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Division of Sciences news

Wetlands crucial for wellbeing of environment

Thursday, 2 February 2023 9:06am

Wetlands play a crucial role within the world’s ecosystems, but their wellbeing is being heavily impacted by human activity.

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Podcast conversations aim to trigger curiosity and understanding

Monday, 30 January 2023 9:25am

Otago international PhD graduate Amir Amini’s fascination for different viewpoints and love of sharing stories has grown into a 10-part podcast series, When an Irani Meets a Māori.

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Inaugural New Zealand Hydrogen Symposium

Wednesday, 25 January 2023 3:50pm

Aotearoa New Zealand’s first research-focused symposium bringing together international expertise on hydrogen will be held at the University of Otago early next month.

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Stephie Loncar’s academic journey around the globe and back again

Tuesday, 17 January 2023 9:09am

A graduate of Otago is back at the University as a researcher this year after a highly successful stint in academia in Scotland.

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A new species of gecko: What’s in a name and why it matters

Monday, 16 January 2023 11:58am

University of Otago researchers have described a new species of New Zealand gecko made possible by cutting edge ancient DNA techniques.

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Six minutes of intense exercise boosts key brain protein

Friday, 13 January 2023 3:54pm

Six minutes of high intensity exercise may help maintain a healthy brain and delay the onset of neurodegenerative disorders, research led by the University of Otago has shown.

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Titanic teacher

Tuesday, 10 January 2023 11:45am

At first glance it is hard to see what Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, could teach us about the origin of life on Earth.

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The whakapapa, mātauranga and tikanga of water safety

Monday, 19 December 2022 12:36pm

Dr Chanel Phillips is having a major influence on the rethinking and rewriting of the country’s approach to water safety.

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Agricultural Innovation graduate reflects on studies shaped by the pandemic

Thursday, 15 December 2022 8:48am

It’s one of those splendid days that often coincides with end of year exams, when the rhododendrons are rowdy in display and the warmth of spring is omnipresent.

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Educating the public on misrepresented leopard seals

Monday, 12 December 2022 2:40pm

Educating the public about leopard seals, which have generally been misrepresented as aggressive, has been a central focus of University of Otago Master of Science graduand Giverny Forbes.

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Warming seas’ negative impact on giant kelp starts in early life – Otago study

Friday, 9 December 2022 9:18am

Rising ocean temperatures are driving deterioration of kelp forests worldwide, but a University of Otago study hopes to help turn the tide and restore the valuable habitats.

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Simple intervention may encourage accessing of mental health services

Wednesday, 7 December 2022 10:11am

Despite being known as a vulnerable group for experiencing poor mental health, tertiary students often downplay the severity of their distress and delay seeking help, University of Otago research has found.

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PhD graduate Tracy Haitana’s ‘Exceptional Thesis’ on the treatment of Māori with bipolar

Wednesday, 7 December 2022 10:41am

Registered Clinical Psychologist Ms Tracy Nicola Haitana (Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) graduates Saturday, 10 December with a PhD from the University of Otago in Christchurch and reflects on the journey that led to this moment.

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Fresh understanding of ice age frequency – Otago study

Tuesday, 6 December 2022 10:11am

A chance find of an unstudied Antarctic sediment core has led University of Otago researchers to flip our understanding of how often ice ages occurred in Antarctica.

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Professor Claire Freeman wins NZPI Distinguished Service Award

Monday, 5 December 2022 1:00pm

Professor Claire Freeman, School of Geography, has been awarded the 2022 Te Kōkiringa Taumata / New Zealand Planning Institute’s Distinguished Service Award.

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Getting the ball rolling in domestic cricket performance analysis

Wednesday, 30 November 2022 11:55am

Tim Horton has played the long game when it comes to carving out a role for himself as the first performance analyst employed by a New Zealand domestic cricket team.

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Otago staff recognised for passion & for making a difference

Thursday, 24 November 2022 4:47pm

Making a difference and enjoying their work were common themes among those recognised at the 2022 University of Otago Staff Awards.

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Professor David Hutchinson receives the Thomson Medal

Wednesday, 23 November 2022 2:03pm

Professor David Hutchinson, Director of the Dodd-Walls Centre Te Whai Ao, was last week awarded the prestigious Thomson Medal by the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

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Science Communication graduate’s winning campaign for NZ’s Bird of the Year

Thursday, 17 November 2022 8:45am

“Every time I see a rock wren, I’m in a place I love.”

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Otago helping reduce toxin risk right around the globe

Monday, 7 November 2022 4:16pm

The National Poisons Centre (NPC) has recently completed a multi-year project to replace its toxinz™ poisons information database.

