He Kitenga: 2008 University of Otago Research Highlights

He Kitenga (Māori for "discovery") celebrates research and scholarship at the University of Otago, highlighting some of the outstanding achievements of the University's staff and research students. The collective success of all of our staff was recognised by the New Zealand Government's latest assessment of the research performance of individual staff, with the result that the University of Otago achieved the highest ranking for research, of all New Zealand universities. In 2008, staff of the University won the highest total funding from the Marsden Foundation, New Zealand's most prestigious funding agency, for the fourth year in succession.

At Otago, research underpins undergraduate and graduate teaching, professional training and community service. Our researchers and scholars contribute to leading international discoveries and knowledge, to new commercial developments, and to the health, social and cultural well-being of New Zealanders. The expertise and enthusiasm of researchers is critical to the success of the University, and their efforts are generously supported by grants from a wide range of external agencies. The University contributes to the economic transformation of the nation, through innovation based on a strong platform of research and through outstanding graduates.

At Otago, research underpins undergraduate and graduate teaching, professional training and community service.

As New Zealand's most research-intensive university, the University of Otago fosters a vigorous research culture. We are proud of our international standing. Our staff publish the results of their discoveries in the world's leading journals and book presses, they are influential in editing the work of others, they play leading roles in a range of international academic and professional organisations, and they win top international prizes and awards. Our researchers collaborate with staff at other universities in New Zealand and overseas, with Crown Research Institutes, and with many other industry and community groups.

The University places a strong emphasis on the importance of doctoral students. They number more than 1,000. They make a valued contribution to research and teaching in the University, and strengthen the University's research culture through their ideas, energy and enthusiasm. They are the future generation of researchers, and go on to positions in universities and research organisations in New Zealand and around the world. Many will hold leadership positions in the health services, industry and community organisations in New Zealand. Their work is also featured in He Kitenga.

We hope you enjoy the selection of work featured in this edition of He Kitenga. It may help you appreciate the wideranging contributions made by Otago's researchers to the discovery and sharing of knowledge.

Professor David Skegg
Vice-Chancellor

Professor K Geoffrey White
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)