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Division of Sciences News


Wednesday, 18 April 2018 1:35pm

"Now I can join others at the temple" - a mixed methods realist evaluation of a programme to increase social inclusion for young people with psycho-social disability in North India
Dr Kaaren Mathias

Friday 20th April, 12noon
Department of Preventive & Social Medicine
Room 033/036, Ground Floor, Adams Building, 18 Frederick Street

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New species of ancient whale identified and named by Otago palaeontologists

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 9:23am

University of Otago palaeontologists are rewriting the history of New Zealand’s ancient whales by describing a previously unknown genus of baleen whale, alive more than 27.5 million years ago and found in the Hakataramea Valley.

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Raw fruit and vegetables provide better mental health outcomes: Otago research

Monday, 16 April 2018 2:31pm

Seeking the feel good factor? Go natural. That is the simple message from University of Otago researchers who have discovered raw fruit and vegetables may be better for your mental health than cooked, canned and processed fruit and vegetables.

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Otago On Location: Glassblowing Unit

Thursday, 5 April 2018 9:55pm

In this instalment of Otago on Location (shared from Otago Connection) we visit the Glassblowing Unit an on-campus workshop for the manufacture of scientific glassware and a retail store of standard laboratory glassware.

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Taxing sugary drinks a no-brainer for New Zealand

Wednesday, 4 April 2018 10:24am

On 1 April 2018, the United Kingdom introduced a sugary drinks tax, an important public health measure that University of Otago, Wellington, public health researchers believe should be happening in New Zealand too.

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More commitment by local government needed to achieve Smokefree 2025

Thursday, 29 March 2018 10:37am

There needs to be more commitment by local government to help achieve central government’s Smokefree 2025 goal, new University of Otago research shows.

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Sad end to first journey of yellow-eyed penguin chick Takaraha

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 1:48pm

Takaraha, a juvenile yellow-eyed penguin that captured attention in recent weeks, has been euthanised after suffering a non-survivable injury to its left flipper, believed to be inflicted by a predator.

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Yoghurt may reduce eczema and allergy in infancy

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 1:54pm

Yoghurt given to infants in the first year of life may protect them from developing eczema and allergy, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, and the University of Auckland have found.

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Importance of physical activity in preschoolers highlighted by Otago researcher

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 12:47pm

The journey to obesity can start as young as age one so increased physical activity should be established and encouraged early, University of Otago researchers say.

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More sustainable transport for better health in New Zealand cities

Friday, 23 March 2018 1:51pm

Can your local council stop you getting heart disease or cancer? Yes, say researchers in a new study led by the University of Otago, Wellington.

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Research suggests promoting smokefree homes may help reduce teen smoking

Thursday, 22 March 2018 1:52pm

New Zealand children and teens growing up in smokefree homes are less likely to take up smoking, even if their parents are smokers, a University of Otago, Wellington, study has found.

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Highlanders coaching staff visit Otago

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 11:01am

With the Highlanders Super Rugby side at the top end of the Super Rugby points table and currently unbeaten in 2018, it’s no surprise their coaching staff are looking for every opportunity to maintain the side’s peak performance.

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Otago surveyors join Global Surveyors' Day

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 10:58am

Members of Otago’s School of Surveying headed to the Octagon yesterday, to join celebrations of the first ever Global Surveyors’ Day.

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Otago PhD candidate wins Chinese scholarship

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 10:48pm

A University of Otago PhD candidate has been recognised by the Chinese Government for her outstanding academic performance.

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Seminar: Elements of Successful Innovation

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 2:08pm

Dr Arun Shanbhag, Chief Innovation Officer at Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT)
Dhruv Suri, Aeronautical Engineering student, MIT
Akondi Saisri, Biomedical Engineering student, MIT

Thursday 22 March, 09.30-10.30am
Room 2.19, Level 2, Otago School of Business, 60 Clyde Street

Dr Arun Shanbhag is the Chief Innovation Officer at Manipal Institute of Technology in India.  He has been an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School for 19 years before moving to Manipal Institute of Technology last year.

Against a backdrop of high poverty, unemployment and inequity in India, Dr Shanbhag is inspiring students at Manipal Institute of Technology to explore innovative projects to improve the quality of life of society around them. Using a simple, generalized design-thinking framework that students can follow, and solve local problems, he encourages students from all disciplines to form interdisciplinary teams and create innovative products.

Two of his students - Dhruv Suri and Akondi Saisri  - recently won the inaugural NZ-India Sustainability Challenge and will present their work on an app for infant immunisation in India.

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Seminar:  TANDEM: understanding diabetes and tuberculosis

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 11:52am

Prof Reinout van Creuvel

Tuesday 13th March, 12noon Room 033/036, Ground Floor, Adams Building, 18 Frederick Street

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Seminar: Typhoid - the impact on New Zealand and the Pacific

Monday, 12 March 2018 12:00am

Prof John Crump, McKinlay Professor of Global Health and Co-Director, Otago Global Health Institute, University of Otago

14 March 2018, 1pm
The Liggins Theatre, Level 1, Building 16, Greenlane Clinical Centre AUCKLAND

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Seminar: The Cassava Virus Action Project

Monday, 12 March 2018 4:28pm

The Cassava Virus Project: Senior Research Fellow and Senior TED Fellow Dr. Laura Boykin

15 Mar 2018,   6:10 PM - 7:30 PM
Castle Street Lecture Theatre One

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Seminar: A biocultural investigation of 19th century life in Otago, New Zealand

