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News and events

RoboCup Nationals in town this weekend

Thursday, 14 September 2017 3:50pm

Regional competitions of Robocup Junior New Zealand were held up and down the country between July and September this year, with the nationals taking place in Dunedin on Saturday. Robocup is a unique event that excites and motivates school students, and allows them to choose between Robot Theatre, Rescue or Soccer. Any brand of robot may be used, provided they can be programmed and are not remote controlled. Students are also encouraged to build their own robots. Now played in over 30 countries around the world it is a regular feature of the annual university run RoboCup World Finals, where it is the largest league. Come along and see what all the fuss is about!

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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.

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New research vessel launched by Marine Science

Monday, 24 July 2017 1:48pm

The Department of Marine Science has launched its new research vessel, Tūhura. The name Tūhura means “to investigate or discover” – very appropriate for the 6.5 metre Osprey which will be used to support field collections, water sampling and diving.

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2017 General Staff Award winners named

Wednesday, 12 July 2017 10:04pm

Two women who work tirelessly to enhance the University and its contributions to the wider community have won this year’s University of Otago Award for Exceptional Performance by General Staff.

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New harbourside teaching laboratory

Tuesday, 4 July 2017 8:55am

Otago’s new $5 million teaching laboratory – with outstanding facilities – is expected to host its first lecture at Portobello next week.

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Next generation of Antarctica scientists celebrated

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 1:45pm

Understanding what Antarctica’s environment was like 3.5 million years ago could prove crucial to preparing New Zealand for the impacts of climate change.

Three Otago University postgraduate students and a Victoria University postgraduate student were last night awarded postgraduate scholarships by Antarctic New Zealand for their work to better understand the changes occurring on the frozen continent. All three Otago students are associated with the Polar Environments Research Theme.

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Challenging science in a challenging environment

Monday, 26 June 2017 1:54pm

Over 150 leading scientists from New Zealand and around the world are coming together over the next three days to showcase the latest research on how climate change is affecting Antarctica.Organised by the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) and Antarctica New Zealand, the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference brings together the latest science being undertaken by the New Zealand Antarctic Programme and its international partners. Free events at Otago Museum have also been organised throughout the week so the public can learn about the impact of Antarctica on our lives.

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Celebrating 30 years of science outreach at Otago

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 2:12pm

An article just published in the New Zealand Science Review celebrates 30- years of science outreach at Otago. It presents the reader with an historical account of the development of community delivered outreach programmes by the University of Otago - and more specifically, those through the Division of Sciences and its contributing departments, schools and centres - a relationship that began in the 1970s. Although recognition for community service has been built into academic staff promotion processes for decades, it has only been available for non-academics since 2014 – which lends this article a point of difference given it has been co-authored by both academic and non-academic staff members.

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/