Thursday, 20 November 2014 4:48pm
Painstaking detective work by University of Otago paleontologists has led to the discovery of a previously unknown genus of ancient baleen whales. Otago geology department PhD student Robert Boessenecker and his supervisor, Prof Ewan Fordyce, have named the new genus Tohoraata, a Maori word translated as ''Dawn Whale''.
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:06am
University of Otago palaeontologists are rewriting the history of New Zealand’s ancient whales by describing a previously unknown genus of fossil baleen whales and two species within it.
Monday, 17 November 2014 11:05am
The Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP) is an international science experiment studying the Alpine Fault in western South Island. “DFDP-2” refers to the second phase of the Deep Fault Drilling Project and to the 1.3 km-deep borehole that is intended to be drilled during this phase of the project.
Marsden Fast-Start awarded to Steven Smith to study why some faults creep and others rupture producing earthquakes
Friday, 7 November 2014 9:54am
Catastrophic earthquakes occur when active faults move abruptly, but many active faults also slip or creep slowly without causing damage. Understanding why some faults creep slowly and others rupture quickly has significant implications for assessing ground-shaking potential in plate boundary regions.
Friday, 7 November 2014 11:51am
We have known about the abundant brownish-yellow resin/kauri gum in NZ coal deposits for well over a century. However, because it is typically opaque and full of bubbles, no-one had ever been able to see any fossils in it. Our colleague Alexander Schmidt in his amber laboratory in Goettingen developed a technique for making NZ amber translucent, and our pilot study on Miocene Central Otago amber has revealed a huge diversity of exquisite 3-dimensionally-preserved organisms.
Friday, 7 November 2014 10:17am
Dr Matthew Sagar has been awarded Rutherford Foundation New Zealand Postdoctoral Fellowship to study “Alpine Fault “Big Bend”: Evolution and earthquake hazard” at Victoria University of Wellington starting in 2015
Wednesday, 5 November 2014 9:35am
An $810,000 Marsden Fund grant will help University of Otago geologist Associate Prof Daphne Lee gain revolutionary new insights into a lost world of ancient insects, preserved in kauri amber.
Thursday, 30 October 2014 9:24am
Four University of Otago researchers, Profs Catherine Day, Ewan Fordyce, Neil McNaughton and Iain Raeburn, have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Prof Fordyce, of the geology department, was ''New Zealand's leading vertebrate palaeontologist and a world leader in research on the evolution of whales, dolphins and penguins''.
Monday, 20 October 2014 10:17am
The multi-national Alpine Fault drilling project has moved to a new phase with a new drilling rig positioned over the borehole to take the probe to its target depth of 1.3km
Monday, 6 October 2014 12:39pm
An international team of scientists, including Otago researchers, has started drilling a 1.3km-deep borehole into the Alpine Fault in the South Island to find out more about the nature of the fault and the earthquakes it produces.
Saturday, 20 September 2014 11:50am
An engineering geologist was lowered down a Kakanui cliff face along Beach Rd south of Oamaru yesterday morning to inspect the site of a second slip of limestone into the sea.
Waitaki District Council assets group manager Neil Jorgensen said Geosolve senior engineering geologist Mark Walrond and geologist James Griffiths examined the cliff face to check its stability following the early-September slip.
Friday, 19 September 2014 11:18am
A 2.15m-long male spectacled porpoise, one of the world's most rarely seen marine mammals, was found on Pipikaretu Beach by Penguin Place guide Tama Taiti on Wednesday morning.
University of Otago geologist Prof Ewan Fordyce said fewer than 10 spectacled porpoises had washed ashore on New Zealand's coast and it was the first his research team had seen.
Thursday, 18 September 2014 11:16am
The ear bones from two whales stranded in the Far North are being examined by an expert to see if seismic testing caused the marine mammal deaths.
The bones were sent to Professor Ewan Fordyce, from the geology department at Otago University, who was to examine them to see if there was any sign of seismic, sonar, or other human intervention that might have caused the deaths. Professor Fordyce said he could have answers by today.
Sunday, 17 August 2014 2:59pm
University of Otago geologist Dr Virginia Toy is keen to shed new light on the likely effects of a predicted huge earthquake on the Southern Alps fault system.
Dr Toy, a senior lecturer in structural geology, is one of three co-leaders in a major international scientific venture, the Deep Fault Drilling Project, at the Southern Alps.
Saturday, 9 August 2014 11:25am
An extinct giant penguin species discovered by University of Otago geologist Prof Ewan Fordyce has been emblazoned on a collectable coin recently issued by New Zealand Post.
It is believed to be the first time the research findings of an Otago University academic have been featured in this way.
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 11:08am
A New Zealand-led international science team that includes University of Otago geologists is planning to drill a 1.3km-deep hole into the Alpine Fault in the South Island later this year to find out more about the nature of the fault and the earthquakes it produces.
Thursday, 6 February 2014 9:01am
The pre-Ice Age marine mammal community of the North Pacific formed a strangely eclectic scene, research by a University of Otago Geology PhD student reveals.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:01am
A newly recognised fossil dolphin from New Zealand, dubbed Papahu taitapu, is the first of its kind ever found and may be a close relation to the ancestors of modern dolphins and toothed whales, according to University of Otago researchers.
Friday, 6 December 2013 9:09am
Research from the University of Otago along with a team of international scientists, has shown for the first time that fine sediment clay within the Japan Trench plate boundary megathrust fault, was a key factor in triggering the devastating Fukushima tsunami in March 2011.