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Tuesday 6 November 2018 3:24pmLisa_Helen_story
Department of Anatomy researchers Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith (left) and Dr Helen Taylor (middle) with University of Otago Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Richard Blaikie at the 2018 Royal Society Te Apārangi research honours awards.

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.

Helen_MedalDr Helen Taylor has been awarded the Callaghan Medal for raising the profile and understanding of conservation genetics and threatened species management both within and outside of academia.

Her research spans conservation genetics, ecology, behaviour and reproductive biology. Her work in Professor Neil Gemmell's lab focuses on the impact of low genetic diversity and inbreeding on sperm health in native and introduced birds in New Zealand. Her research combines the data collection in the field with genetics and microscopy in the lab. She has also been involved in conservation genetics projects for kiwi management in New Zealand.

Lisa_MedalProfessor Lisa Matisoo-Smith has been awarded the Mason Durie Medal for her ground-breaking work that has, through strong relationships with New Zealand's Indigenous people, reshaped our understanding of the last great human migration into the Pacific.

Her research focuses primarily on identifying the origins of Pacific peoples and their commensal plants and animals in order to better understand the settlement, history and prehistory of the Pacific and New Zealand. She utilizes both ancient and modern DNA methods to answer a range of anthropological questions regarding population histories, dispersals and interactions.

Visit the Royal Society Te Apārangi's website to learn more about the awards presented to Helen Taylor and Lisa Matisoo-Smith, and other notable New Zealanders.

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