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Understanding of marine heatwaves supported by Southern Hemisphere’s two longest running daily ocean temperature records

Friday, 4 November 2022 9:33am

An Australasian university collaboration has shed new light on marine heatwaves in New Zealand’s coastal waters, utilising the two longest running daily in situ ocean temperature records in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Marine heatwave theory supported by historical temperature records

Friday, 4 November 2022 12:38pm

An Australasian research collaboration has shed new light on marine heatwaves in New Zealand’s coastal waters.

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Love of rivers at heart of new scholarship honouring freshwater champion and inspiring future generations

Monday, 31 October 2022 2:37pm

A new scholarship honouring the life and work of Associate Professor of Zoology Donald Scott has been established by the Otago Fish and Game Council, the Clutha Fisheries Trust and the University of Otago, working closely with Associate Professor Scott’s family.

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Fellowship will help answer huge question

Friday, 28 October 2022 3:28pm

Why do we look the way we do? Why does one cat, one dog, one person, fish, insect, or even tree look different to another?

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Love of rivers at heart of new scholarship honouring freshwater champion and inspiring future generations

Friday, 28 October 2022 12:37pm

A new scholarship honouring the life and work of Associate Professor of Zoology Donald Scott has been established by the Otago Fish and Game Council, the Clutha Fisheries Trust and the University of Otago, working closely with Associate Professor Scott’s family.

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Otago's sustainability efforts rank high globally 

Friday, 7 October 2022 12:59pm

The University of Otago's sustainability efforts rank highly among efforts of university's from around the world.

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Mystery of extinct fish unravelled

Thursday, 29 September 2022 2:27pm

Nearly 100 years after its last confirmed sighting, University of Otago researchers have revealed the genealogical story of the upokororo or New Zealand grayling.

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Initiative strengthens ties between University and regions

Thursday, 22 September 2022 1:23pm

The University of Otago’s commitment to southern communities has been underscored with the launch of a new strategic framework.

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Microplastics found in commercial fish from southern New Zealand

Thursday, 22 September 2022 12:34pm

Fish ingesting microplastics is a global issue, and species in New Zealand’s southern waters are no exception, a University of Otago study has found.

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Efficient species monitoring method proves worth in Otago study

Tuesday, 20 September 2022 10:44am

Genetic information is a critical part of conservation research but has proven invasive and costly – until now.

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Foulden Maar book reveals treasures of ancient ecosystem

Tuesday, 20 September 2022 2:25pm

Associate Professor Daphne Lee and her international colleagues Uwe Kaulfuss and John Conran have celebrated the launch of their book Fossil Treasures of Foulden Maar: A window into Miocene Zealandia, published by Otago University Press.

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Mingling with Nobel Prize winners

Tuesday, 20 September 2022 4:09pm

Mingling with Nobel Prize winners and connecting with hundreds of other young scientists from around the world is on the cards for two Otago students.

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Members of Microbiology: Meet Francesca Hills

Monday, 19 September 2022 11:45am

University of Otago PhD candidate Francesca Hills is taking a closer look at 'fascinating' emerging infectious diseases.

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Elusive meteorite still an exciting event

Thursday, 15 September 2022 8:39am

The search has been called off, but the mere possibility of a meteorite falling on Otago land has still got Otago scientists incredibly excited.

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Out in the field, searching for a meteorite

Wednesday, 14 September 2022 3:31pm

It's not everyday you find yourself out in a paddock in the middle of nowhere, searching for a space rock...

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Taking charge in the face of adversity – climate change adaptors focus of project

Monday, 12 September 2022 11:27am

As the world struggles to take meaningful action on climate change, University of Otago researchers are studying how mana whenua and local authorities are stepping up to help their communities.

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Scholarships create connections back to rural communities

Thursday, 8 September 2022 9:34am

The applications for New Zealand Rural Games Trust Scholarships were so impressive, the Trust decided to award two $1000 scholarships instead of one, to second-year Otago students Thomas Menlove and Holly Williams.

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Caring for the bees all year round 

Wednesday, 7 September 2022 9:22am

September may be Bee Awareness Month, but the fuzzy, flying creatures are a priority for one Otago zoology student all year round.

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Science communication student lands dream job at Antarctica New Zealand

Monday, 5 September 2022 10:38am

A life-changing field trip and a lecturer offering perfect advice at the right time helped lead Annie Robertson to her dream job.

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Parental experience helps future generations handle adverse environments

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 2:30pm

Zebrafish dads make sure their offspring are equipped to deal with environmental challenges, University of Otago researchers have found.