He did much of the hard work calibrating our Optical Tweezers set-up and worked on developing several super-cool applications including single molecule stretching and microrheological measurements. His other interests include tramping, skiing, playing the woodblocks & guitar for an Abba tribute band, juggling, beer brewing, unicycle, and doing what Jess, Sylvie and Rosie tell him to. In March 2011 he took up a place on a Teachers training course, and accepted a position as a physics teacher in a college in Auckland. In January 2013, Steve has returned to Massey University as physics tutor where he played a large role in starting a Massey Physoc group. He is currently focussing on educational development, but is keen to get into Medical Physics. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sapna completed a Masters in Physics from university of Hyderabad with Solid State Physics as specialization after doing bachelors in Physics from St. Josephs college, Devagiri, Calicut, India.
She has also worked on avalanche behavior of Laponite, a synthetic clay, on an inclined plane, studying its ageing and rejuvenation in the Soft Condensed Matter Group at Raman Research Institute, India before joining our group to take up a PGP-sponsored PhD scholarship in 2015.
She completed her PhD in 2019, measurement and modeling of colloidal aggregation process, and in particular linking ensemble behaviour to that of particle pairs investigated by using optical tweezers. Currently she is back in India, taking on the bigger challenge of motherhood, and can be contacted on email@example.com.
Pablo obtained a degree in Physics from the Universidad de Murcia in Spain, before carrying out a one year Masters Degree in Biophysics at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. Supervised through the Centro de Astrobiologia and the Interdisciplinar group of Complex Systems, Pablo worked on computational simulations of the dynamics of expansion of viral populations on two dimensional surfaces. Pablo completed a PhD in our group looking at the mathematical modelling and computer simulation of the properties of biopolymer networks; incorporating experimental data at a number of length and timescales obtained by the other members of the “Investigating the Mesocule” project. He is now back in Spain, after a spell in software development in the US, and is currently working on extending his computational tools to incorporate dynamics – he is still addicted to juggling, coding…. and definitely did not sleep on campus in his van. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brad studied physics at Massey and after carrying out a research project in our group looking at Brownian motion in polyelectrolyte solutions decided to continue for a further year, taking a Masters with us which he successfully gained with his thesis “SetUp and Calibration of a Suite of State-of-the-Art Microrheology Techniques”. This work was written up as a book chapter entitled “A Practical Guide to Microrheology” which has been downloaded over 2000 times;-) He then took up a PhD studentship sponsored by The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and as well as developing microrheological technqiues for the slow dynamics in biopolymer matrices he worked hard to become a Matlab guru and make Bill’s old-skool Delphi code obsolete! He has recently completed his PhD and is undertaking postdoctoral studies in Taiwan. He is still collaborating with out group, particularly on interesting studies in the SAXS of polysaccharides and is helping guide the next generation of studies. He is a native Kiwi and learnt to surf before he could walk. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Lily came to us from China, via Waikato, where she did her Undergraduate degree in Chemistry. She is undertaking a Masters Degree, sponsored by LASRA, examining the cross-linking of collagen.
She used rheological, optical techniques, SAXS and Confocal microscopy to examine novel gelation methods with fascinating results.
Lily made the best dumplings (sorry Susav) and when not in the lab she loved playing “Cards Against Humanity”..Lilly has gone on to undertake a PhD in Australia, and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
After a number of holiday positions in the group Jessie clearly had the perservance required for scientific research (!) and undeterred studied pectin and contributed to a number of key papers.
She was awarded the IFS John Ayres summer scholarship in 2012 and obtained her Honours degree in 2013. She’s also known as the Queen of the banana cake and she just loves pectin (and NMR)!
However, she was tempted away by the bright lights of a Masters in atmospheric physics and a job with NZ MetService, where she is loving applying physics to keep our planes and boats safe. She can be contacted on email@example.com.
Amir undertook Bachelors and Masters degrees in physics in Iran, before moving to The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste in Italy to undertake a Postgraduate Diploma. His research projects formed part of published works in both Metallic Phases of Disordered Graphene Superlattices, and in The Ab Initio Parameterization of All Atom Force Fields for Water. He worked with us as a Graduate Assistant in IFS, and is undertook a PhD focusing on the use of computational studies in Biophysics, in particular examining theories of counter-ion condensation in polyelectrolytes and using molecular dynamics to calculate electrophoretic mobility. After his PhD Amir took up a position with a software company and moved to Hamilton with his wife. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katharina “Hurricane” Meyer has joined us for an Internship from the University of Applied Science Bremen, where she is studying for a degree program in biomimetics. She used light scattering, rheological and analytical chemistry techniques in studies investigating the use of pectin as a biomaterial.
