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Division of Sciences News

Virtual Reality providing real-world literacy and numeracy learning tool

Friday, 17 August 2018 9:39am

Virtual reality is moving beyond purely entertainment to become a potential tool in improving literacy, and the University of Otago is behind one ground-breaking approach.

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PM’s new Science Advisor to lead Otago forum

Thursday, 16 August 2018 9:54pm

The Prime Minister’s news Chief Science Advisor Juliet Gerrard will visit Otago next Tuesday to hear from University staff and other Dunedin scientists about how to shape her new role.

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Bottle caps turned into artwork

Thursday, 9 August 2018 2:27pm

One thousand plastic bottle caps donated by staff and students from across the University’s Dunedin campus have been turned into a beautiful piece of art aimed at educating people about the impact of plastics on the creatures that live in the ocean.

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Book Launch: Geographies of Development

Monday, 6 August 2018 11:45am

Book Launch - Geographies of Development

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Otago appoints crime novelist Val McDermid to visiting professorship

Monday, 6 August 2018 10:07am

The University of Otago is delighted to announce the appointment of Scottish novelist Val McDermid as a Visiting Professor in the Division of Humanities.

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In our backyard – Otago argues for reintroducing native creatures to urban areas

Friday, 3 August 2018 9:59am

Imagine if those scuffling sounds you hear in your garden at night were kiwi poking around looking for bugs. According to two University of Otago academics, the idea is not so far-fetched.

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Otago professor honoured by top geography award

Thursday, 2 August 2018 4:29pm

The head of the University of Otago’s Department of Geography who secured the New Zealand Geographical Society’s supreme award says it is a victory for a dynamic approach to research.

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Otago augmented reality journal cover world’s first

Thursday, 26 July 2018 10:34pm

Augmented reality has been used on the cover of a scientific journal for the very first time thanks to a collaboration between Otago scientists and a Dunedin company.

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Art-science interactions push the boundaries

Thursday, 26 July 2018 11:55am

Two of the Otago scientists involved in the new Art + Oceans exhibition currently on display at Otago Museum’s HD Skinner Annex rolled up their sleeves and took a more hands-on role in the creative process.

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Simple supplement aids powerful rugby performance – Otago study finds

Monday, 23 July 2018 11:13am

Sore muscles and peak athletic performance do not mix. Otago researchers have found a common health supplement may solve the issue.

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Potential for Antarctica to become plastics dumping ground and home for new species

Tuesday, 17 July 2018 1:24pm

Antarctica is not as isolated from the rest of the world as scientists have thought, new research reveals, with potential for drifting plastics to create problems in the continent in future and new species to colonise there as the climate warms.

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Scholarships provide Antarctic opportunities

Thursday, 12 July 2018 9:05pm

Antarctic glaciers and microscopic algae will soon be the focus of two University of Otago students who have just been awarded two of three Antarctica New Zealand Scholarships for 2018.

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Science Festival: Gut Heroes experience proves popular

Thursday, 12 July 2018 8:52pm

A captivating augmented reality (AR) experience, aimed at enthusing eight- to 12-year-olds about gut microbiomes, was one of many successful exhibits at the University of Otago Science Expo, held last weekend as part of the New Zealand International Science Festival.

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Science Festival: Otago staff and students recognised with awards

Wednesday, 11 July 2018 7:56pm

A University of Otago frog expert who has dedicated more than 30 years at the forefront of amphibian conservation, was last week recognised for his lifelong commitment to science at an awards ceremony to launch the 11th biennial New Zealand International Science Festival.

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PE announces new curriculum during 70th anniversary

Wednesday, 11 July 2018 7:35pm

The University’s School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences (SPESES) will offer a restructured curriculum from next year – offering more career-focussed options to its students – as well as opening its programmes up to the wider University.

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Forming a broader picture of New Zealand’s lost world through fossil bone DNA

Tuesday, 10 July 2018 7:07am

New Zealand’s unique and relatively short history coupled with new and revealing techniques examining ancient DNA from fossil bone fragments has provided insights around the impact of humans on the environment.

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Otago lecturer acknowledged for inclusive nature

Monday, 9 July 2018 8:34pm

A leading University of Otago lecturer has been praised in one of the world’s most prestigious academic journals as someone who is “winning at science”.

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Otago leads international food authentication course

Monday, 9 July 2018 8:32pm

Giving consumers confidence in the safety and origin of their food is just one of the benefits of a recent Otago-led food authentication course.

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Otago academic’s efforts honoured by genetics community

Monday, 9 July 2018 12:17pm

Professor Neil Gemmell’s unique contributions to the field of genetics have been recognised on the international stage.

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New degree structure for School of Physical Education Sport & Exercise Sciences coincides with major anniversary

Friday, 6 July 2018 4:30pm

The 70th Anniversary of the University of Otago’s School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences is being marked with a celebration of its history at Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hākena Research Library, and as the past is remembered a new degree structure has been confirmed.

