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He Kitenga: 2009 Research Highlights

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He Kitenga (Māori for "discovery") celebrates research and scholarship at the University of Otago. With 140 years of experience, the University of Otago has a well-established track-record of research excellence.

Our research is relevant, innovative and connected. Relevant, because it addresses today’s concerns while looking ahead to tomorrow’s unimagined possibilities. Innovative, because it solves practical and theoretical problems in novel and creative ways. Connected, because it links to families and communities, to business and government, both here and globally.

The stories in this year’s publication are a snapshot of the research undertaken by the University’s staff and students. Some of the research is in its formative stages, but much of the research is the result of the patient and cumulative efforts of individuals and teams working over many years and across institutions, regions and countries. There are no boundaries when it comes to research and, for a University in a small country with limited research funding, our researchers more than hold their own in the wider international research arena.

The calibre of our research discoveries and insights have been supported and acknowledged in a number of ways – through national and international prizes, fellowships and awards, and through substantial funding from the public and private sectors. For the fifth year in a row, University of Otago staff won the highest amount of research dollars from the Marsden Foundation, New Zealand’s most prestigious funding agency.

He Kitenga highlights the work of some of our outstanding researchers and also presents the work of those who are just starting out in their research careers – tomorrow’s leaders in a wide range of disciplines across the University.

We hope you will enjoy the selection of work featured in this edition of He Kitenga.