We are pleased to announce the following speakers at this years Optometry Conference:

Please click on this link below to access the speakers abstracts:

Conference Abstracts

Phil Turnbull

Phil has roles as both a lecturer and postdoctoral research fellow, where he focuses on how emerging technologies can improve optometric practice, and enhance our understanding of vision. This includes developing more objective measures of vision, utilising techniques such as infrared eyetracking, virtual reality, electrophysiology, and MRI. Prior to this, he completed a PhD which demonstrated emmetropisation in cephalopods, and served as director of the Myopia Control Clinic.

Nicola Anstice

Nicola obtained her B.Optom (Hons) degree from The University of Auckland in 1998 and then worked in private optometry practice for six years.  She returned to the department in 2005 to undertake her PhD looking at a new contact lens to slow myopia progression in children.
She submitted her PhD in 2009 and spent a year working as a paediatric optometrist in the Department of Ophthalmology, Manukau Super Clinic before returning to take up a lecturer’s position in the Department of Optometry & Vision Science.  Her current research interests include children’s vision screening, vision and visual development and binocular vision.

Ehsan Vaghefi

Dr Vaghefi completed his PhD at Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI), and in close collaboration with the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences (SOVS). Through this research he has become an expert in non-invasive dynamic imaging and imaging-guided computational modelling of ocular tissues. His PhD work led to a number of publications in high ranked peer reviewed international journals, through which a sophisticated model for the fluid dynamics of the ocular lens is presented. He currently holds a lecturer position in the SOVS and also as part of his research activities, he is further enhancing our knowledge of physiological and optical interconnections in the ocular lens. To be able to do this, Ehsan has strong links to the ABI as well as the Department of Physiology. He is also an active member of New Zealand National Eye Centre (NZ-NEC) which is a collaboration of Optometry, Ophthalmology and Bioengineering departments to boost the vision related research in New Zealand.

Hannah Kersten

Hannah completed her Bachelor of Optometry degree with first class honours in 2008 and went on to work in a large community optometry practice. In 2016, Hannah completed her doctoral studies in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Auckland. The topic of her thesis was the potential role of optic nerve and retinal measures as biomarkers of disease progression in neurodegenerative disorders. Since 2016, Hannah has held a joint appointment as a lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and as a Research Fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology. In addition, Hannah continues to work in glaucoma and neuro-ophthalmology co-management with Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer at Eye Institute, Auckland

Safal Khanal

Safal obtained his B.Optom (Hons) degree from Tribhuvan University in 2012 and Doctor of Optometry degree from Southwestern University in 2014. He then worked as a consultant optometrist in Nepal and also volunteered for several eye care missions before joining the Myopia Laboratory for his PhD study under the supervision of Dr John Phillips. His doctoral research focusses on MRI of the human choroid with the aim to inform methods of increasing blood perfusion in ischemic retinal diseases. His research further utilizes advanced electrophysiological techniques to understand atropine’s actions to control myopia. Safal is also a regular member of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision since 2014 and a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry since 2016.

Tina Gao

Tina obtained her B.Optom (Hons) degree from the University of Auckland in 2012 and worked in private practice for two years before returning in 2014 to start a PhD at the School of Optometry and Vision Science. Her PhD research centres around amblyopia, binocular vision, and the role of interocular suppression. Her main PhD project is the Binocular treatment for amblyopia using videogames (BRAVO) randomized clinical trial, which has recently concluded.

Adele Jefferies

BOptom(Hons) CertOcPharm(Therapeutics)
Optometrist, Professional Teaching Fellow & Clinical Masters Student
Adele is an optometrist working in independent practice in Auckland with special interests in contact lenses & ocular surface disease. She is also a Professional Teaching Fellow at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, a current Councillor on the Cornea and Contact Lens Society (CCLSNZ), a CPD Accreditation Committee Member for New Zealand Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board, and a Clinical Masters Student. She has been a conference speaker for optometrists & dispensing opticians in Australia and New Zealand; has written for MiVision, Optometry Australia and NZ Optics; and been a pre-market evaluator of contact lens, contact lens care solutions and dry eye care products for various companies.

Lily Chang

Lily completed her B.Optom (Hons) degree from The University of Auckland in 2009, and worked in private practice where she developed an interest for geriatric eye care. She later returned to complete her PhD research, which investigated ocular characteristics in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, with the goal of early detection through the eyes. She now holds a joint appointment as Lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and Research Fellow in the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. Currently, her research uses involuntary eye movements and electrophysiology to objectively measure visual function in cognitively impaired patients and preverbal children.

Keith Pine

Dr Keith Pine holds advanced qualifications in maxillofacial technology, a BSc. in Psychology, a MBA and a PhD in Optometry. His career has been a blend of dental and ocular prosthetics, and business management having built Australasia’s largest private dental practice in the 1990’s and selling it on to Lumino the Dentists in 2003. He now specialises in ocular prosthetics through the NZ Prosthetic Eye Service and is an Honorary Research Fellow with SOVS. He is the lead author of a peer reviewed book entitled “Clinical Ocular Prosthetics.”
Dr Pine will demonstrate the manufacture of prosthetic eyes, and show how optometrists should examine anophthalmic sockets and advise patients about the ongoing care of prosthetic eyes.

