Dr Pawel K Olszewski

Senior Lecturer (Biological Sciences)

Qualifications: MSc Warsaw, PhD Cracow-Minnesota (joint program)

About Pawel

My laboratory studies neuroendocrine processes that underlie food intake and pharmacological strategies that change eating behaviour. We focus on the interplay between brain signalling that promotes appetite (e.g., via reward mechanisms) and satiety-inducing systems that keep food intake within safe limits (e.g. oxytocin, melanocortins). We are also interested in how social environment affects eating behaviour. The majority of our work involves animal models (rats, mice); we study behavior, brain activation, gene expression, and determine the effects of intracranially and peripherally delivered drugs as well as of genetic modification on feeding parameters.

Aside from being part of the University of Waikato, I also serve as:

Adjunct Associate Professor; Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota (

Associate Investigator; Maurice Wilkins Centre  (

Key grant support to date:

Royal Society of New Zealand

Dairy Goat Cooperative

US National Institutes of Health

US Department of Veterans' Affairs

Research Supervised


  • Herisson, Florence (2016). Oxytocin as an appetite suppressant that reduces feeding reward.
  • Gartner, Sarah (in progress). The investigation of protein composition in milk formula ans its effects on central satiety and reward-related systems.
  • Klockars, Oscar (in progress). Social aspects of food intake control: The role of neurohormone oxytocin.

MSc (Research)

  • Aidney, Fraser (2016). Dietary supplementation and intragastric infusions of L-tryptophan reduce food intake.
  • Brunton Chloe (2016). Social interaction affects the acquisition of lithium chloride-induced conditioned taste aversion via alteration of oxytocin activity in the hypothalamus.
  • Isgrove, Kiriana (in progress). Intragastric infusion of trytophan and its effects on food intake and activity pathways related to hedonic eating.
  • Laloli, Kathryn (in progress). Neuroendocrine changes uderlying aberrant food selectivity in rat models of autism spectrum disorder.
  • McColl, Laura (in progress). Differential responsiveness of brain circuits to meal derived cues at a young versus old age.
  • Blaza, Ron (2016). Exposure to familiar versus novel conspecifics is associated with differential activity of oxytocin circuits


  • Gerring, Crystal (2016). Oxytocin and vasopressin neuronal activity in response to novel object exposure in mice.
  • Churchill, Geoff (2014). Gossypol's effects on ingestive behaviour in mice: The first step in a systematic process to define gossypol's suitability for use in murine pest management.
  • Alhamad, Ali Hamad (2013). Validation of the Children's Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) in the population of Saudi preschoolers.

BSc (Hons)

  • Wood, Erin (in progress). Analgesia in rats after central injections into the RIAC of ketamine analogues.
  • Christian, David (2014). Connexin 36 as a regulator of consummatory behaviour.
  • Blaza, Ron (2014). Involvement of connexin-36 in taste aversion: lack of association with changes in activity of the nucleus of the solitary tract.

Teaching Commitments


Animal Behaviour; Biology; Genetics; Health; Human Behaviour; Science

obesity, anorexia, neuroscience, brain

Recent Publications

  • Olszewski, P. K., & Levine, A. S. (2016). Basic research on appetite regulation: Social context of a meal is missing. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 148, 106-107. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2016.06.009

  • Olszewski, P. K., Klockars, A., & Levine, A. S. (2016). Oxytocin: a conditional anorexigen whose effects on appetite depend on the physiological, behavioral and social contexts. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. doi:10.1111/jne.12376

  • Olszewski, P. K., & Levine, A. S. (2016). [Accepted] Basic research on appetite regulation: Social context of a meal is missing. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, (in process).

  • Olszewski, P. K. (2016). Termination of food intake: An interplay between safety and reward mechanisms. In Centre for Neuroendocrinology, University of Otago, New Zealand.

View All research publications by Pawel Olszewski

Contact Details

Room: CD.2.01
Phone: +64 7 838 4658
Cellphone: +64 221345415