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Otago scientists make fascinating feather find

Wednesday, 4 July 2018 11:51am

Ever wondered where parrots get their bright plumage? An Otago-led project may have just solved the mystery.

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NZ International Science Festival comes to Otago

Thursday, 28 June 2018 1:24pm

The University’s Dunedin campus will be buzzing with science next month, when the New Zealand International Science Festival gets under way.

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International Antarctic role for Otago Professor

Wednesday, 27 June 2018 10:03am

University of Otago Marine scientist Professor Gary Wilson has been elected Vice-President of a major international group coordinating research in Antarctica. 

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Pulsed Electric Field technology gives new potential for New Zealand food processing

Wednesday, 27 June 2018 10:30am

University of Otago researchers are demonstrating the potential of a new technology which could see New Zealand production of a popular food – the French fry – become healthier, and less costly and wasteful.

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Latest newsletter out

Wednesday, 27 June 2018 2:35pm

Dr James Hale discusses his involvement in The New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard, Dr Caroline Orchiston summarises her work on QuakeCoRE's Oamaru Tourism precinct and Postgraduate student Karly Burch shares her completed PhD project.

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Barker to continue as PVC (Sciences)

Tuesday, 26 June 2018 1:07pm

The University of Otago has extended the appointment of Professor Richard Barker as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Sciences.

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Winning project could help hearing disorders

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 10:40pm

A project that could help thousands of people who suffer from hearing disorders won the Brain and Technology Symposium 2018 Challenge held recently.

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Price of ‘healthy food basket’ continues to rise, Otago research reveals

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 9:02am

The cost of buying healthy food in a weekly supermarket shop continues to grow, the latest New Zealand Food Cost Survey carried out by the University of Otago shows.

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Revolutionary imaging technology wins 2018 Proof of Concept grant

Thursday, 14 June 2018 12:57pm

A ground-breaking proposal that would allow photos and videos to be taken through solid objects has won Otago Innovation Ltd’s 2018 Proof of Concept competition.

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Ocean waves following sea ice loss trigger Antarctic ice shelf collapse

Thursday, 14 June 2018 1:53pm

Storm-driven ocean swells have triggered the catastrophic disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves in recent decades, according to new research published in Nature today.

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Dentistry Dean appointed to lead Division of Health Sciences

Wednesday, 6 June 2018 10:45am

Dean of the University of Otago’s Faculty of Dentistry, Professor Paul Brunton, has been appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences.

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Otago “fusion” study measures psychological effects of Christchurch earthquake

Tuesday, 5 June 2018 10:31am

In the first experimental test of the potential of natural disasters to produce stronger bonds within a group, University of Otago researchers asked residents of Christchurch, New Zealand, to recall their experience of the city's devastating 2011 (Feb 22) earthquake.

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Leigh McKenzie shares her experience as an ESRI scholar

Thursday, 31 May 2018 9:48am

For Leigh McKenzie a summer internship at the Centre lead to the unexpected experience of being granted the New Zealand Esri Young Scholar award for 2017 and nominated for the New Zealand Emerging Spatial Professional award.

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Climate change and sea level rise report released

Thursday, 31 May 2018 10:07am

Centre Director Janet Stephenson and Deputy Director Caroline Orchiston were authors recently on a report for MOTU - Communities and climate Change: Vulnerability to rising seas and more frequent flooding. 

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Otago researchers develop ground-breaking communication technology

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 12:29pm

In the ongoing quest for better, faster and higher-quality wireless communication, University of Otago researchers are leading the way.

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Nutrition WOFs offered to staff and postgrads

Friday, 25 May 2018 11:19am

Otago staff and postgraduate students are being offered a free nutritional ‘check-up’.

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University signs MOU to continue successful volunteer scheme

Friday, 25 May 2018 1:46pm

An initiative that has enabled more than 100 mostly geography students from Otago University to carry out voluntary work abroad since 2006 has been given a new lease on life, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne in Wellington this week.

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Caroline Orchiston interviewed about earthquake on the Alpine Fault

Thursday, 17 May 2018 12:32pm

Centre Deputy Director Dr Caroline Orchiston  recently appeared on Stuff News through her involvement with Project Alpine Fault Magnitude 8 (AF8)

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Nominations open for Otago Science Awards

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 10:24am

A call is being made to recognise Otago’s science heroes with nominations now open for the biennial Otago Daily Times Otago Science Awards – a joint initiative between the New Zealand International Science Festival and the ODT. Nominations can be made online via the New Zealand International Science Festival scifest.org.nz website and will close on Thursday 28 June at 5pm. Winners will be announced at the launch of the New Zealand International Science Festival on Friday 6 July.

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Primary schools to study the worm that once held up State Highway One

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 11:08am

Researchers from Catchments Otago – a University of Otago Research Theme – are embarking on a year-long study with three Dunedin primary schools into the mysterious ancient velvet worm – peripatus – thanks to a $20,000 grant from the from the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment’s Participatory Science Platform (PSP).