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Leading Otago researchers elected as Royal Society Fellows

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Wednesday 20 November 2013 4:56pm

Six University of Otago academics are among the 13 leading New Zealand researchers and scholars in basic and applied science and the humanities who are newly elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Announcing the new Fellows, the Society’s Academy Chairperson Professor Geoff Austin said: “Being elected as a Fellow is an honour given to our top researchers for showing exceptional distinction in research or in the advancement of science, technology or the humanities."

The new Otago Fellows are:

  • Antony Braithwaite, Professor in the Department of Pathology, University of Otago, who has established himself as one of the world’s authorities on a protein called p53, which is a central molecular player in the processes by which the body resists virus infection and the development of cancer.
  • Gregory Cook, Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago, who is a world-leading authority on the metabolism and energetics of microbial growth.
  • Jörg Frauendiener, Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago, who is an international expert in Einstein’s theory of general relativity, working mainly on mathematical issues and numerical simulation techniques.
  • Philippa Howden-Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington, who leads two internationally recognised research programmes– housing and health (He Kainga Oranga) and sustainable cities (NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities).
  • Lisa Matisoo-Smith, Professor of Biological Anthropology, Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, who is a biological anthropologist who has made huge contributions to knowledge about the human settlement of the Pacific.
  • Richard Walter, who holds a Personal Chair in the Anthropology Department, University of Otago, and is an internationally renowned scholar of Pacific archaeology and indigenous tradition.

The Royal Society of New Zealand now has 391 Fellows and 60 Honorary Fellows. Fellows are involved in providing expert advice, promoting best and innovative research practice and disseminating information on the sciences and humanities.

For more information about the Society’s activities, please visit Royal Society.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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