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News and events

Māori Division of Sciences graduating students

Friday, 12 May 2017 8:28am

The Division of Sciences is extremely proud to see 48 Maori students graduate this weekend. Graduates have completed either their under- or postgraduate study covering a wide range of disciplines across the Division. See the full list of May 2017 graduates.

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New Zealand fish and chips hold human DNA clues

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 9:27am

Before you pop that piece of battered fish in your mouth, be aware it might just hold the key to understanding the origins of a form of DNA memory critical to human development.

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Award ceremony celebrates teaching excellence

Wednesday, 22 March 2017 8:58pm

The four recipients of University of Otago Teaching Excellence Awards for 2017 were formally congratulated at a ceremony at the Clocktower building yesterday afternoon.

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Major support for Otago health research provided through latest lottery grants

Thursday, 9 March 2017 1:57pm

University of Otago researchers have gained more than $2.6m in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support studies aimed at improving the health status of New Zealanders.

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Otago welcomes world university subject ranking results

Wednesday, 8 March 2017 4:13pm

The University of Otago welcomed today’s release of the 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject, in which Otago ranked among the top 50 institutions in the world in five subject areas and among the top 100 in 12.

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Teaching awards honour four Otago staff

Monday, 20 February 2017 9:00pm

Dedication and passion has paid off for four University of Otago staff, who have each received Teaching Excellence Awards from the University.

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Otago gains funding to engage young minds with science

Friday, 17 February 2017 2:58pm

Four University of Otago initiatives are among the latest projects to be successfully awarded a total of $2m in the 2017 Unlocking Curious Minds funding round. The fund particularly focuses on projects that engage young New Zealanders who have fewer opportunities to be involved with science and technology.

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John Reynolds to Direct First Year Health Sciences

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 9:08pm

Professor John Reynolds of Anatomy has been appointed to a newly created role at the University of Otago aimed at overseeing the hugely popular Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) programme.

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Severe inbreeding threatens Long Island’s little spotted kiwi

Wednesday, 18 January 2017 2:02pm

A population of rare little spotted kiwi (LSK) that was thought to be thriving in a Marlborough island sanctuary is actually seriously threatened by the silent effects of inbreeding, new research led by a University of Otago scientist suggests.

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Graduation a special occasion for all

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 1:32pm

The recent December graduation was an extra special occasion for the Department of Anatomy with thirty five students graduating with degrees from the Department - six PhDs, four Masters, three BBiomedSc with Honours, nine BSc Honours, two BA Honours, one Postgraduate Diploma in Science, and ten undergraduate BSc degrees. 

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Professorship tops off wonderful year for Otago academic

Thursday, 15 December 2016 1:03pm

Being promoted to full Professor is the icing on the cake of an incredible year for John Reynolds of Anatomy.

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Biomedical Sciences staff celebrated with awards

Thursday, 15 December 2016 9:51am

A ground-breaking paper on bee fertility, passionate research into the bioarchaeology of children in the past, and outstanding service to the University’s School of Biomedical Sciences were among the achievements celebrated at an awards ceremony yesterday.

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Otago academics made full professor

Wednesday, 14 December 2016 9:02am

Seventeen leading academics from across the University of Otago’s Dunedin, Christchurch, and Wellington campuses are being promoted to full professor.

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Otago scientists gain Neurological Foundation funding

Friday, 9 December 2016 12:02pm

Several University of Otago researchers have gained funding to pursue innovative projects in the Neurological Foundation’s latest grant round announced today.

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Portable screening device has potential to diagnose heart disease

Tuesday, 6 December 2016 2:28pm

Congratulations to co-principle investigator Dr Yusuf Cakmak who, in collaboration with members from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, has been awarded a MedTech CoRE Seed project grant of $50,000 to further explore the potential of a portable non-invasive camera-based instrument to measure indicators of heart disease.

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Study on sexual dimorphism judged best paper

Friday, 2 December 2016 11:23am

A paper published by Ann Liu, as first author, in the journal Biology of Sex Differences, has been awarded the Best Postgraduate Paper Prize at the Department’s annual research day.  The paper details the first transcriptomic analysis of sex differences in a protogynous fish.  Using RNA-Seq, the authors characterized the transcriptomic profiles and identified genes exhibiting sex-biased expression in the brain (forebrain and midbrain) and gonads of male and female bluehead wrasses as a first step towards understanding the basal states of the molecular cascade that progressively re-engineers a female into a male.

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PhD candidates produce exceptional theses

Friday, 25 November 2016 1:11pm

Congratulations to Laura Boddington and Papi Gustafson who have both had their doctoral theses placed on the Health Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional Theses.  The list comprises only those doctoral candidates whose research is assessed by examiners as being of an exceptional standard in every respect – research content, originality, quality of expression and accuracy of presentation – and amongst the top 10% of theses examined.

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Hands-On Activities Delight Students

Friday, 18 November 2016 9:12am

School children from around the lower South Island got hands-on with anatomy, conservation genetics and neuroscience activities thanks to the Department of Anatomy and Genetics Otago’s Lab in a Box.  The mobile science laboratory has been touring the South Island, and our staff caught up with it when it visited Te Anau, Gore, Stewart Island and Bluff.

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Marsden Grant Success

Tuesday, 8 November 2016 10:48am

Congratulations to Professor Neil Gemmell, Professor Dave Grattan and Dr Helen Taylor who have been awarded funding from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund.  The Fund supports research excellence in science, engineering and maths, social sciences and the humanities from all tertiary/research institutions in New Zealand, and is regarded as the hallmark of excellence for research in New Zealand. 


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Vitamins A and C help erase “memory” in stem cells

Friday, 14 October 2016 11:18am

Vitamins A and C can enhance success in the challenging process of converting adult cells into stem cells, an international study co-led by a University of Otago researcher has found.

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How to clone a mammoth

Friday, 14 October 2016 9:16am

Beth Shapiro is an evolutionary biologist who specialises in the genetics of ice age animals and plants. View the podcast of her recent public lecture 'How to clone a mammoth'.

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Thesis of Exceptional Standard

Wednesday, 12 October 2016 3:51pm

Monica Tromp’s PhD Thesis, entitled "Lapita plants, people and pigs", has been placed on the University of Otago’s Health Sciences Divisional List of Exceptional Doctoral theses, after it was deemed to be of exceptional standard by the panel of examiners.  The three experienced examiners graded it among the top 10% of theses they had examined.

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Art and Space exhibition

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 11:59am

The fourth annual Art and Space exhibition has opened at the HD Skinner Annex, Otago Museum, and runs from 10am to 3pm each day, until October 2.

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Genetic history of Aboriginal Australians revealed

Thursday, 22 September 2016 10:05am

A University of Otago bioanthropologist is among an international group of scientists who have undertaken the first population genomic study of Aboriginal Australians.