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News and events

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.

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Sustained contribution to teaching recognised

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 2:03pm

A passion and drive to enhance the student learning experience in the W.D. Trotter Anatomy Museum and transform the Museum into a world class teaching facility has seen Mr Chris Smith receive the School of Biomedical Sciences Teaching Support Sustained Contribution award for 2018.

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Otago study forces a rethink on population history of Ibiza

Thursday, 6 December 2018 11:17am

Otago researchers have discovered a rare case of genetic population discontinuity on the Mediterranean Island of Ibiza. Essentially, the original genetic signature of the founding female population, handed down through centuries on Ibiza has been replaced, prompting a change in understanding of the island’s genetic history.

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Mo-tivation for fundraiser

Monday, 3 December 2018 11:29am

The death from cancer of a fellow student was a big motivation behind the group Monatomy which has been raising money to improve men’s health.

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Pain common and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand

Friday, 30 November 2018 9:19am


Pain is an extremely common condition and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand, University of Otago researchers say.

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Otago health researchers share more than $3.5m in Career Development Awards

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 9:19am

A University of Otago Christchurch engineer is developing  a ‘lego’ system to 3D-bioprint bone; a solution that could one day replace the billions-of-dollars-worth of ceramic and titanium implants required by New Zealand patients annually.

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Otago scientists’ contributions recognised nationally

Friday, 16 November 2018 9:18am

Three University of Otago scientists have been recognised for their significant contributions to New Zealand’s science community with awards from the New Zealand Association of Scientists.

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Masters research wins paper prize

Friday, 16 November 2018 11:52am

A journal article published by postgraduate student Ashim Maharjan on the potential effects of different frequencies of non-invasive vagal nerve stimulation in humans, has seen him awarded the Department of Anatomy Postgraduate Paper Prize.

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Marsden Medal carries special significance for Tate

Thursday, 15 November 2018 9:44pm

Receiving the Marsden Medal at this year’s New Zealand Association of Scientists Awards is especially poignant for Professor Warren Tate.

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Division celebrates rise in Fast-Start Marsden funding

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 2:37pm

There has been a rise in the number of Division of Health Sciences’ early career researchers being successful in the Marsden Fund round this year, an increase  being welcomed by the Division’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Brunton.

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University of Otago celebrates Marsden Fund success

Thursday, 8 November 2018 9:20am

University of Otago researchers are celebrating their most successful Marsden Fund round ever, securing $28.5 million (excluding GST) for 41 world-class research projects.

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Scientists recognised in research honours awards

Tuesday, 6 November 2018 3:24pm

Two Anatomy researchers have been honoured by the Royal Society Te Apārangi of New Zealand for their work in advancing science communication and relationships in their chosen fields of research.

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Siân Halcrow wins 2018 Carl Smith Research Medal

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 8:05pm

This year’s winner of the University’s Rowheath Trust Award and Carl Smith Research Medal, Associate Professor Siân Halcrow, says she was drawn into her research area through her experience as a third-year student taking Biological Anthropology at Otago.

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Fellowships and Scholarships support Otago scientists

Thursday, 25 October 2018 12:47pm

A University of Otago scientist recognised for his sustained research excellence and two highly promising researchers at the early stages of their careers have been awarded fellowships and scholarships today by the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

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Otago scientist receives prestigious Fellowship to further gout research

Thursday, 25 October 2018 9:11am

One of the country’s leading scientists in the area of gout and metabolic disease, University of Otago Professor Tony Merriman, is one of three researchers nationally to receive a prestigious James Cook Fellowship.

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Irish Famine victims’ heavy smoking led to dental decay, new research reveals

Wednesday, 24 October 2018 9:16am

Irish Famine victims were heavy smokers which caused badly rotten teeth, researchers from the University of Otago and Queen’s University Belfast, in Ireland, have discovered.