Workshop Abstracts



General Health and Optometry  

The workshop will allow participants to undertake a detailed medical history and medication history with special emphasis on common medical conditions that have ophthalmic complications. The workshop will explore manifestation of cardiovascular disease in the eye, and cardiovascular risk factors and eye health. This workshop will specially focus on understanding blood pressure and the effects of hypotension and hypertension in eye health. Her passion for educating will be applied in this interactive workshop.


 Dr Sandy Yu is currently a Medical Doctor at Middlemore Hospital and registered Optometrist. She has extensive experience in children vision obtained during her PhD awarded by the University of Auckland in 2014. Her expertise and research interest is now neonatal development and vision, general health and ophthalmology.



Binocular Vision Assessment – Interactive Session

Binocular Vision Disorders commonly present in optometric practice and can be complex to diagnose and treat.  This workshop will allow participants a chance to revise and learn new techniques for binocular vision assessment including assessment of diplopia, assessment of anomalous retinal correspondence and eccentric fixation and assessment of strabismus.  Case examples will be used to demonstrate how testing might lead to diagnosis of binocular vision disorders.


Dr Joanna Black is an optometrist and clinical vision scientist with expertise in conditions of binocular vision and paediatric optometry. Joanna is currently a Senior lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science. Her PhD research established the first animal model of naturally occurring heritable myopia. Currently her research projects include studies investigating amblyopia treatments and how vision influences reading in childhood.  She is also a named investigator in the recently completed BRAVO trial which tested a novel video-game based treatment for amblyopia.



Dry eye/blepharitis management   

Recent advancements in dry eye therapy have provided more alternatives for treatment in optometric practice.  This will be a practical session allowing participants to have some ‘hands on’ experience with new equipment and case studies highlighting the range of therapeutic interventions.  We will be demonstrating BlephEx, Blephasteam with expression & debridement, Lipiview, IPL and Lipiflow.


Marcy graduated from the University of Waterloo, Canada with a Doctor of Optometry degree.  She has enjoyed working as an optometrist in various capacities in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.  At the School of Optometry and Vision Science, she is a Professional Teaching Fellow and has also qualified with her Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics from the Australian College of Optometry.  She complements her time at the university with working in private practice.  Marcy is very proud to have helped establish the Dry Eye Clinic at the School of Optometry, and is exited to be teaching the students how to properly diagnose and manage Dry Eye with a very hands-on approach using the latest technology.



Unconscious bias and implicit association

International research has detailed pervasive evidence of unconscious bias in employment, education, health, justice and many other areas of life. They occur without our awareness and may often be incompatible with our conscious values and considered actions.

During this presentation, we will demonstrate how unconscious bias and implicit associations occur and discuss some of the evidence, impact and consequences of bias in the workplace.

This workshop will explore strategies to assist reducing or overcoming bias particularly in decision-making areas such as recruitment, performance appraisal, work allocation and in meetings.

Cathie Walsh is the Staff Equity Manager at the University of Auckland. She has a background in psychology and training and has worked for many years in education, health and law primarily in the areas of equity and social justice



Virtual reality and eye tracking

In this workshop, Philip Turnbull, Tina Gao, and Soheil Mohammadpour-Doustkouhi will demonstrate how infrared eyetracking and virtual reality can be used in optometric research. With eyetracking now down to a couple of hundred dollars, we will show how it can be used in clinic to gain objective measures of eye movements and binocularity. We will also have demonstrations of our latest research in virtual reality, including the use of eye tracking with the virtual world as part of a driving simulator and virtual perimeter.


Dr Phil Turnbull is a lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science. He graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Optometry (Hons), worked in private practice for two years, and then returned to the University to undertake a PhD with Dr John Phillips investigating emmetropisation in squid. Following completion of his PhD, Phil worked as a contact lens specialist in the University Eye Clinic and co-founded the Myopia Control Clinic, a translational research clinic promoting the latest myopia control research to the public. Following this, Phil then undertook a joint postdoctoral fellowship under Professor Steven Dakin and Dr Phillips, combining myopia research with objective measures of vision.
Phil’s current research investigates utilising technology to assess visual function, including virtual reality, infrared eyetracking, arterial spin labelling magnetic resonance imaging (ASL-MRI), and multifocal electroretinograms (mf-ERG). The aim is to create objective measures of visual function for conditions such as myopia, binocular vision disorders, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.



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