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Division of Sciences News

New evidence of personal and social benefits of university education for Māori and Pacific Peoples

Wednesday, 5 July 2017 10:57am

Latest research from the National Centre for Lifecourse Research (NCLR) suggests that graduating from university may not only change the individual lives of Māori and Pacific Peoples, but also positively impact on their families, communities and society in general.

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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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Regular brisk walks and a daily longer one help lower office workers’ blood lipids

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 9:37am

Many people spend increasing time sitting during their work days, but breaking things up with regular brisk walks, while also taking daily 30-minute walks, significantly lowers levels of fatty acids that lead to clogged arteries, University of Otago researchers have found in a first-of-its-kind study.

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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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Signing ceremony to formalise generous Harraways funding

Friday, 23 June 2017 9:14am

Dunedin breakfast cereal manufacturer Harraway & Sons Ltd has formalised its donation of $100,000 to the University of Otago's Department of Food Science to establish the Harraways 1867 Visiting Professorship at a signing ceremony today.

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Great to be on great wall, alumnus says

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 12:54pm

Alumnus Dr Dicken Yung inducted into School of Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Sciences' wall of fame.

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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.

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A well-matched name and face could win you votes: Otago research

Friday, 9 June 2017 9:27am

If you have a name that matches your face, you are more likely to win votes if you are a politician, and gain approval in general, says new University of Otago research.

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Two Division of Sciences staff members recipients of 2017 Queen's Birthday honours

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 12:37pm

Professors Richie Poulton (Psychology) and Sally Brooker (Chemistry) have been named as recipients of the 2017 Queen's Birthday honours list.

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Otago student wins NZCU South Young Achiever Award

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 12:17pm

Otago student and Maori Hill resident Charlotte Steel has won a $5000 scholarship in the recent annual Credit Union South (NZCU South) Young Achiever Awards.

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Scientists discover extreme geothermal activity in South Island

Thursday, 18 May 2017 8:27am

A collaboration by scientists who drilled nearly 900 metres into the South Island’s Alpine Fault has revealed surprisingly high temperatures and the potential for large geothermal resources in the area.

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University-made toys the envy of many

Thursday, 18 May 2017 2:40pm

Toys made by technicians in Otago’s Department of Psychology are being sent around the world to support research into infant and children’s early learning and memory skills, a deal which is win-win for the University.

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New Zealand's mainland yellow-eyed penguins face extinction unless urgent action taken

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 9:47am

In a newly published study in the international journal PeerJ, scientists have modelled factors driving mainland Yellow-eyed penguin population decline and are calling for action to reduce regional threats.

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Sea ice, ice shelves and the ocean

Monday, 15 May 2017 2:33pm

During this delightful Inaugural Professorial Lecture, Professor Langhorne told us about how natural ice around the globe responds to climate change at different rates, depending on the location and the type of ice. She also described her efforts to reconcile her observations with models of sea ice close to an ice shelf in the framework of what is happening in the Southern Ocean; and in doing so, took us on a journey across and below the ice.

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Otago: Providing a holistic life experience for graduates

Saturday, 13 May 2017 2:36pm

Max Major and Sarah Morton met as undergraduate students studying Psychology at Otago. Sarah graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology and a PhD in Psychology in 2015, and Max will graduate with the same qualifications this afternoon. Both now work in Auckland as Clinical Psychologists, Max at Adult Rehabilitation and Health of Older Persons and Sarah with the Regional Youth Forensic Service. They are currently planning their wedding.

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Māori Division of Sciences graduating students

Friday, 12 May 2017 8:28am

The Division of Sciences is extremely proud to see 48 Maori students graduate this weekend. Graduates have completed either their under- or postgraduate study covering a wide range of disciplines across the Division. See the full list of May 2017 graduates.

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Celebrating postgradute success of Māori in Psychology

Friday, 12 May 2017 2:39pm

Three Māori Master of Psychology students; Jacob Ashdown, Paris Pidduck and Penny Tipu will be graduating tomorrow. All three students were supervised by Dr Gareth Treharne, and supported by Dr Tia Neha. Dr Neha is herself a recent PhD graduate of the Department of Psychology and was the Kaiāwhina Māori in the department before taking up a lecturing position at Victoria University Wellington last year.

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New molecules from New Zealand: Natural products chemistry of trees, sponges and bees

Tuesday, 9 May 2017 9:16am

Professor Nigel Perry (Chemistry) gave his Inaugural Professorial Lecture titled “New Molecules from New Zealand: Natural products chemistry of trees, sponges and bees”,
illustrating discoveries in New Zealand natural products chemistry from three different stages of his career covering:

. The strange, stressed molecule laurenene from rimu trees, explaining the significance of the molecule on the refreshed Science I building

. The antiviral mycalamide from a sponge in Otago Harbour

. The neurotoxin tutin, hidden in one of our favourite foods

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A mammoth task – how do we decide which species to resurrect?

