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Division of Sciences news

Harraways Visiting Professor arrives at Otago

Thursday, 13 June 2019 10:12pm

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" is a quote from noted food writer Michael Pollan and is offered by visiting Harraways Professor Rickey Yada to position his upcoming public lectures on the current movement towards plant-based diets.

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New insect species discovered on Dunedin’s doorstep

Friday, 7 June 2019 9:50am

A team of zoologists from the University Otago has discovered a new species of insect – the Maungatua stonefly – from the slopes of the Maungatua Range, on the doorstep of Dunedin.

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Kelp DNA records destructive power of ancient earthquake

Wednesday, 5 June 2019 2:14pm

One of the most memorable and astonishing aspects of the recent Kaikoura earthquake was the sudden uplift of the sea floor, which left populations of coastal species like kelp and shellfish literally high and dry.

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New University research vessel gets a major boost

Tuesday, 4 June 2019 12:36pm

Plans to build a more capable and cost-effective research vessel to replace the University’s ageing Polaris II have received a major boost with a NZ$250,000 donation.

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University training and research vessel gets a major boost

Friday, 31 May 2019 4:09pm

Plans to build a more capable and cost-effective research vessel to replace the University’s ageing Polaris II have received a major boost with a NZ$250,000 donation. The donation comes from Trammell S. Crow, a Dallas, Texas-based philanthropist and founder of EarthX, the world’s largest environmental sustainability expo.

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Otago’s School of Surveying reaches the top of the world

Tuesday, 28 May 2019 12:16pm

Dr Chris Pearson of Otago’s School of Surveying is a special guest in Nepal this week to celebrate International Everest (Sagarmatha) Day.

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Dunedin stadium study highlights legacy of shady local government structures

Monday, 27 May 2019 9:26am

There was a lack of financial clarity, and potentially dangerous downstream consequences of the significant debt created, as the city built its new covered sports stadium, new Otago research has found.

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Dietetics offers free Nutrition Warrant of Fitness checks

Thursday, 23 May 2019 11:50pm

We are what we eat, but what to eat can be a constant dilemma as we stand in supermarket aisles deciding which product to pop in our baskets.

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Poignant ceremonies start graduation season in style

Thursday, 23 May 2019 11:43pm

Emotions ran high at the University of Otago’s first Māori pre-graduation ceremonies of the year at Union Hall earlier this month.

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Series highlights internationalisation of University

Thursday, 23 May 2019 10:15pm

Otago’s International Office is highlighting the importance of internationalisation, through a series of monthly seminars kicking off today.

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Otago research links civic engagement to resilience

Thursday, 16 May 2019 2:45pm

Flowers, home-cooked meals and time were among the items donated in the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attacks. A new University of Otago study has found these simple acts of kindness not only benefited victims, but strengthened the well-being and resilience of those giving them.

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Quantum physicists shining new light on cave art

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 11:28am

Leslie Van Gelder, a well-known American-born archeologist has been working with Dr Harald Schwefel, and other physicists at Otago University to develop a lamp that mimics the flickering torch light that paleolithic cave artists worked by many thousands of years ago. The lamps will help Leslie and other archeologists reveal intimate details of these ancient people.

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Professor Craig Rodger named the Beverly Chair in Physics

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 2:31pm

Did you know the there’s a clock in the Department of Physics that’s believed to be one of the longest running science experiments in the world?

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Milestone PhD graduation for Te Koronga in Otago’s 150th year

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 11:36am

In 2013 Chanel Phillips (Ngāpuhi, Ngati Hine) was one of the first students of Te Koronga, the Māori postgraduate research excellence group created within the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences. This week she will be the first PhD candidate to graduate.

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Human Nutrition graduate becomes Sciences Kaiāwhina

Tuesday, 7 May 2019 9:55pm

Supporting Māori students during their time at Otago in a communally spirited environment is the driver for Sarahmarie Kuroko in her new role as Kaiāwhina for Sciences.

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Division of Sciences congratulates two Otago Teaching Excellence Award recipients

Thursday, 2 May 2019 3:24pm

The Division of Sciences congratulates Dr Anne-Marie Jackson and Dr David McMorran as this year’s recipients of Otago’s Excellence in Teaching Awards.

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Professor Vernon Squire retires after 32 years at Otago

Tuesday, 30 April 2019 10:32pm

When Professor Vernon Squire arrived at Otago in 1987 to take up the position of Professor of Applied Mathematics, he brought with him an open mind. 

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Urgent action needed to end our love affair with cars, report finds

Monday, 29 April 2019 3:50pm

The authors of a University of Otago report on active transport say urgent steps must be taken to encourage New Zealanders to walk, cycle or take public transport, with our use of cars harming both our health and our environment.

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Otago’s atom interaction discovery valuable for future quantum technologies

Friday, 26 April 2019 3:32pm

By breaking with conventionality, University of Otago physicists have opened up new research and technology opportunities involving the basic building block of the world – atoms.

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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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Position available – Postdoctoral Fellow

Tuesday, 2 April 2019 3:05pm

This is for a full-time, fixed-term three-year position for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Sociology of Food and Agriculture. Applications close on April 30 2019.

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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 3:11pm

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.