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Division of Sciences news

Breakthrough research to revolutionise internet communication

Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:21am

A team of University of Otago / Dodd-Walls Centre scientists have created a novel device that could enable the next generation of faster more energy efficient internet. Their breakthrough results have been published in the world’s premiere scientific journal Nature this morning.

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Australian getting under surface to determine Otago’s quake history

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 9:29pm

Earthquakes weren’t part of Jonathan Griffin’s upbringing in Australia, but when he visited Pakistan at the end of his undergraduate geology degree in 2005, it coincided with the devastating Kashmir earthquake. That changed his future path.

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Borneo trip with tropical ecology paper changes student’s path

Thursday, 11 April 2019 9:27pm

Tegan Murrell knew she was taking the right course when her lecturer announced a new paper on tropical ecology involving a three-week field trip to Borneo.

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Surveying’s Samoan Connections

Wednesday, 3 April 2019 9:11pm

A name can say a lot, especially one as long and beautiful as surveying student’s Geodes Laufanuaosamoa Mefiposeta Maualaivao.

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April 2019 digital calendar

Monday, 1 April 2019 11:24am

Roan Vasdev took the photo which has become this month’s digital calendar during a trip to Trotters Gorge.

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Seeing is believing ... unfortunately 

Monday, 1 April 2019 10:41am

The University is excited to announce the launch of campus helicopter tours, under the capable captaincy of Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne.

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DOC calling for sightings after University of Otago field trip discovers entangled whale

Friday, 29 March 2019 4:05pm

A group of staff and students from the University of Otago encountered an entangled humpback whale off the Otago coast on Thursday afternoon (28th March). The group was on a postgraduate field trip making observations of seabirds and marine mammals when they spotted the whale approximately 10 kilometres east of Karitane.

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ScienceTeller bringing Afterlife experts to Otago

Thursday, 28 March 2019 8:02pm

Bringing science and storytelling together, the upcoming ScienceTeller 2019 exploring Science and the Afterlife, is the inspiration of the inquiring minds of Associate Professor Jesse Bering, Director of the Centre for Science Communication, and Professor Jamin Halberstadt of the Department of Psychology.

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Seminar recording: Avoiding a colonial mind-set when building a research collaboration with colleagues in a low and middle income country

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 1:21pm

Avoiding a colonial mind-set when building a research collaboration with colleagues in a low and middle income country.
A seminar by Professor Philip Hill, Centre for International Health, University of Otago (18 March 2019, Bioethics Centre, University of Otago)





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Study highlights detrimental effect of overlooking female athletes’ nutritional needs

Monday, 25 March 2019 11:48am

As poor nutrition can negatively affect everything from bone to reproductive health, more attention needs to be paid to the specific nutritional needs of female athletes, a collaborative study from the University of Otago and University of Waikato argues.

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Support offered to staff and students following Christchurch tragedy

Monday, 18 March 2019 1:45pm

Drop-in centres and tribute areas have been established for staff and students on the Dunedin and Christchurch campuses – aiming to provide support and a place to respond –  following the tragic mosque shootings in Christchurch on Friday which have claimed 50 lives.

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Study proves importance of bird poo in enhancing coral growth

Friday, 15 March 2019 9:50am

A University of Otago study has shown the positive impact bird poo, or guano, has on coral growth in tropical seas.

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Otago bioethicist adds voice to global plea for moratorium on heritable genome editing

Thursday, 14 March 2019 9:24am

A University of Otago bioethicist has added his voice to a global plea for a moratorium on heritable genome editing from a group of international scientists and ethicists in the wake of the recent Chinese experiment aiming to produce HIV immune children.

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Structured play helps toddlers self-regulate, altering their life course – Otago study

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 11:02am

Through simple games and day-to-day tasks, parents can help their children learn self-regulation, a skill considered essential for success, a University of Otago study has found.

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2019 Harraways Visiting Professor named

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 9:56pm

Vancouver-based Professor Rickey Yada has been named as the second Harraways 1867 Visiting Professor and will arrive as a guest of Otago on 6 June.

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University of Otago-led research published

Monday, 11 March 2019 1:29pm

A supplement issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases entitled ‘Typhoid fever and the introduction of the typhoid conjugate vaccine in Africa and Asia’ has been published online.

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Marine Science releases Life Between the Tides poster

Tuesday, 5 March 2019 4:51pm

A species-packed watercolour poster illustrating the strange and amazing marine animals and plants found on the rocky shore and hiding in rock pools at low tide has been released by the  University's New Zealand Marine Studies Centre (NZMSC).

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Physics Professor receives NZ Antarctic Medal

Monday, 4 March 2019 9:56am

Professor Pat Langhorne is quick to downplay the honour bestowed on her as the first female recipient of the New Zealand Antarctic Medal.

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Science Academy welcomes new co-ordinator

Wednesday, 20 February 2019 11:16am

There was no easing into Wendy Dunn’s new role as Science Teaching Co-ordinator for Science Academy (OUASSA) when she welcomed 64 year 13 students and 15 teachers on to campus last month.

