Professor Philippa Gander (project leader)

Professor Philippa Gander completed her doctorate in chronobiology (the study of biological clocks) at Auckland University in 1980, then moved to Harvard Medical School in Boston as a Senior Fulbright Fellow. In 1983 she was recruited to NASA Ames Research Centre in Mountain View, California, where she worked on circadian physiology, sleep, and fatigue and their consequences for aviation safety, and for manned exploration of the solar system. In 1996, a Repatriation Fellowship from the Health Research Council of NZ enabled her to return to establish the Sleep/Wake Research Centre, now at Massey University. Central to Philippa’s research is how the circadian biological clock drives body and brain function through daily cycles, and the consequences of working against these rhythms,  for example in shift work and jet lag. Much of her work has an applied focus, developing scientifically-based strategies to minimize the health and safety risks associated with shift work and transmeridian flight. In November 2009, Philippa was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand for her innovative research on the science of sleep and fatigue risk management.

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