Friday, 17 April 2015 10:35am
New University of Otago research is providing the most comprehensive picture of the nearly 40million year-long evolutionary history of baleen whales, which are the largest animals ever to live on Earth. The study also reflected the importance of ancient marine mammal research being undertaken at the university, Prof Ewan Fordyce, of the Otago geology department, said.
Friday, 17 April 2015 11:38am
A world-first international expedition, including University of Otago researchers, is ending, after scientists gained striking new views of an underwater volcano in the Kermadec Islands.
The research expedition was investigating the biggest recorded explosive eruption of a submarine volcano in history, which in 2012 produced a floating pumice island the size of Israel.
Otago University geology researcher Associate Prof James White said this ''very exciting cruise'' had also been the first time ''anywhere on Earth'' that a remotely operated undersea vehicle had been used to investigate a ''large explosive submarine eruption''.
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 4:37pm
New University of Otago research is providing the most comprehensive picture of the evolutionary history of baleen whales, which are not only the largest animals ever to live on earth, but also among the most unusual.
Monday, 2 March 2015 9:11am
Two new research projects led, and another co-led, by University of Otago scientists are set to improve the understanding of how Antarctica’s ice cover will change as the world warms.
Friday, 27 February 2015 3:56pm
Just installed in the paleomagnetic research laboratory: New Zealand’s first Princeton Instruments Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (VSM). The new VSM will allow us to conduct new paleomagnetic and environmental magnetic studies that normally required travel to foreign laboratories.
Thursday, 19 February 2015 2:58pm
University of Otago geology student Bobby Boessenecker still vividly recalls the ''eureka moment'' when he realised he had just stumbled across the world's oldest fur seal fossil. The small fossil mandible bone is 15 million to 17 million years old, about five million years older than the previously oldest-known fur seal fossil.
Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:24am
The oldest known fur seal has been discovered by a University of Otago Geology PhD student, providing a missing link that helps to resolve a more than 5-million-year gap in fur seal and sea lion evolutionary history.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 8:45am
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.
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.
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''.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 2:16pm
Four leading University of Otago academics are among the 12 top New Zealand researchers and scholars in basic and applied science and the humanities newly elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
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.