Tuesday, 9 May 2017 11:01am

The resurrection of vanished species - through cutting-edge technologies such as gene-editing - should be targeted towards recently extinct species rather than ancient ones, according to a leading University of Otago conservation biologist.

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Redbacks are going down the rabbit hole and rare NZ beetles pay the price

Tuesday, 9 May 2017 12:35pm

Venomous Australian redback spiders are increasingly “sinking their fangs” into New Zealand’s Central Otago region and their invasion is being aided by the activities of another introduced pest – European rabbits – new University of Otago research has shown.

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Quake hazard to the South from Akatore Fault hard to assess

Thursday, 27 April 2017 2:15pm

One of the closest active geological faults to Dunedin is not giving up its secrets easily.

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‘Little Ice Age’ linked to wildlife arrivals in New Zealand

Thursday, 20 April 2017 9:24am

A University of Otago-led study has discovered that the “Little Ice Age” is linked to dramatic shifts in Southern Hemisphere wildlife.

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Massive survey of World War I tunnels handed over

Thursday, 13 April 2017 8:44am

A highly complex University of Otago project to preserve the unique Kiwi character of World War I tunnels in France has reached a milestone.

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Otago researcher investigating how grains may affect blood sugar and diabetes

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 2:39pm

An up-and-coming University of Otago scientist has been funded by the Otago Southland Diabetes Research Trust to undertake cutting-edge research into how the processing of whole grains affects blood-sugar levels of people with diabetes.

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New diagnostic model for psychiatric disorders proposed

Wednesday, 5 April 2017 2:27pm

University of Otago researcher Associate Professor Martin Sellbom is part of a group of 50 leading international psychologists and psychiatrists who have put forward a new, evidence-based, system for classifying mental health disorders.

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Dunedin children’s exposure to lead linked to lower IQ

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 9:15am

Extremely high levels of lead in New Zealand cities in the 1970s and 1980s appear responsible for a loss of intelligence and occupational standing among today’s adults.

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Rugby players’ uneven neck strength may affect head impacts

Monday, 27 March 2017 11:30am

Rugby players with weaker necks or uneven neck strength appear more vulnerable to severe impacts that may cause concussion.

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New study describes what helps and hinders Māori university success

Wednesday, 22 March 2017 1:25pm

Māori university graduates describe whānau (family) support as the top factor that helped them to complete their qualifications, while family responsibilities and commitments made completion of their studies more difficult, according to research from the University of Otago’s National Centre for Lifecourse Research (NCLR).

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Dunedin Study wins top science prize as new assessment phase begins

Tuesday, 21 March 2017 10:16am

Picking up New Zealand’s most valuable science prize is a “watershed moment” for the researchers of a 45-year-old University of Otago-led study which has changed and saved lives around the world.

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Otago Chemistry Professor wins 2017 Burrows Award

Friday, 17 March 2017 2:06pm

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Inorganic Chemistry Division has announced Professor Sally Brooker as the winner of the 28th Burrows Award from an outstanding field of applicants.

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Otago researchers gain control over single atoms

Wednesday, 8 March 2017 2:37pm

University of Otago physicists have found a way to control individual atoms, making them appear wherever they want them to.

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New PVC of Sciences given official Pacific Island Welcome

Wednesday, 8 March 2017 3:13pm

Professor Richard Barker was welcomed to his new role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) during the Sciences Pacific Island Welcome Ceremony yesterday.

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Recipient of 2017 Oceania Dairy Scholarship enrolled in new BASc degree at Otago

Friday, 3 March 2017 3:49pm

Recipient of 2017 Oceania Dairy Scholarship enrolled in new BASc degree at Otago

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Marine Science unveil aquavan

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 11:42am

The Marine Science Aquavan was unveiled yesterday, aptly, on the first day of both ‘Seaweek’ and the Marine Science annual postgraduate orientation week.

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Action needed now to halt decline of southern lakes

Friday, 24 February 2017 12:28pm

New Zealand risks losing its unique alpine lakes unless it stops making the same mistakes as North America and Europe, University of Otago expert Dr Marc Schallenberg says.

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University joins nationwide food-innovation collaboration

Thursday, 23 February 2017 2:25pm

New foods produced by novel techniques using electric fields and ultra-high pressures are likely spinoffs from a collaboration involving the University of Otago.

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Well-being can improve quickly by eating more fruit and vegetables, study finds

Wednesday, 8 February 2017 1:21pm

Lifting your intake of fruit and vegetables can make a difference to the way you feel in just a couple of weeks, a University of Otago study has found.

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Another successful camp for OUASSA

Tuesday, 7 February 2017 12:41pm

Otago University Advanced School Sciences Academy (OUASSA) hosted 60 potentially high achieving Science students from 46 rural/low decile schools nationwide for their first residential camp of the year from 22-28 January.

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Brand new premises for world-famous Dunedin longitudinal study

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 7:36am

A purpose-built home for the University’s world-renowned Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has closely followed the progress of more than 1000 people born in Dunedin in 1972 and 1973, will be officially opened today by Tertiary Education Minister Paul Goldsmith.