Our People

Lab Director


Dr Jaimie Veale (she/her) is a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Waikato. Her research interests include social determinants of health for transgender people. Originally from Ashburton / Hakatere, Jaimie is a Pākehā trans woman.

Jaimie completed her PhD in psychology at Massey University in 2012. She worked for three years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, researching the health of Canadian transgender young people.

Jaimie is the founding President of the Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA), on the Board of Directors of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and an Associate Editor of the International Journal of
Transgender Health

Senior Research Officer and Co-investigator


Jack Byrne (he/him) is a health and human rights researcher based in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland. Jack’s trans research and activism nationally, regionally and internationally has focused on the right to health, depathologisation and legal gender recognition. He has written national and regional reports on trans health. Jack is a tauiwi trans man, born in Māwhera / Greymouth, of Irish descent.


Originally from Malaysia, Kyle Tan (he/him) has Chinese whakapapa. As a Tangata Tiriti, his research is driven by a social justice lens to address inequities for minoritised and racialised groups. He currently works in the Institutional Racism theme for the Working to End Racial Oppression (WERO) programme at Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao.

Lab Manager

Ashe Yee (she/her) is a Psychology Honours graduate from Newcastle, Australia, based in Hamilton, who worked as a Research Assistant on the first Counting Ourselves survey and has come back as the part-time Lab Manager. Ashe is a tauiwi trans woman with Australian Aboriginal and Chinese Whakapapa. Her research interests lie in the welfare and wellbeing of sexual and gender minority groups.

Postgraduate Students

Juliana Brown (she/her) is a PhD student at the University of Waikato.


Ryan Bentham (he/him) is a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Waikato. He is a tauiwi cisgender man originally from Te Kūiti of European descent. His research interests lie in mental health, gender, and sexuality.

Harry Jones (he/him) is a Clinical Psychology trainee and Master of Psychology student at the University of Canterbury / Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha. He is a Pākehā trans man from Ōtautahi who has joined the Counting Ourselves team for the survey’s second wave. His research passion lies in transgender mental health and well-being with a focus on youth.

Taine Polkinghorne (he/him) is a Master of Public Health Student at the University of Auckland / Waipapa Taumata Rau. Taine is a Pākehā trans man from Tāmaki Makaurau who has joined the Counting Ourselves team for the survey’s second wave. His research interest span human rights, public health, and alcohol and drug use in trans and non-binary populations in Aotearoa.

Sofia Gonzalez Gutierrez is a Master and Clinical Psychology student at the University of Waikato / Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato.  She started working with the team when she was doing her Honours and then as a summer scholar supporting the development of the survey questions for the 2022 Counting Ourselves survey.

She is originally from Chile. Her research interests lie in mental health, healthcare, and gender.

Previous Students

Abby Jackson: To what extent do experiences of loneliness differ across age, gender, ethnicity, and disability among transgender people? Honours dissertation, 2022

Sofia Gonzalez: Experiences of transgender people accessing healthcare in Aotearoa/New Zealand: barriers and facilitators. ​​ Honours dissertation, 2021.

Kyle Tan: Mental health of transgender people in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Inequities, minority stress, and protective factors. PhD 2021.

Ryan Bentham: Problematic eating behaviour among trans and non-binary people: Examining the risk and protective factors in Aotearoa New Zealand. Honours dissertation 2019.

Laura O'Flaherty: Experiences of discrimination of transgender and non-binary people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Honours dissertation 2018.

Sam Guy: The good, the bad, and the disappointingly transphobic: Healthcare accessibility for trans and gender diverse New Zealanders. Master's thesis, 2018.

Moses Simpson: Risk and protective factors for SADness in the furry community; An exploration of suicide, anxiety and depression within the furry community. Master's thesis, 2018.

Selena Clark: Comparison investigations to determine the prevalence of violence: Exposures among Canadian transgender youth. Honours dissertation, 2017.