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News and events

Staff and students give thanks

Thursday, 19 September 2019 12:35pm

The Department of Anatomy held its annual Thanksgiving Service in Dunedin recently.  Family and friends of our donors, along with staff and students attended the service to honour and remember those generous people who have donated their body to medical science teaching and research. 

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Communicating the Loch Ness study

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 9:00pm

Earlier this month Otago’s Professor Neil Gemmell travelled to Scotland to reveal the findings of his environmental DNA study of Loch Ness. Anticipating an avalanche of global media attention, Senior Communications Adviser Mark Hathaway accompanied him. He writes about the experience for the Otago Bulletin Board.

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Otago scientist reveals Loch Ness Monster could be … a giant eel

Friday, 6 September 2019 9:49pm

An Otago scientist has cast major doubt on the existence of a monster in Scotland’s Loch Ness, suggesting instead that it might be a giant eel.

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First eDNA Study Of Loch Ness Points To Something Fishy

Thursday, 5 September 2019 10:46am

University of Otago geneticist, Professor Neil Gemmell can today announce the results of investigations into the environmental DNA present in the British Isles largest and second deepest body of fresh water, Loch Ness.

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Swedish and Otago scientists shed new light on demise of two extinct New Zealand songbirds

Wednesday, 4 September 2019 9:24am

They may not have been seen for the past 50 and 110 years, but an international study into their extinction has provided answers to how the world lost New Zealand’s South Island kōkako and huia.

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2019 OUSA Supervisor of the Year named

Friday, 9 August 2019 7:04pm

It was only a “few” years ago Dr Susan Wardell was watching her supervisor be awarded the OUSA Supervisor of the Year. Now it has come full circle, with Dr Wardell being given the top nod at the awards.

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Study finds fish preserve DNA 'memories' far better than humans

Friday, 9 August 2019 10:23am

We are all familiar with the common myth that fish have poor memory, but it turns that their DNA has the capacity to hold much more memory than that of humans.

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Otago study unlocks secrets of sex change in fish

Thursday, 11 July 2019 2:11pm

A University of Otago-led study is heralding advances in our understanding of one of the most startling transformations in the natural world – the complete reversal of sex that occurs in about 500 species of fish.

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Central Otago cemetery might be next for archaeological research

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 2:34pm

With successful operations in the small Otago towns of Milton and Lawrence complete, the University of Otago’s Otago Historic Cemeteries Bioarchaeology Project is now looking to partner with the historic Drybread Cemetery, deep in the heart of Central Otago.

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Art and science come together in exhibition

Tuesday, 14 May 2019 12:25pm

Scientific objects and artefacts from across the University of Otago intermingle with well-known works of art in the Hocken Collections’ latest exhibition.

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Otago bioarchaeologist’s 1,000-year-old discovery unravels clues about use of psychoactive plants for ritual purposes

Tuesday, 7 May 2019 12:17pm

An Otago bioarchaeologist was among a group of international archaeologists who made an exciting discovery of a “ritual bundle” in Bolivia and using chemical analysis helped unravel clues about the use of psychoactive plants for ritual purposes in the South American country a thousand years ago.

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Are New Zealand’s giant birds of prey just exiled Aussies?

Wednesday, 20 February 2019 11:24am

An international team of researchers including scientists from the University of Otago and Canterbury Museum has brought new knowledge around how the world’s largest eagle came to live in New Zealand. The study published this week in “Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution” traces the Haast’s eagle back to Australia, but it was only after more than two million years of evolution in New Zealand that the bird became a global giant. 

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Clues in Otago research as to changes in babies’ brain formation in obese mothers

Monday, 18 February 2019 9:54am

University of Otago researchers have discovered a clue as to why there are changes in the way babies’ brains are formed in mothers who are obese during pregnancy, which can potentially lead to an elevated risk of mental illness, including autism spectrum disorders.

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New heads to lead Ageing Well National Science Challenge

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 10:25am

Two women, both from the University of Otago, have been appointed to lead the Ageing Well National Science Challenge (AWNSC) in a year when it moves into the second phase of its allocation of funding.

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Innovative research aids stroke recovery

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 9:30am

Research undertaken by Professor John Reynolds and colleagues at the University of Otago has found an exciting new treatment to help people recover from the effects of a stroke.

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Students get hands-on

Monday, 28 January 2019 11:11am

The Department recent hosted ten budding young anatomists as part of the University's Hands-On at Otago programme for Year 12 and 13 students.  The students completed a research project on the knee, as well as other organised programme activities throughout the week.