Jason Dhana

Jason completed his BOptom (Hons) in 2007 and his MSc (Optom) (Hons) in 2016 with a clinical specialization in glaucoma. His thesis was centred around the variable presentations of glaucoma, the role of ocular perfusion in glaucoma, as well as reviewing the latest Minimally-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) devices. He spent his first five years in community optometry, and has spent the past five years split between Greenlane Clinical Centre’s ophthalmology department working in emergency and glaucoma clinics, as well as a clinical supervisor within SOVS.

Robert Ng

Robert is a therapeutically qualified optometrist who completed his Bachelor of Optometry with Honours from The University of Auckland in 2011. Robert works in private practice at Visique Frith and Laird Optometrists and is also a part-time Teaching Fellow/ Clinic Supervisor at the University of Auckland where he teaches contact lenses including orthokeratology, the dark arts of keratoconic fittings and myopia control with the incorporation of the Myopia Control Clinic (MCC).
In 2014, Robert also completed the additional training to be one of the first optometrists in New Zealand to be approved to independently treat and manage glaucoma.

Lisa Hamm

Lisa completed her BSc in Community Health Sciences, then did an MSc in Neuroscience, studying Retinitis Pigmentosa. She then worked at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) as a low vision specialist before starting her PhD in Auckland. Her doctoral work was an inter-disciplinary project investigating deprivation amblyopia due to childhood cataract. In her current role as a research fellow Lisa is involved in a variety of projects pertaining to visual development in clinical and non-clinical populations.

Joanna Black

Dr Joanna Black is an optometrist and clinical vision scientist with expertise in conditions of binocular vision and paediatric optometry. Joanna is currently a lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science. Her PhD research established the first animal model of naturally occurring heritable myopia. Currently her research projects include studies investigating the visual effects of pre-term birth in collaboration with the Liggins Institute and investigating the effects of stroke and dementia on vision in collaboration with the Centre for Brain Research. She is also a named investigator in the recently completed BRAVO trial which tested a novel video-game based treatment for amblyopia.

Steven Dakin

Steven took up post as Head of School and Professor of Visual Psychophysics in 2014. Previously he was an investigator at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and Professor at the Institute of Ophthalmology, part of University College London (UCL). Steven studies human vision using psychophysics (the measurement of the limits of performance), computational modelling and brain imaging. His basic research examines how central and peripheral vision works. His applied research is concerned with vision in neurodevelopmental disorders (such as autism) and psychiatric illness (such as schizophrenia). In Auckland, Steven’s work has focused on measuring vision in children – using technologies like eye-tracking, virtual reality and tablet computers – and developing treatments for developmental disorders such as amblyopia (“lazy eye”).

Alex Petty

Alex is a therapeutic optometrist, contact lens specialist and orthokeratologist. He also has interests in myopia control and ocular disease management, including dry eye and glaucoma.
Alex has lectured locally and internationally on contact lenses and ocular disease. He also writes a regular column on specialty contact lenses in NZ Optics and has published a number of articles and case reports in clinical optometry journals and education forums. In 2016 Alex was one of the first New Zealanders to become a fellow of the International Academy of Orthokeratology,
Alex has worked in New Zealand and Australia for several independent optometry practices with a strong focus on contact lenses. In January of this year Alex started his own medically-focused specialty optometry clinic, Bay Eye Care, in Tauranga.

Andrew Collins

Andrew obtained his BOptom degree from The University of Auckland in 1994, and was first introduced to myopia research soon after while working as a Senior Tutor in the School of Optometry and Vision Science. This interest ultimately developed into a PhD research project investigating the effects of light on myopia development. Andrew is now the Academic Director of the school, and teaches in the areas of clinical optometry and ocular disease. He is continuing his research into the role of light and myopia.

Jason Turuwhenua

Jason is a Senior Research Fellow who works between the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and the School of Optometry and Vision Science. Jason is interested in how engineering methods might be applied to problems of interest in vision. To date this has involved work on corneal topography (videokeratography), simulating retinal images, as well as diagnostic image processing. At present Jason is working on computer vision based approaches for the measurement of visual function in children using the optokinetic reflex

Geraint Phillips

Geraint holds the degrees of Optometry from The City University, London and Doctor of Optometry from the University of Waterloo, Canada, a Diploma in Contact Lens Practice from the College of Optometrists and has completed the Programme in Ocular Therapeutics (TAPIOT) from The University of Auckland, where he is the Clinic Director. Geraint’s main teaching interests are in ocular diseases and therapeutics, particularly glaucoma and he is a Board-Approved Glaucoma Prescriber

Hussain Patel

Dr. Hussain Patel is an Ophthalmologist with expertise in the field of glaucoma and cataract surgery. He is adept with the latest technology used in the diagnosis and monitoring of glaucoma. In addition to private practice, Hussain is a Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmology with the New Zealand National Eye Centre and University of Auckland. He is actively involved in glaucoma research, supervision of research fellows as well as the teaching of medical and optometry students. Hussain has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and often presents at international ophthalmology meetings. Dr Patel is also a Consultant at Greenlane Clinical Centre where he teaches budding ophthalmologists in glaucoma and cataract surgery.

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