When she was not in the lab she enjoyed travelling in NZ, and bubbles;-) She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Ben studied chemistry and computing at Massey and is then undertook a Masters project, in collaboration with Dr Pat Edwards working on NMR: looking at using fancy rheo-NMR techniques to orientate mysterious macro-molecules. When he wasn’t thinking about how best to record residual-dipolar-couplings, he was making the BEST looking & tasty muffins!
Ben completed his masters in 2014 and then took up a PhD position in IFS with Dr Catherine Whitby and Prof Simon Hall looking at the rheology of Pickering Emulsions. Ben has recently completed his PhD studies and has taken a position in an NZ resins company in Tauranga, where he is returning with his partner Becca and two daughters Scarlett and Delilah. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
After several years of summer projects and a successful Honours project focussing on the development of a rheo-NMR cell, Chris has accepted a PhD position in IFS – again using NMR, this time taking with the challenge of carrying out measurements under high pressures. Chris is a home-grown Massey graduate and worked on this Marsden funded project with Prof Geoff Jameson and Dr Pat Edwards: Optimal chemical and physical conditions for the origin of RNA life forms, which he successfully defended this year (2014). He then moved to Victoria University of Wellington where he works in Physics Education and Outreach. He also has a heathly interest in tea-drinking and an (un)healthy interest in lego, poker and card games of the magical kind…
Ian is a Massey engineering graduate who undertook a PhD position working with Prof Roger Lentle and Dr Patrick Janssen in IFNHH on a project that threw new light on transport processes occuring in the intenstine. Ian measured the viscoelastic properties of the inter-villi spaces of live intestine samples using a specially constructed cell and our microrheology set-up. He now has an engineering job in a milk-processing plant, In his spare time Ian still cheers on Utd, and perfects his Wii tennis skills.
Sandy obtained a biochemistry degree and gained her PhD from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch working on the role of actin in hyphal-tip growth in the Transmembrane protein lab.
After a three year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biophysics at the Structural Nanomechanics Lab at the Dalhousie University in Canada, she has returned to NZ to take up a postdoc position at Massey University working on a MacDiarmid and Riddet Institute Funded project: Investigating the Mesocule; working alongside Luigi, Christina, and Pablo.
In her previous work she has collaborated with both the Curie Institue in France and the FOM Institute AMOLF in the Netherlands, studying Actin Comets and developing AFM techniques for measuring their viscoelasticity.
Despite now having moved on to a job at Statistics New Zealand in the capital she is still a big fan of Manchester Utd and will always be an admirer of Bill’s most-excellent laboratory skills.
Luigi obtained an Honours degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, before undertaking a Masters and PhD projects at the Danish technical University (DTU) in the area of Lab-on-a-Chip and Protein Nanosensors. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow based in Prof Juliet Gerrard’s Group down in Christchurch working on a MacDiarmid and Riddet Institute Funded project: Investigating the Mesocule; alongside Sandy, Christina and Pablo. Luigi also enjoys real music and likes to drink on buses. He has now obtained an academic position in Denmark;-
Marjorie undertook a PhD with Professor Kate McGrath based at Victoria University down in Wellington, and spent many a happy hour in Palmy with the Biophysics Group, using the optical tweezers to probe the interactions between emulsion drops. She graduated from North Carolina State University and has spent time both at Unilever and at Kraft. She is enjoying the NZ outdoors, carries her bike everywhere she goes, and also has a shared passion with several other members of the group for extreme-microfluidic-chip-testing.
Davide was based up at Auckland in the group of Prof Laurie Melton, and was jointly supervised in IFS with Prof Geoff Jameson. He came to us from Naples, Italy where he worked on molecular interactions of prion protein with small molecules using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and carried out a Masters degree examining protein conformational changes in the presence of TFE. He obtained his PhD in November 2012, sponsored by The Riddet Institute, entitled “Macromolecular Interactions – Beta Lactoglobulin, Pectin and Pectin Methylesterase”. While with us he won a prestigous EMBO fellowship to spend some time in Cambridge where he applied state-of-the art protein modelling tools to the pectin – PME system. He also has a keen interest in football, pasta, and visiting cold countries.
