Dr Renita Maria Martis

Doctorate in Philosophy (Optometry), Bachelor of Optometry and Vision Sciences (Hons)


Renita Martis is a postdoctoral research fellow who is currently working on antioxidant strategies to combat age-related eye disease. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Optometry with first-class Honours in 2012.  She then practiced as a general optometrist in Wellington for two years and returned to undertake a PhD with Dr Julie Lim and  Professor Paul Donaldson, which she completed in 2019.


Research | Current

Doctorate of Philosophy in Optometry and Vision Sciences, The University of Auckland

2014-2018       Supervisors: Prof. Paul J Donaldson and Dr. Julie C Lim 

Thesis title:  The role of the cystine/glutamate transporter in maintaining redox balance and supplying antioxidant in ocular tissues.

This project investigates the functions of the cystine/glutamate antiporter in various ocular tissues and its role in minimising the oxidative stress and damage in the eye. Oxidative stress and damage is well known to be responsible for the onset of age-related eye disease such as cataract and macular degeneration that cause blindness. 


BOptom Part IV Honours Research, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, The University of Auckland

2011-2012         Supervisor: Dr. Nicola Anstice

This project investigated the current management and treatment of congenital esotropia. Esotropia is known to affect 1-2% of the population. Analysing case studies confirmed that a timely diagnosis, appropriate surgical alignment, and duration of the alignment results in a good visual prognosis.


Teaching | Current



2017 HealtheX Second Runner-up Doctoral Oral Presentation Award

2017 Academic Career Exploration Scholarship

2017 HC Russell Memorial Postgraduate Scholarship 

2016/2017 HOPE Selwyn Foundation Scholarship in Ageing Research 

2015 Young Investigator Travel Award - ICL 

2014 Biomedical Imaging Research Unit- Confocal Microscopy BIRU award

2014 The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship 

Areas of expertise

Micron IV slit lamp, fundus and OCT imaging 

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Faculty of Medical and Health Science Postgraduate Student Association Committee

New Zealand Association of Optometrists

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Martis, R. M., Donaldson, P. J., & Lim, J. C. (2020). Corneal opacities in mice exposed to repeated contact procedures during ocular examinations. Clinical & experimental optometry, 103 (3), 307-311. 10.1111/cxo.12934
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paul Donaldson, Julie Lim
  • Martis, R. M., Donaldson, P. J., Li, B., Middleditch, M., Kallingappa, P. K., & Lim, J. C. (2019). Mapping of the cystine-glutamate exchanger in the mouse eye: a role for xCT in controlling extracellular redox balance. Histochemistry and cell biology, 152 (4), 293-310. 10.1007/s00418-019-01805-4
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julie Lim, Prasanna Kallingappa, Paul Donaldson
  • Martis, R. M. (2019). The role of the cystine/glutamate antiporter in mouse ocular tissues The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46442
  • Lim, J. C., Vorontsova, I., Martis, R. M., & Donaldson, P. J. (2017). Animal models in cataract research. In P. M. Conn (Ed.) Animal models for the study of human disease (pp. 103-116). London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. 10.1016/B978-0-12-809468-6.00004-8
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julie Lim, Paul Donaldson

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 502 - Bldg 502
Level 4, Room 401
New Zealand