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Otago academic elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand

Ornamental stone carving

Wednesday 21 October 2015 4:47pm

J WatersProfessor Jonathan Waters

Leading University of Otago zoologist Professor Jonathan Waters is among the 12 top New Zealand researchers and scholars to be newly elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Professor Waters is an outstanding mid-career evolutionary biologist working at the interface between previously distinct fields: genetics and geology; marine ecology and oceanography; and ancient DNA and archaeology.

He has received international media attention for his ancient-DNA research highlighting numerous extinction events in New Zealand’s coastal prehistoric record and his marine biological research on Southern Hemisphere ecosystems and climate change.

Among his findings is the discovery of a new species of extinct South Island penguin, the Waitaha, whose niche was rapidly filled by yellow-eyed penguins around 500 years ago.

The new Fellows were elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Society’s Academy in Wellington today.

The Royal Society of New Zealand now has 404 Fellows and 59 Honorary Fellows. Fellows are involved in providing expert advice, promoting best and innovative research practice and disseminating information on the sciences and humanities.

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

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