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Our people

CHaSP has 23 members, including 9 PhD students. Links will take you to individual research profiles.

Cluster leaders

Antonia Lyons

Antonia’s research explores the social, cultural and mediated contexts of behaviours related to health. It examines implications for subjectivities, gendered identities and embodied experiences. A key focus has been the role that social media play in drinking cultures, digital alcohol marketing, and the embodied and gendered nature of drinking and drunkenness.  Her research seeks to conceptualise how the material world (eg. physical bodies, physiology, technology) intersects with the discursive world (eg. the social realm, meaning-making, media representations).

Massey research expertise


Kerry Chamberlain

Kerry Chamberlain is Professor of Social and Health Psychology at Massey University in Auckland. He is a critical health psychologist who has published widely on health issues and qualitative research and methodologies. His research focuses on health and the everyday, with specific interests in medications, media, materiality, mundane ailments, food, and disadvantage, and in innovative qualitative research methodology.

Massey research expertise

Research engagement officer

headshot Emily

Emily Garden

Emily currently works as a Research Engagement Officer for the Critical Health and Social Psychology research cluster within the School of Psychology. She has a background in design and health, and has worked with Antonia Lyons and Kerry Chamberlain to explore the best ways to disseminate the findings from the Marsden drinking cultures project to ensure it has a wide impact across different sectors of the population. Emily’s research explores food security, resiliance and non-commercial food systems.

Massey research expertise

Cluster staff members


Denise Blake

Denise works as a lecturer for the Joint Centre for Disaster Research and the School of Psychology. She currently teaches health psychology and emergency management courses.

Her primary research interests concern issues of social justice, including identity, welfare, gender, health promotion and disaster response. Denise values using collaborative research approaches to complex social issues. She is currently researching experiences of Opioid Substitution Treatment in a disaster context within Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Massey research expertise


Ella Kahu

Ella Kahu is a lecturer in Psychology. Her research interests are in social psychology and education with a current focus on student engagement in higher education. Following on from a project exploring the engagement of first year mature-aged distance students, she is currently leading an Australian study following young school leavers through their first year at university.

Massey research expertise


Jocelyn Handy

Jocelyn Handy is an organisational psychologist. She is interested in the effects of work on health and in health organisations. She is currently researching ways in which independent optometrists in New Zealand are responding to the growth of large international optometry chains within New Zealand.

Massey research expertise


Darrin Hodgetts

Darrin Hodgetts is a professor of societal psychology at Massey University. His research and engagement activities are focused on developing humane responses to urban poverty, homelessness, income insecurity and health inequalities.

Massey research expertise

 Veronica Hopner

I am primarily interested in psychological vulnerability in the Defence, Security and Health arenas. This involves a focus on military psychology and examining individual and social vulnerabilities in the aftermath of war and conflict. Associated research interests lie in issues of contemporary security environments in terms of vulnerabilities associated with surveillance technologies, and the psychology of terrorism. Alongside this focus on Defence and Security, I also look at issues of health security in terms of sexuality, ethnicity, and gender.

Massey research expertise

Heather K

 Heather Kempton

Heather's research background is in cognitive psychology. However, her research interest in mindfulness research, which is an introspective activity, has led her to recognise the limitations of using empirical and de-individualised approaches to a process that consists of no observable action, just pure mental phenomenon, that can only be interpreted by the one experiencing the practice. Hence, Heather's research aims to bridge paradigms between cognitive and contemplative psychologies in order to develop an integrated science of mindfulness practice, with research cycling, linking, and feeding back between traditional cognitive science (3rd person approach) and neurophenomenology (1st person experience).

Massey research expertise


Tracy Morison

Tracy Morison is a Social and Health Psychology lecturer in the School of Psychology (Manawatu Campus). She is also an Honorary Research Associate in the Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction research programme (Rhodes University, South Africa).  Prior to joining Massey, Tracy worked as a senior researcher at the Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa) on a number of projects related to sexuality and gender issues (e.g. gender-based violence, gender policy in education, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and health systems).  Tracy’s main research interests fall broadly in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Her work in this area has included topics such as male involvement in decision-making and voluntary ‘childlessness’.  She is also interested in stigma and marginalized identities (e.g. sexual and gender minority groups and youth) in relation to SRHR.  She works with critical feminist theories, and has a particular interest in developing a sexual and reproductive justice framework. Her work draws on critical qualitative methodologies and has an interest on internet-based methods.

Massey research expertise

Rachael Pond

Rachael Pond

Rachael Pond is a lecturer in Psychology. Her research interests include health, ageing, and the experience and impact of discrimination. She also has an interest in gender issues, sexuality, and the social construction of parenting (including parenting and being parented after separation). Previous research was in the area of domestic violence.

