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News and events

Marsden success for Sciences

Monday, 20 November 2017 10:50am

Division of Sciences researchers have gained over $7.2m for 12 world-class research projects as Principal Investigators and a further $6m as Assistant Investigators working in collaboration with researchers both across Otago and in external organisations.

2017 heralds Otago as the most successful university in terms of the number of awards and total funding awarded at just short of $24m, the highest amount ever secured by Otago.

The funding secured by Principal Investigators in Sciences includes eight standard projects and four ‘Fast-Start’ projects designed to support outstanding researchers early in their careers.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barker says that he is “delighted at the success of researchers in the Division in gaining funding from the extremely competitive Marsden Fund. The strength of fundamental research in the Sciences at Otago combined with highly innovative approaches to solving complex problems underpins our success. The breadth of Departments represented in this funding is an aspect of this success that is also highly pleasing”.

2017 heralds Otago as the most successful university in terms of the number of awards and total funding awarded at just short of $24m, the highest amount ever secured by Otago.

The funding secured by Principal Investigators in Sciences includes eight standard projects and four ‘Fast-Start’ projects designed to support outstanding researchers early in their careers.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barker says that he is “delighted at the success of researchers in the Division in gaining funding from the extremely competitive Marsden Fund. The strength of fundamental research in the Sciences at Otago combined with highly innovative approaches to solving complex problems underpins our success. The breadth of Departments represented in this funding is an aspect of this success that is also highly pleasing”.

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2018 Zonta Science Award

Thursday, 21 September 2017 3:04pm

The Zonta Club of Wellington is calling for applications for the 2018 Zonta Science Award. Applications must be received by 5 February 2018.

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Challenging the mental health struggle

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 10:10am

The inaugural Silverline Festival, being held next weekend on 15-16 September, is all about exposing students to ways of wellbeing. The festival will include speakers, all passionate about what they do, and excited to share their knowledge and experiences; one of these being Dr Damian Scarf, Senior Lecturer in Psychology who suffered from severe anxiety throughout undergraduate and into postgraduate study.

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Opinion: New Zealand’s fisheries quota management system: on an undeserved pedestal

Wednesday, 6 September 2017 8:53pm

Otago researchers Liz Slooten, Bruce Robertson and Steve Dawson are among experts arguing in the influential web publication The Conversation that New Zealand’s fisheries management needs a comprehensive review. We reproduce their Opinion Piece here on the Otago Bulletin Board.

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Chasing atoms, electrons and optics there and back again

Saturday, 19 August 2017 11:01am

Growing up in Dunedin, Professor Blaikie's academic career began at Otago in the late 1980s, leading to a doctorate from the University of Cambridge, and then onto an incredible position as a visiting researcher at the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory. Deciding it was time to come home, he and his family moved back to New Zealand - firstly to Canterbury and finally back to Otago.

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And the winner is... and the winner is

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 3:06pm

Hearing her name announced as winner of the Division of Sciences Supervisor of the Year award was gratifying enough, but then when Dr Tamlin Conner, a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology heard it called again, this time for the ‘OUSA Supervisor of the Year’ award, she was stunned.

“Receiving these two awards mean the world to me,” said Dr Tamlin Conner. “I invest an incredible amount of time and effort into my students, and to receive this recognition gives me the motivation to keep up that investment,” she continued.

Colossal Squid Dissection

Next week our student Tyler Northern will be helping to dissect a Colossal squid with NIWA at Te Papa (the second specimen ever found intact!),
The dissection will take place at 11am on Tuesday the 16th of September and will be streamed live on this link :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yz_57uadUQ
Te Papa also have a blog with more details on the dissection : http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2014/09/05/colossal-squid-live/

International Progammes

Invasive Bryozoan and Ascidian Recruitment and Growth Experiment – iBARGE


Otago researchers join international study examining the fouling communities of ports and harbours.


Department of Marine Science researchers have joined iBARGE, the Invasive Bryozoan and Ascidian Recruitment and Growth Experiment. iBARGE aims to examine the richness and growth rates of fouling communities, groups of marine organisms that grow on the undersides of boats, docks, and aquaculture equipment. In many locations, fouling communities are dominated by invasive species which can overgrow native species including commercially important organisms like oysters and mussels. The iBARGE program compares the growth rates of invasive species between locations on three different continents (the east and west coasts of North America, the UK, and NZ), using photographs taken on a weekly basis. Settlement panels – PVC squares – have been deployed in the northern hemisphere’s spring and summer and were deployed this week in Otago Harbour for the austral spring and summer. Analysis of the data collected will allow scientists to understand how growth rates vary with water temperature and location.


Read more and see examples of the fouling community at http://ibargeprogram.wordpress.com/