Philippa Gander

Professor Emeritus

Professor Emeritus Philippa Gander completed her PhD in chronobiology at the University of Auckland in 1980, followed by a Senior Fulbright Fellowship at Harvard Medical School. In 2003, she joined the Fatigue Countermeasures Program at NASA, working on field studies of pilot fatigue in different aviation operations and on mathematical modelling of the human sleep/wake cycle. In 1996, she was awarded a Repatriation Fellowship by the Health Research Council and returned to New Zealand, establishing the Sleep/Wake Research Centre in 1998 at the University of Otago Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where she was awarded a Personal Chair in Sleep and Circadian Physiology in 2002. The Sleep/Wake Research Centre moved in 2003 to join three other self-funding research centres in the (then) Massey Research School of Public Health in Wellington.

Philippa’s abiding research passion is to advance and apply scientific knowledge to develop new solutions to the health, safety, and broader societal challenges generated by 24/7 living and the mistaken belief that sleep can be traded to get more out of a busy waking life She has a strong interest in different knowledge systems including Mātauranga Māori, and in working together with all stakeholders to develop sustainable and equitable solutions.

Philippa retired at the end of 2020 and now enjoys having more time for family, friends, and various artistic/creative pursuits, as well as working when needed in an advisory role with staff and students at the Sleep/Wake Research Centre.

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