Moe Kura staff biographiesMoe Kura has a dedicated team of researchers and support staff. A core group of researchers have overall responsibility for the study and undertake the day-to-day study tasks. They collaborate with a group of internationally recognised researchers who have expertise in child and maternal sleep, indigenous child health, mental health, and epidemiology. The study is supported by an expert advisory group, who are also internationally recognised researchers in their respective fields. They provide advice on the study design and measures on a regular basis.

Leigh Signal

Co-principal investigator

Leigh has been involved in sleep research since 1999 and is a Co-Associate Director and a Senior Research Fellow at the Sleep/Wake Research Centre. Over this time she has been involved with research on topics ranging from how well airline pilots sleep on-board aircraft to how long we take to fully wake up. Leigh is interested in all things relating to sleep, but has a particular passion for knowing more about the sleep of mothers and children, and the role that sleep has in determining their health and well-being. When not working or sleeping, Leigh and her husband Mathew go adventuring with 9-year old Emma and 5-year old Sammy (who, despite all Leigh knows about sleep, still wakes up in the night).

Sarah-Jane Paine

Co-principal investigator

Dr Sarah-Jane Paine (Tuhoe, Ngati Rongo) has been a member of the Sleep/Wake Research Team since 2001 and is the Co-Associate Director.  Her main areas of interest are investigating and eliminating inequalities in sleep health between Maori and non-Maori, understanding the role of the circadian biological clock in the regulation of sleep timing, and quantitative aspects of Kaupapa Maori research methodology.

Diane Muller

PhD student

Diane (Dee) Muller has been part of the Sleep/Wake team since 2006. She has a background in occupational therapy, having worked as a therapist in a variety of adult mental health and occupational rehabilitation settings for over a decade before joining the centre. Dee completed her Master of Public Health thesis on the sleep patterns and environmental factors associated with differences in the sleep of school-aged children in 2010. She has been involved in the E Moe, Māmā/Moe Kura study since then and is now doing a PhD on the social determinants of young children’s sleep. Dee will be analysing some of the questionnaire data collected in E Moe, Māmā/Moe Kura as part of her thesis, as well as conducting interviews with a small group of women from the study about their children’s sleep. Outside of work, Dee tries to keep up with two energetic school children, a busy husband and a very lazy cat.

Hannah Timms

Study administrator

Hannah joined the Sleep/Wake Research Centre in July 2013 as the Centre administrator, and joined the Moe Kura team in October 2013. She is involved in data collection and data entry, including sending out study packs, sending reminders out to participants, and processing study packs when they’re returned. If you’ve talked to someone on the Moe Kura team recently, it’s probably Hannah! In her spare time, Hannah enjoys singing in local choirs and reading.


Dr. Mark Huthwaite
Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago Wellington

Dr. Huthwaite specialises in maternal and perinatal mental health.

Dr. Mona Jeffreys
Senior Lecturer, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol

Dr. Jeffreys provides expertise and guidance on health inequalities.

Prof. Harriet Hiscock
Associate Professor, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne

Prof. Hiscock has a strong interest in the early intervention and prevention of common infant and child behaviours, and their impact on families.

Dr. Sue Crengle (Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha)
Senior Lecturer, School of Population Health, University of Auckland

Dr. Crengle is from the Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Waitaha tribes in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Her current research interests include Maori health, health services research, quality of care, and child and youth health.

Prof. Kathy Lee
Professor, Family Health Care Nursing, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Lee specialises in sleep, fatigue, and circadian rhythms, particularly focused on women and reproductive health issues. 

Prof. Philippa Gander
Director, Sleep/Wake Research Centre, Massey University

Philippa Gander provides expertise in sleep and circadian science.

Dr. Bronwyn Sweeney
Sleep/Wake Research Centre, Massey University

Bronwyn Sweeney is a qualified childbirth educator and has been involved in antenatal, postnatal, and parenting education for two decades.

Advisory group

Associate Professor Barbara Galland, Women’s and Childrens Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago.

Associate Professor Bob Hancox, Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago.

Ms. Rosie Smith, Chairperson, Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand.

Dr. Kristie Carter, Department of Public Health, University of Otago Wellington.

Dr. Laura Howe, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol

Ms. Bridget Robson, Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora A Eru Pōmare, Department of Public Health, University of Otago Wellington.

Dr. Donna Cormack, Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora A Eru Pōmare, Department of Public Health, University of Otago Wellington.

Dr. Ricci Harris, Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora A Eru Pōmare, Department of Public Health, University of Otago Wellington.

Ilya Ratine, Analytical Services, Ministry of Health.

People who have previously contributed to Moe Kura

Perrine Boy, Research Assistant

Dr. Rosie Gibson, Research Assistant

Sophie McCashin, Study Administrator

Monique Priston, Research Assistant

Jessie Rochford-Barber, Research Assistant

Dr. Alex Smith, Study Biostatistician

Rangimarie Taurerewa, Research Assistant

Jack Taylor-Clemett, Research Assistant

Meg Thompson, Research Assistant

Thomas Turnbull, Research Assistant