Monday, 12 March 2018 9:18am

(co-authored with Dr Peter Petchey)
Professor Hallie Buckley
Department of Anatomy, University of Otago
Wednesday 14 March 2018, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Burns 5, Burns (Arts) Building, Albany Street, Dunedin

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POSTPONED - Bioethics Seminar: The emergence of public health ethics

Monday, 12 March 2018 9:29am

James C. Thomas, PhD, University of North Carolina

Ethics are often about imbalances of power. In public health, the power imbalances are principally between a population and its government, rather than between a patient and a clinician. But only recently has public health ethics distinguished itself from medical ethics. The emergence of public health ethics has been driven in part by global phenomena, such as the threat of pandemics. Dr Thomas will describe this emergence and its expression in different cultures.
Jim Thomas is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the MEASURE Evaluation project at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Otago researchers part of $18M project to reveal causes of fever in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia

Friday, 9 March 2018 11:05am

Otago researchers are helping lead a major international project to determine what the main causes of fever in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are and how they should be treated.

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Study of smoking among doctors and nurses shows very low smoking prevalence and Smokefree 2025 goal can be achieved

Friday, 9 March 2018 10:57am

A new study on smoking trends among doctors and nurses in New Zealand finds smoking has declined steadily within these healthcare professions. Researchers say this shows that very low smoking rates can be achieved in large occupational groups, suggesting that New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 goal is reachable.

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Trade treaty threatens health if climate change not addressed: University of Otago expert

Friday, 9 March 2018 10:47am

A University of Otago health expert is calling for an independent assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact’s potential impacts on climate change and health.

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Otago-led study shows oxygen loss could be huge issue for oceans

Tuesday, 6 March 2018 3:46pm

A major University of Otago-led study into an ancient climate change event that impacted a significant percentage of Earth’s oceans has brought into sharp focus a lesser-known villain in global warming: oxygen depletion.

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Unique chemistry - which one day might help fight serious disease - found in the New Zealand glowworm

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 3:26pm

University of Otago researchers have helped uncover how New Zealand glowworms produce their glow.

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Prize-winning Otago scientist credits collaboration with her success

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 9:52pm

Her work may be in nano-scale, but it is certainly making a big impact for Dr Carla Meledandri. The Otago Chemistry lecturer is the 2017 Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize recipient and was presented with her award today.

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Molecular installation provides gateway to Division of Sciences

Monday, 12 February 2018 11:29am

A 12.5 tonne, three-storey tall steel representation of a molecular network has become the “gateway” to the University of Otago’s Division of Sciences.

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Otago researchers uncover New Zealand's first fossils preserved in amber

Thursday, 8 February 2018 11:31am

The discovery of fossil insects, nematodes and fungi preserved in amber from sites in Otago is shedding new light on New Zealand’s geological and biological history.

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Centre staff go the distance for Agri-food conference

Friday, 26 January 2018 12:13pm

The Centre for Sustainability was well represented at the recent 24th International Conference of Agri-food Research Network held in Bandung, Indonesia.

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Otago researchers reveal sexual prowess of older males not to be underestimated

Thursday, 25 January 2018 11:03am

Quality sperm, good genes, and courtship knowledge are just a few reasons why females might benefit from mating with older males.

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Otago reveals concerning prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Southern New Zealand women

Monday, 22 January 2018 12:07pm

New Zealand women and their babies are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency and current health guidelines fall short of curbing this detrimental trend, new University of Otago research shows.

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Talking about diabetes – improving health, one sentence at a time

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 9:53am

Primary care physicians can improve their communication to newly-diagnosed diabetes patients by offering more information specific to the patient’s experience, new research from Otago, Auckland and Victoria universities shows.

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Predator Free 2050 has major benefits for human health

Monday, 15 January 2018 9:12am

The Predator Free 2050 campaign to rid New Zealand of rats and possums will have major benefits for human health as well as for native plants and animals, says University of Otago, Wellington public health researcher Dr Mary McIntyre.

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University academics receive Fulbright Scholar awards 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018 11:19am

Two University of Otago academics have received Fulbright New Zealand Scholar Awards to undertake research in the United States.

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Otago breakthrough in diabetic heart disease

Friday, 5 January 2018 11:26am

The molecule responsible for heart disease in diabetics has been identified by University of Otago researchers, greatly improving chances of survival.

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Chronic lung disease treatment in New Zealand often not consistent with international guidelines

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:53am

University of Otago researchers have found that the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in New Zealand frequently does not conform to international guidelines.

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Going full-cycle to a PhD

Saturday, 16 December 2017 11:52am

Graduating with a PhD in Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Matt Jenkins reflects on his time, so far, in New Zealand.

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Graduating into retirement… drumroll please

Saturday, 16 December 2017 11:26am

It should be special enough that Brian Coutts is retiring from working at the School of Surveying, after over 25 years’ service, at the end of December. But that’s not the half of it. Today he graduates with a PhD in Surveying – 48 years since starting here as a fledgling 1st year student – and as acting Senior Drum Major of the City of Dunedin, will lead the graduands parade.

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Otago offers free water survival skills programme

Thursday, 14 December 2017 10:24pm

In a bid to curb New Zealand's horrific drowning rates, an Otago researcher is aiming to fill the gap in children's open water survival skills.

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Why Fish?

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 2:50pm

Freshwater scientist and Catchment Otago Co-director, Professor Gerry Closs is ranked in the top 50 researchers worldwide for the number of citations produced in his field. During his expansive career, he has supervised over 40 PhD candidates and close to 90 student projects. Read more about Professor Closs' IPL.