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Dr Judy Nicholson

Senior Lecturer
School of Environmental and Animal Sciences


BSc(Hons)., PhD

Professional memberships

Present: Member UNITEC Research Ethics Committee
1990-1998 Member of the Auckland Regional Biology Education Committee
1985-1990 Member of Auckland Science Teachers Association
1970-1976 Member NZ Microbiological Society


Judy's fascination with living organisms and their environment was developed as she grew up on the West Coast with bush, birds and streams at her back door. At University she majored in zoology and botany, focussing on microbiology in her honours year.

After completing her PhD. Judy taught microbiology, molecular biology and genetics at Canterbury and Otago Universities before moving to Vanderbilt University in the US and teaching similar courses for five years. During that time her research ranged from mycotoxins in animal foods to bacterial assays for environmental carcinogens.

On returning to NZ she taught in a range of universities, technical institutes and secondary schools. During this time she recognised a passion for teaching along with a growing curiosity about interactions between health and disease in animals (including humans) and their environments.

She joined the Faculty of Health at Unitec in1992 and the last twenty years have proved even more varied and challenging than the previous twenty. After three years teaching anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology she was appointed Head of Department of Health Sciences. The next eight years saw this department foster the introduction of degrees in sport and osteopathy, development of Masters degrees in Health Science and Osteopathy as well as the diversification of vocational animal programmes and introduction of a degree. Research during those years was into the control of motor function in humans.

Her final management position was as head of the new department of Animal Health and Welfare, working with colleagues to grow and consolidate this department and its programmes until restructuring saw it merge into Natural Sciences.

She is now a Senior Lecturer and feels liberated to pursue her passions which are still teaching, particularly relating to animal health and working on strategies to embed literacy and numeracy skills into her teaching. She is also keenly pursuing her role as a supervisor of final year student research projects in a variety of health related topics


Baker, K., & Nicholson, J. (2020). Water Quality in the Waiatarua Reserve Wetland. Unitec Research Symposium 2020, Unitec institute of Technology.

Nicholson, J., & Doyle, E. (2020). A comparison of oral microbiomes of patients using Dr Hisham's dental care products and those using conventional products: preliminary results. Unitec Research Symposium 2020, Unitec institute of Technology.

Nicholson, J.H. (2017). From Genes to Gender. Communiity of St Luke. Seminar. Communiity of St Luke, Remuera Rd Auckland.

Nicholson, J.H. (2017). 'Journey through a Wetland to become a biological jack of all trades and Master of none'. Voices from the Inside, Community of St Luke. Remuera Rd.

Nicholson, J. H., Galbraith, M., & Adams, N. (2016). Water-bird biodiversity in a restored urban wetland: Is it providing a refuge for native wildlife. The Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) & The NZ Ecological Society, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Nicholson, J. (2015). Waiatarua Reserve It's History and its Birds. Auckland Heritage Week, Waiatarua Resrve.

Nicholson, J.H., Adams, N., & Galbraith, M. (2015). Water birds at Waiatarua reserve 2009-15. Birds New Zealand Scientific Conference, Blenheim.

Nicholson, J.H., Gallagher, K., Galbraith, M., Adams, N. J. (2014). Utilization of a restored urban wetland by waterbirds. NZ Ecological Society Conference, November 16th - 20th, 2014, Palmerston North.

Nicholson, J. H., Gallagher, K., Galbraith, M., and Adams, N. J. (2014). Wetland bird communities in the Waiatarua Reserve. Ornithological Society of NZ; New Zealand Bird Conference 2014, Palmerston North, 31st May - 2nd June, 2014.

Skurvidas, A., Cesnaitiene, V.J., Mickeviciene, D., Gutnik, B., Nicholson, J., and Hudson, G. (2012). Age-related changes in force and power associated with balance of women in quiet bilateral stance on a firm surface. Journal of Comparative Biology (Vol. 63).

Gutnik, B., Hudson, C., and Nicholson, J. (2009). Intermanual temporal differences in bimanual simple isometric coupling by instructions. Perceptual and Motor Skills (Vol. 108).

Wells, N., & Nicholson, J. (2004). Five plus three: Legislating for the five freedoms and the three Rs - Animal Welfare Act 1999 (New Zealand). Proceedings of the Fourth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, ATLA (Vol. 32, Suppl 1, pp. 417-421). New Orleans, USA, 11-15 August 2002.

Gutnick, B. J., Nicholson, J., Go, W., Gale, D., & Nash, D. (2003). Are temporal characteristics of fast repetitive oscillating movement invariant? Perceptual and Motor Skills, 98, 249-271.

McPartland, J. M., & Nicholson, J. (2003). Using parasite databases to identify potentional non-target hosts of biological control organisms. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 41 (4), 699-706.

Wells, N., & Nicholson, J. (2002). Five plus three: Legislating for the 5 freedoms and the 3Rs: Animal Welfare Act 1999 (New Zealand). Presented to the 4th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in Research, Testing and Education, 10-16 August, New Orleans.

Gutnik, B. J., Nicholson, J., Hudson, G., Go, W., Standen, C., Gale, D., & Miller, J. (2002). Osteopathic treatment changes the behaviour of upper extremity in co-ordinative task. Presented to the Annual Australian Osteopathic Conference, 15 February, Melbourne.