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NZ taking the lead on Ocean Acidification at Otago

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 10:31am

Representatives from Commonwealth countries will converge on Dunedin this month as the University is the venue for the first workshop on ocean acidification.

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New Zealand leading Commonwealth into fight against ocean acidification

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 3:49pm

Major steps to harness the collective power of the Commonwealth in the fight against ocean acidification will take place at the University of Otago, Dunedin in mid-February.

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Otago study proves value of teaching open-water survival skills to children

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 1:32pm

Despite the majority of drownings occurring in open-water, basic aquatic skills are typically taught in swimming pools.

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Otago events focus on creating healthy places to live

Monday, 11 February 2019 11:34am

How active, healthy, and sustainable cities can positively impact people, the economy and the environment, will be discussed at a public forum at the University of Otago this Friday.

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Otago nutrition experts call for updated national survey to see what NZ’ers are eating

Thursday, 7 February 2019 1:55pm

As dietary factors and obesity have taken over as the key causes of the global burden of disease, University of Otago nutrition experts say there’s a desperate need for a national nutrition survey to see what New Zealanders are eating, with the most recent survey a decade old.

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DNA provides insights into penguin evolution and reveals two new extinct penguins

Thursday, 7 February 2019 12:29pm

New research has improved our understanding of when and why penguins evolved, and has identified two recently extinct penguins from New Zealand’s remote Chatham Islands.

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Special Topic: One Health distance-taught paper PUBH740  25 February - 12 April 2019

Monday, 4 February 2019 12:20pm

Special Topic: One Health (distance taught) PUBH740 (25 February - 12 April 2019) offered through the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine

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Glimpse of the future of the south from last summer’s heatwave

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 8:51am

Fish normally seen in sub-tropical waters arrived; the kelp that provides habitat for other fish and marine species died off; farmed salmon failed to thrive – even surfers could wear board shorts instead of wetsuits.

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Genetic mātauranga returns benefits to community

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 9:05am

Anežka Hoskin is working with Māori and New Zealand based Pacific Islanders furthering genetic mātauranga (knowledge) on metabolic diseases that influence obesity.

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2019 Harraways Visiting Professor named

Wednesday, 16 January 2019 11:12am

Vancouver-based Professor Rickey Yada has been named as the second Harraways 1867 Visiting Professor as a guest of Otago in June–July.

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Science Division announces academic promotions

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 3:29pm

The Science Division is pleased to announce the promotion of five academics to the position of professor, and a further five to the position of associate professor. 

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Otago report investigates ‘shifting the peaks’ of electricity consumption via three residential appliances

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 9:54am

A University of Otago study has examined the potential for New Zealand residential electricity consumption to be shifted to reduce costs for consumers, demand on infrastructure and avoid future carbon emissions.

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University’s 150th year kicks off with Hands-On Otago’s 30th Anniversary

Tuesday, 18 December 2018 1:39pm

Most teenagers would prefer to spend their summer holidays on the beach, but nearly 400 Year 12 and 13 students are dedicating a week of their break to travel to Dunedin for a taste of student life.

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The University fosters Tongan connections

Monday, 17 December 2018 10:41am

Raised in a Tongan speaking family in Auckland, the first time Mary Jane Kivalu visited Tonga was as a teenager with her mother.  Recently she made her second trip to the Kingdom to help launch the Otago Tongan Alumni Network.

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Otago scientists invent easier, cheaper way to measure gravity

Monday, 17 December 2018 1:07pm

The world has one official kilogram against which all other country’s kilograms are measured and scales calibrated.

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Doctorate graduate explores what gender can engender

Thursday, 13 December 2018 3:35pm

Marea Colombo, the eldest daughter of Otago Vice-Chancellor and Psychology Professor Harlene Hayne and Head of the Department of Psychology Professor Mike Colombo, will graduate on Saturday with her PhD in … Psychology. She spoke to the Otago Bulletin Board about her studies and her future plans.

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Division of Sciences presents 2018 awards

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 10:39pm

The Division of Sciences recently celebrated its annual awards recognising the breadth of work undertaken across many areas of University life including research, teaching, community engagement, technical and administrative support.

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Distinguished Research Medal winner making an applied impact

Tuesday, 4 December 2018 10:46pm

This year’s University of Otago Distinguished Research Medal winner has been described as a research powerhouse.

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Food Science Alliance signed with Chinese University

Thursday, 29 November 2018 8:42pm

The University of Otago has signed an agreement with Jiangnan University in China establishing the ‘Belt & Road’ University Alliance for Food Science and Education (BRUA-FSE).

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Memorial to be held for Emeritus Professor Keith Hunter

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 12:31pm

A memorial service will be held next week for Keith Hunter, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and former Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Sciences, who died at his home late last month.

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New study finds link between smell and obesity

Monday, 19 November 2018 1:00pm

University of Otago researchers have broken new ground by identifying a link between smell and obesity. The findings will be published today in the international Obesity Reviews journal.