Dr James Frederick Cheeseman

PhD, MSc (First Class Honours), BSc

Research | Current

My research in chronobiology has two broad themes. The first is a programme of research investigating the effects of general anaesthesia on the circadian clock. This incorporates work from invertebrate and mammalian animal models (Drosophila, Honey bee and mouse) as well as clinical trials. The research combines investigation of the fundamental molecular components and animals’ physiology with the downstream behaviour. A particular current focus is the circadian Drosophila research programme in which my students and I are using transgenic reporter lines to investigate the development of the clock.  The second main theme of my research is the study of the biological rhythms in the marine environment. This is in close association with the School of Biological Sciences. Specifically, this work includes investigation of the semilunar and tidal clocks predominantly in invertebrate models.

Teaching | Current


  • Course Director and Lecturer, Qual300, Quality and Safety Workshop, School of Medicine
  • Lecturer, BIOSCI207, Adaptive Design, School of Biological Sciences
  • Lecturer, BIOSCI337, Animal Behaviour, School of Biological Sciences


  • Course Director and Lecturer, MEDSCI718, Pharmacology of Anaesthetics and Analgesics.
  • Course Coordinator and Lecturer, MEDSCI738, Biological Rhythms
  • Lecturer, BIOSCI728, Neuroethology

Postgraduate supervision

I currently supervise or co-supervise five PhD students in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. I have several projects available for post graduate students at the MSc and PhD level. I welcome applications or expressions of interest from students who are interested in the general circadian research themes described.


2011 University of Auckland Teaching Excellence Award for excellence in collaboration, Quality and Saftey Workshop

Committees/Professional groups/Services

School of Medicine Post Graduate Education and Training Committee - Chair

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Education Committee

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Medical Programme Board of Studies

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Academic Programmes Subcommittee

Department of Anaesthesiology Post Graduate Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Zhao, J., Warman, G. R., & Cheeseman, J. F. (2019). The functional changes of the circadian system organization in aging. Ageing research reviews, 52, 64-71. 10.1016/j.arr.2019.04.006
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Guy Warman
  • Zhao, J., Warman, G. R., Stanewsky, R., & Cheeseman, J. F. (2019). Development of the Molecular Circadian Clock and Its Light Sensitivity in Drosophila Melanogaster. Journal of biological rhythms10.1177/0748730419836818
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Guy Warman
  • Parkar, S. G., Kalsbeek, A., & Cheeseman, J. F. (2019). Potential Role for the Gut Microbiota in Modulating Host Circadian Rhythms and Metabolic Health. MICROORGANISMS, 7 (2)10.3390/microorganisms7020041
  • Menzel, R., Tison, L., Fischer-Nakai, J., Cheeseman, J., Balbuena, M. S., Chen, X., ... Greggers, U. (2019). Guidance of navigating honeybees by learned elongated ground structures. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 12.10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00322
  • Orts-Sebastian, A., Ludin, N. M., Pawley, M. D. M., Cheeseman, J. F., & Warman, G. R. (2019). Impact of anaesthesia on circadian rhythms and implications for laboratory experiments. Experimental neurology, 311, 318-322. 10.1016/j.expneurol.2018.09.017
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Matthew Pawley, Guy Warman, Nicola Ludin
  • Zhao, J., Warman, G. R., & Cheeseman, J. F. (2018). Clock gene expression and locomotor activity predict death in the last days of life in Drosophila melanogaster. Scientific reports, 8 (1)10.1038/s41598-018-30323-x
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Guy Warman
  • Poulsen, R. C., Warman, G. R., Sleigh, J., Ludin, N. M., & Cheeseman, J. F. (2018). How does general anaesthesia affect the circadian clock?. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 37, 35-44. 10.1016/j.smrv.2016.12.002
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/43712
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Guy Warman, Raewyn Poulsen, Nicola Ludin, Jamie Sleigh
  • Du, L. Y., Darroch, H., Keerthisinghe, P., Ashimbayeva, E., Astin, J. W., Crosier, K. E., ... Hall, C. J. (2017). The innate immune cell response to bacterial infection in larval zebrafish is light-regulated. Scientific Reports, 7 (1).10.1038/s41598-017-12842-1
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/41034
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christopher Hall, Jonathan Astin, Guy Warman


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 12, Room 12081
New Zealand

Web links