Professor Richie Poulton


MSc PGDipClPs (Otago) PhD (NSW), FRSNZ

Co-Director, National Centre for Lifecourse Research, University of Otago
Phone: +64 3 479 8507

After completing his Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology and Masters Degree in Science from the University of Otago, Richie worked as a clinical psychologist before embarking on a PhD. In 1995 he was awarded a PhD in Psychiatry from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. In the same year, he took up the position of Deputy Director of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit until 1 January 2000, when he became Director.

In 2006, he was made Research Professor and awarded a Personal Chair by the University of Otago in the Dunedin School of Medicine. In 2015, he became Professor in the Department of Psychology. He serves on many NZ government, public and academic statutory bodies, and is a consultant internationally.

In 2004, he was awarded the New Zealand Association of Scientist’s Research Medal and the Health Research Council of New Zealand’s (inaugural) Liley Medal for Excellence in Health Research. In 2005, he was awarded the University of Otago’s  Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Medal for Outstanding Early Career Achievement, and also received the Dunedin School of Medicine Distinguished Research Award. In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and was the joint recipient of the RSNZ Dame Joan Metge Medal for  "excellence and building relationships in the social science research community". In 2014, he was awarded the Dunedin School of Medicine Dean’s Medal for Research Excellence.

His major areas of interest and research are developmental psychopathology, gene X environment prediction of complex disorders, and psychosocial determinants of chronic physical disease.  He has published 200+ peer-reviewed scientific papers, with many appearing in leading international journals, and he maintains numerous international research collaborations.

In 2007, he established and became a Co-Director of the National Centre for Lifecourse Research, a research centre based at the University of Otago in Dunedin, but with partners located at universities across New Zealand and around the world.

In 2014, he was appointed as part-time Chief Science Advisor to the NZ Ministry of Social Development, a role he performs in addition to his other duties.

In 2014, he was named as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson-Reuters (one of only four New Zealanders so designated) and he was also listed in 2014 World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds, Thomson-Reuters.