University of Otago

Professor Sally Brooker

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Brooker's Bunch

Recent PhD graduates

Paul Croucher
Robert Kelly

Geoffrey Dunbar
Paul Plieger
Tony Davidson
Ian Hewitt
Yanhua Lan
Rongqing Li

Recent postdocs

Paul Smith
Duncan de Geest
Craig Depree
Udo Beckmann
Graham Motson
Wolfgang Mohr
Carsten Brandt
Markus Weitzer


Vikas Aggarwal
Janna Ewing
Shaun Presow

Dr. Udo Beckmann

Current Job Title: Habilitant with Professor Wolfgang Kläui
Employer: University of Düsseldorf, Germany
Previous Job Titles: Postdoctoral Fellow (Marsden Fund), University of Otago (2002-3); Patent Attorney trainee with Kutzenberger & Wolff, Cologne, Germany (2003)
PhD: With Professor Karl Wieghardt at the Max Planck Institut für Strahlenchemie (now: Bioanorganische Chemie), Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany

Dr Craig V. DepreeThe decision to go to what is considered to be one of the most beautiful places on earth was not at all a hard one, although, viewed from Germany, it’s right on the other side of the world, "very down under indeed". In German TV news New Zealand appears about twice a year and the other time one can get in touch is when buying some Zespri kiwi fruits in the supermarket at the right time of the year. I arrived in late autumn/beginning of winter, and everything was very well organised (Sally - thanks again for that!). During my year in Sally’s group I did some interesting and challenging chemistry, which was great fun, thanks not least to the great colleagues. I was working on a Marsden funded project called “Transition metal complexes as potential nano switches and memory devices“ and it was really successful, with several papers being published in strong journals.

Besides working, NZ offers such great possibilities to enjoy life like in hardly any other country. The scenery is simply unique and unbelievably beautiful. And NZ wines are gorgeous! Countless wine tastings and the Central Otago wine tour are the things which I enjoyed the most. And NZ has so many great golf courses. For example, hole 9 at Chisholm Links in South Dunedin which is on top of the cliff of Lawyers Head. Or experiencing a sunset at Lake View golf course on a full moon evening in Rotorua. Or in Raglan, where countless sheep on the fairways are the greenkeepers - truly a unique kiwi experience!

Yes, I really miss NZ a lot, starting from having Heather’s fantastic date scones in the mornings, having a “6” at the Cambodian downtown, having the simply gorgeous sushi and sashimi moriawase, or just having a cup of tea at the link or the museum watching the people walking by - barefoot in their anoraks and gloves at 5 °C. Such people need no central heating or insulation in their homes! Unfortunately I do and it took me a while to get used to its absence. But somehow I did and all the other things rewarded me in multiple ways. Going to New Zealand is a unique experience that I can very strongly recommend. I’ll definitely go back for a holiday sometime!


Photo Montage

Professor Sally Brooker
Department of Chemistry, University of Otago, New Zealand
Last modified February 2006 by Stephen Read