After leaving NZ he worked as a postdoc in the Molecular Biomechanics group in Heidelberg, and (of course!!) continued to have an interest in PMEs. At the end of 2019 Davide moved back to NZ with a position at the University of Auckland, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration around Molecular Dynamics as he sets up his own group.
Philip Patty worked in the group as a part-time research assistant. He has a PhD from Simon Frazer Univeristy in Canada where he worked on liposomes, including their characterization with DLS. He did a sterling job helping to set-up and maintain our light-scattering facilities, from hardware through to coding analysis routines. After 3 years in NZ he has now returned with his family to their home , the island of Ambon in Indonesia – where he will be teaching in the local University.
Abdenor obtained a Master of Physical Chemistry qualification from Marne La Vallée University in France before graduating with a Masters Degree with honours in the Chemistry and Physicochemistry of Polymers from Jussieu University (Paris VI – France). There he studied, among other things, techniques of polymers synthesis, mechanical properties of polymers and viscoelasticity. He then turned his hand to biopolymer systems, in particular working on a PhD project involving devloping methodologies for attaching polysaccharides to beads and surfaces. He held a TIF fellowship funded by FRST in collaboration with Fonterra and sacrificed watching his beloved Olympique de Marseille for some quality New Zealand soocer courtesy of the mighty Manawatu Younghearts. In late 2011 he successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Physical and Chemical Attachment of Pectins to Substrates:Methods, Characterization and Application” and is currently planning a move back to France with his wife and three sons.
Erich has a Masters in Computational Physics form the University of Vienna, where he worked on efficient computational stategies in order to calculate the Lennard-Jones between extended objects, with a view to modeling liquid-crystal systems. He joined us to take up a PhD Studentship supported by CSIRO, working on approaches to calculate the properties of biopolymer networks. With a keen interest in tramping and climbing he took over the “most likley to die in the mountains” title from Romaric (as well as his car!). Erich successfully defended his thesis entitled “Hierarchical Structure Function Models of Biopolymer Networks” and then took up a postdctoral position at SIK in Sweden where he worked on modelling diffusion in networks and FRAP measurements. After that Erich moved to a job in a semi-conductor company back in his homeland where he is enjoying life and bringing up his new daughter.
Aurélie graduated in engineering studies from ENSBANA, a top French food engineering school belonging to the chapter of french Grandes Ecoles in Dijon. She has extensive practical experience working with biopolymers, in particular producing gel beads via an emulsion route for use in encapsulation. She obtained her PhD focussing on structure-function understanding in pectin-milk systems, funded by a FRST TIF fellowship in collaboration with Fonterra, entitled “Investigation of the behaviour of pectin in casein micelle systems and their analogues“. She now has a full-time research position in Fonterra and is also continuing to research tramping, night-time bush navigation, beachcombing, goldfish management, factor 100 suncreens…oh and milk. Email: Aurelie.Cucheval@fontera.com
Van Cam Hoang
Van came to NZ from Vietnam where she received a Bachelors Degree in Biology from Hanoi University of Science. She obtained her PhD entitled “Effect of Parasitism on Gastric Mucins in Sheep ” with Professor Heather Simpson in IVABS. She utilisised and further developed the range of analytical mono, oligo and poly-saccharide analysis available in the Biomaterials group, in particular to target a better understanding of mucin structure and biological function. She has now moved to Canada with her husband and after having a child, Andy, has now taken up a position with Dr. Urban Emmenegger at Sunnybrook Research Institute “Studying autophagy as a complimentary therapeutic target in antivascular tumour therapy”. Email: email@example.com
Naser undertook his PhD working on the use of actuated microcantilevers for the measurement of fluid properties at the IMS Laboratory, at the University of Bordeaux, France, where his research interests were in microrheology and MEMS technology. He also has a Masters degree in laser, materials and nanoscience engineering and moved to NZ for a one year postdoctoral fellowship, supported by the Marsden fund, working on extending our polymer stretching work, by developing an improved automated methodology with the AFM. He made great strides in a limited time leaving the group with a laptop based AFM control system and analysis software. He has now moved back to Europe and has a position at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium where he is working on understanding drying at wetting at the nanoscale. