Professor, University of Otago
Professor Rachel Zajac was appointed as a faculty member in 2003, after completing a PhD and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology in the Department.
Rachel teaches in both child development and in forensic psychology. In 2015, she was awarded an Otago Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as the Division of Sciences Award for Senior Teacher of the Year. In 2016, she received an Ako Aotearoa national award for tertiary teaching excellence, and in 2017 she was named OUSA Premier Lecturer in the Division of Sciences.
In her research, Rachel studies the psychological factors involved in the investigation of crime. She focuses predominantly on children’s and adults’ eyewitness testimony, social influences on memory and decision-making, and biases in the interpretation of forensic evidence. Rachel has received three Marsden grants as a Principal Investigator, and a fourth as Associate Investigator. Her work has also been funded by the former Foundation for Research in Science and Technology (FRST), and the US National Institute of Justice.