Massey research expertise


Christine Stephens

Christine Stephens is a Professor of Social Science Research. Her current research focus is on health and ageing; specifically about the material and social conditions which support healthy social networks.  She co-leads the Health and Ageing Research Team (HART) which is a multi-disciplinary and cross-College group at Massey University with national and international collaborators. HART¹s core project is a longitudinal study of ageing and health which has been following over 3,000 older New Zealanders for 10 years.  The findings from this and other projects contribute to a critical perspective on social policy and the wellbeing of older people in Aotearoa.

Massey research expertise


Benita Stiles-Smith

Benita Stiles-Smith is a Senior Professional Clinician/Supervisor for Massey's PGDipPsychPrac programme. She is interested in effective multidisciplinary team work within organisations and community collaboration, with systems assessment and analysis underpinning successful advances. Her research interests are in areas of application analysis, and include systems assessment, effective care delivery, and positive social change. Her current funded research is project evaluation for low-intensity bibliotherapy with children, and the preparation and support that make such projects successful.

Massey research expertise


Keith Tuffin

Keith Tuffin is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology on the Wellington Campus of Massey University in New Zealand where he teaches critical social psychology and discursive psychology. His book Understanding Critical Social Psychology (2005) seeks to bridge the gap between mainstream and critical approaches to the study of human social life. His research interests include social constructionism, discursive psychology and critical psychology. He has published extensively in the areas of prejudice and discrimination and has a particular interest in the language of racism.

Massey research expertise


Clifford van Ommen

Clifford van Ommen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology. His general area of research interest is in critical neuroscience whilst his most recent research has focussed on the constructions of pain in video clip television shows. He supervises a number of postgraduate students whose research focuses on the sociocultural and political dimensions of mental and neurological health issues. 

Massey research expertise

Cluster doctoral students


David Antiss

David Anstiss is a researcher in critical health and social psychology. His research interests include heath, gender, novel methodologies, participatory approaches to research, and more recently, recovery from traumatic injury.



Vicky Clark

Vicky Clark is a social psychology doctoral candidate with Associate Professor Keith Tuffin her main supervisor. Employing discourse analysis, her research investigates shared household living among young adults in New Zealand.  Her previous post-graduate research examined the language of discrimination in choice of flatmates. Current research focuses on the social psychological dynamics of flatting, including the positive and negative psychological benefits, how desirable and less than ideal flatmates are constructed and dealing with interpersonal conflict.



Rebekah Graham

Rebekah Graham is a PhD student whose research considers the ways in which food-related traditions invoke identity and belonging, connecting people to each other and to wider cultural narratives. She is particularly interested in food insecurity, and how experiences of poverty affect ordinary, everyday food practice, and the ways in which people navigate such experiences in order to reaffirm familial bonds and connect with broader sociocultural networks.



Kathy Hastelow

Kathy Hastelow is interested in the ways self-harming behaviours are talked about, and the implications these have for social understanding and response. Her PhD focuses on nonsuicidal self-injury and the journey into and through recovery, looking at the understandings of the people who self-injure and those around them. She is particularly interested in finding ways to talk about self-harming behaviours that value the person and their experiences while not encouraging further self-harm.



Ross Hebden

Ross Hebden is a tutor and PhD student at Massey University, New Zealand. His interests and research areas cover young adult drinking cultures, alcohol marketing, social networking and mobile technologies.



Sarah Herbert

Sarah Herbert is a PhD student in the School of Psychology at Massey University. Her research interests lie in the general context of Māori health and development for example Māori identities, the social context of alcohol use, ageing and Māori, and Māori centred research. In particular, her doctoral research explores the social meanings, roles and cultures of drinking among Māori people in Aotearoa, from the perspective of older Māori people.



Kayla Marshall

Kayla Marshall is a PhD student who is interested in feminist issues related to cultural and gendered embodiment. She is currently researching gendered subcultures on Instagram in an effort to problematize dualistic cultural understandings of gender and the body. In particular, Kayla’s research addresses the various ways in which women and men (mis)represent (hetero)normative femininity and masculinity through their bodies and aims to bring light to the inevitable fluidity of people’s gendered realities.



Kathryn McGuigan

Kathryn McGuigan is a PhD student in Health Psychology. Her thesis explores community pharmacies and their role in health care delivery whilst being a commercial site. Her other areas of research interest are motherhood and feminism, medications, everyday life, dementia, media representations and health, and health and place.



Ria Pugmire

Ria Pugmire is a PhD student whose research explores the often contradictory messages children are receiving about health in relation to the body, as well as representations of bodies and health in children's picture books. She is particularly interested in the intersections between health education, promoting positive body image, and challenging body based stigmatisation.