Dr Jose Guilherme Behrensdorf Derraik


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Senior Research Fellow


Dr José Derraik was born in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), but moved to New Zealand in 1995. José has a very broad academic background, with a BSc and MSc in Ecology from the University of Otago (New Zealand), and a PhD in Public Health (University of Otago). His MSc examined invertebrate biodiversity in human-modified habitats. His PhD focused on vector ecology, more precisely on mosquitoes in New Zealand and how the threat of a mosquito-borne disease outbreak has been affected by ongoing anthropogenic environmental change. José then worked as a Senior Advisor for MAF Biosecurity NZ, where he provided expert advice to the NZ government on biosecurity threats to human health.

In 2008, José joined the Liggins Institute (University of Auckland) where he has been working on paediatric research, as well as on a number of clinical trials in adolescents and adults at risk of metabolic disease. His research focuses primarily on the long-term effects of early life events (such as preterm or post-term birth) in childhood. However, José has recently been appointed as an honorary research associate at Uppsala University in Sweden, where alongside his Swedish colleagues he has been examining also the long-term effects of early life events in adulthood.

Lastly, José is currently involved in one of the large multi-institutional National Science Challenges in New Zealand (A Better Start). He has a leading role in a number of studies aiming to describe, predict, prevent, and mitigate childhood obesity.

Research | Current

* Long-term effects of early life events in childhood, particularly pre-pubertal children.

* Long-term effects of early life events in adulthood.

* Prediction and prevention of childhood obesity.

* Short- and long-term health effects of obesity.

* Gut microbiome as a treatment for adolescent obesity.


  • Honorary Associate Professor – The Children’s Hospital Health at Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China (2018–present).
  • Honorary Research Associate – Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden (2017–present).
  • Honorary Research Associate – Disease and Vector Research Group, Institute for Natural Sciences, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand (2009–2012)

Committees/Professional groups/Services

National commitees

  • Member of the Health Research Council of New Zealand Science Assessment Committee (2017)
  • Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand Biodiversity Committee (2007–2009)

Editorial work

  • Scientific Reports – editorial board member (2013–present)
  • PLoS ONE – editorial board member (2017–present)
  • PeerJ – academic editor (2017–present)
  • Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand – associate editor (2018–present)
  • Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina – editorial committee member (2012–present)
  • Open Ecology Journal – editorial board member (2008–2010)

Peer-review work

  • Has reviewed for 66 international journals, including top publications in their respective fields such as PNAS, Diabetes Care, Conservation Letters, and International Journal of Epidemiology.
  • Reviewer for national and international granting bodies, such as the Health Research Council of New Zealand, The Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance, AXA Research Fund, and the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada.
  • Reviewer of technical documents for the Royal Society of New Zealand and MAF Biosecurity New Zealand.

Professional membership

  • Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand (2007–present)
  • Asia-Pacific Paediatric Endocrine Society – APPES (2018–present)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Derraik, J. G. B., Lundgren, M., Cutfield, W. S., & Ahlsson, F. (2017). Association Between Preterm Birth and Lower Adult Height in Women. American Journal of Epidemiology, 185 (1), 48-53. 10.1093/aje/kww116
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34434
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wayne Cutfield
  • Derraik, J. G. B., Lundgren, M., Cutfield, W. S., & Ahlsson, F. (2016). Body Mass Index, Overweight, and Obesity in Swedish Women Born Post-term. Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology, 30 (4), 320-324. 10.1111/ppe.12292
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/29465
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wayne Cutfield
  • Derraik, J. G. B., Lundgren, M., Cutfield, W. S., & Ahlsson, F. (2016). Maternal Height and Preterm Birth: A Study on 192,432 Swedish Women. PLoS One, 11 (4), e0154304-e0154304. 10.1371/journal.pone.0154304
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/29470
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wayne Cutfield
  • Derraik, J. G., Ahlsson, F., Lundgren, M., Jonsson, B., & Cutfield, W. S. (2016). First-borns have greater BMI and are more likely to be overweight or obese: a study of sibling pairs among 26,812 Swedish women. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 70 (1), 78-81. 10.1136/jech-2014-205368
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/29580
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wayne Cutfield
  • Derraik, J. G. B., Ahlsson, F., Diderholm, B., & Lundgren, M. (2015). Obesity rates in two generations of Swedish women entering pregnancy, and associated obesity risk among adult daughters. Scientific Reports, 510.1038/srep16692
  • Derraik, J. G., Mathai, S., Chiavaroli, V., Dalziel, S. R., Harding, J. E., Biggs, J., ... Hofman, P. L. (2015). Preterm birth is associated with an intergenerational effect on cardio-metabolic risk. Clinical Endocrinology, 83 (3), 439-440. 10.1111/cen.12749
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27023
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wayne Cutfield, Jane Harding, Paul Hofman, Stuart Dalziel, Janene Biggs
  • Derraik, J. G. B., Ayyavoo, A., Hofman, P. L., Biggs, J. B., & Cutfield, W. S. (2015). Increasing maternal prepregnancy body mass index is associated with reduced insulin sensitivity and increased blood pressure in their children. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf), 83 (3), 352-356. 10.1111/cen.12665
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wayne Cutfield, Paul Hofman, Janene Biggs
  • Derraik, J. G. B. (2015). The Principles of Fair Allocation of Peer-Review: How Much Should a Researcher be Expected to Contribute?. Science and engineering ethics, 21 (4), 825-828. 10.1007/s11948-014-9584-2


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 505 - Bldg 505
Level 2, Room 202
New Zealand

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