After completing a Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Science, Dr El-Shadan Tautolo became interested in public health after taking an elective paper on the subject.
This prompted El-Shadan to switch career paths and completed a Master of Health Science in Pacific Health at the University of Auckland.
El-Shadan then came to AUT to complete a Doctor of Philosophy as the recipient of a Health Research Council (HRC) Pacific PhD Scholarship, which he graduated from in 2011.
El-Shadan's PhD thesis looked at the health and wellbeing of a cohort of over 800 Pacific fathers. He investigated their fathering practices and how they influence and shape the health and wellbeing of their children.
El-Shadan says New Zealand is a different society to the Pacific and therefore it is important to complete more research to understand how best to support their needs and aspirations.
Research for change
El-Shadan says he is passionate about research that improves the health and wellbeing of Pacific communities here in New Zealand.
"I want to research relevant topics that will be useful in terms of policy change and development. This was one of the key reasons for the Pacific Islands Families Study, as there was a lack of information for people to base any decisions on. It's important that the work we do here is relevant on the ground for Pacific communities."