On the 30th September 2019, the University of Otago decided to mark its 150th anniversary with the creation of a new prestigious role - the Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chair (Poutoko Taiea). The purpose of the new chairs is to highlight the work of the University's highest-achieving Professors, individuals who are not just outstanding researchers and teachers, but who also have a well-established track record of sharing their work with communities outside the University.

SesquicentennialSeven leading Otago academics were appointed as inaugural Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chairs, and among them was Neil!

The role is limited to a four-year period with a maximum of 10 appointments to be held at any one time. During their appointment, the distinguished Professors will be given the opportunity to showcase their work and engage and inspire others.

Another recognition of Neil's academic achievements, and a great motivation for our lab to further develop our outreaching skills in the greater community!



The seven leading Otago academics appointed to the inaugural Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chairs.

(From left): Professors Greg Cook, Sally Brooker, Robert Patman, Philippa Howden-Chapman,

Hamish Spencer, Neil Gemmell and Jacinta Ruru. Photo: Sharron Bennett.