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Padmesh has a chemistry degree from Kannur University in India and an MSc in Physical Chemistry. He successfully carried out a six-month project working in the area of Statistical Mechanics of Polymers, in the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and moved to New Zealand to take up a PhD Studentship in our group, supported by the Marsden Fund. Padmesh worked on calculating and simulating the mechanical behaviour of single biopolymer chains, using a variety of tools from DFT calculations on oligomers to Brownian Dynamics Simulations on larger chains. He submitted his thesis entitled “Computational Approaches to the Calculation of Spectroscopic, Structural and Mechanical Properties of Polysaccharide Chains” and has now moved to Germany to take up a postdoctoral position in the Theretical Chemistry Group at Bochum in Gemany. Email: email@example.com
Medhat originates from Eygpt and came to NZ to study for his PhD with Associate Professor Dave Harding. He worked with the biophysics group developing Capillary Electrophoresis methodologies for the study of biopolymers, in particular proteins; and was the group expert in separation techniques. He completed his PhD, entitled “Downstream Purification and Analysis of the Recombinant Human Myelin Basic Protein Produced in the Milk of Transgenic Cows” and has now returned to Cairo to a position in the Analytical Chemistry, where he is, among other things continuing to pursue his interest in CE. Email: Medhat.firstname.lastname@example.org
Romaric is a materials scientist by training, hailing from St-Etienne in France. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a Masters of Mechanics from ENSMA Poitiers (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d’Aérotechnique). He carried out his PhD work in the group on a project focussed on developing microrheological methodologies for studying the soft materials, writing a thesis entitled “Microrheological Investigations of Biopolymer Networks“. He was funded by The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and also found time, in between becoming obsessed with pectin and the pollen tube (!), to enjoy soft materials of the snowy kind. Romaric then undertook a postdoc in the Soft Condensed Matter Physics Group in Fribourg, where he published his Hot Article on Peanut Butter Metallurgy. He has now taken up a second postdoc position in Barcelona where he is looking at cells as colloidal glasses Email: email@example.com and check him out on his dodgy blog http://frenchiiiiie.blogspot.com/
Motoko Kakubayashi studied physics at Massey for three years before embarking on a Masters programme in our group. She worked on rheo-NMR with Dr Pat Edwards, Robin Dykstra and Magritek. We were interested in using NMR as a probe of molecular behaviour in soft-matter systems while they were exposed to controlled shear conditions. Motoko obtained some interesting results that we published in Biophysical Journal, developing a cool method for following the enzymatic processing of pectin by NMR. Her Masters Thesis was entitled “Rheo-NMR Studies of Macromolecules“. She then moved down to Wellington to purse a career in science journalism, and now has a position at the Science Media Centre in Tokoyo. Check out some of her stories!! http://sciblogs.co.nz/kagaku/tag/technology/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron is a native Kiwi and took his first degree and masters in Engineering at Massey, specialising in electrochemistry. Subsequently he graduated with a PhD from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. He has wide interests in materials technology, particularly understanding surface reactions and processes at the atomic level and has a wide range of skills in materials characterisation methods. He has previously developed novel AFM based techniques and spent a successful year working with us on single polysaccharide molecule stretching. Aaron subsequently won a prestigous New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowship and, failing a successful audition with Audioslave, worked on catalysts for hydrogen production from water. He has now taken up a position down at the University of Canturbury. Email: email@example.com
Jonathan Hunt studied physics at Massey and after three years extended his stay in our group in order to continue working on the computer simulations of polysaccharide fine structure, that he began over the summer, for his Honours project. His Honours report was entitled “Polysaccharide sequence reconstruction from digest patterns” Extensively fuelled by peanut butter Jonny obtained a first class honours in Physics, and his Honours project work on simulating the action of polysaccharide degrading enzymes was published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. Jonny was lured away to the bright lights of Queensland to undertake a PhD in modelling studies of the visual cortex, but occasionally comes back to sit in a hammock, survey the NZ sky and try to disprove Bill’s latest idea! Jonnys PageEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Having successfully defended his PhD he took up a position in San Diego with The Brain Corporation working on “making computers more like brains”…..like his presumably, not mine….and now works for Google in London.