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Division of Sciences news

Kiwi scientists develop method to disinfect PPE for potential reuse in pandemic

Tuesday, 18 January 2022 2:32pm

Kiwi scientists have developed a shipping container-based unit to disinfect N95 masks and other PPE, so it can be potentially reused and safely recycled

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Nutritional value of huhu grubs assessed for the first time

Friday, 14 January 2022 1:58pm

Huhu grubs have long been prized as a traditional food source and their nutritional value has just been analysed by University of Otago researchers for the first time.

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Otago graduate aiming to improve Pacific nutrition

Monday, 20 December 2021 8:41am

When Darryl Pupi first arrived at Otago from Samoa as an undergraduate he knew he wanted to work in the health field, he just didn’t know in what capacity.

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Kurī overlooked for ecological impact on early New Zealand

Thursday, 16 December 2021 9:55am

The arrival of humans, and the kiore (Pacific rat) they brought with them, has been well documented as bringing about major changes to Aotearoa New Zealand’s environment, but what about their pets?

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Making a difference

Thursday, 16 December 2021 9:36am

The John Clark Memorial Prize for postgraduate mathematics has been created to honour the contribution and memory of Associate Professor John Clark, who taught at Otago from 1970 until his retirement in 2013.

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Graduate chasing sustainable energy dreams for Nigeria

Tuesday, 14 December 2021 8:44am

It’s a big change going from constant blackouts to 24-hour electricity, but Aminat Razaq hopes it will be one that comes soon for Nigeria. 

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Juggling toddlers and study in lockdown far from home

Tuesday, 14 December 2021 9:14am

It’s tough enough moving across the world to undertake a PhD in a foreign country. How about adding two toddlers, a COVID lockdown and a husband trapped offshore with the borders closed?

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Dunedin Study researcher advances understanding of Alzheimer markers

Tuesday, 14 December 2021 11:26am

PhD graduate Ashleigh Barrett-Young is making great leaps forward in understanding the scientific links between our eyes and our brain.

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Science Communication internship a chance to learn, and to give back

Monday, 6 December 2021 9:04am

Science Communication master’s student Alice Neilson has thrown a little light on a number of diverse research projects during her internship this year.

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Scholarship winner driven to improve Māori mental health 

Thursday, 2 December 2021 10:30am

The first recipient of a prestigious scholarship named in honour of one of Aotearoa’s leading Māori health researchers says the award has enriched her academic and cultural journeys.

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Otago neuroscientist awarded global fellowship

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 8:42am

Receiving an international fellowship and being able to use the $25,000 award to further her studies into anxiety and mental health “means the world” to Dr Olivia Harrison.

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Capturing stories of the past, for the future

Friday, 26 November 2021 11:30am

Ascending the well-worn steps and heaving open the wooden doors to the Geology Department provokes an immediate connection with our human and cultural history.

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Perceptions of anxiety the focus for New Zealand Fellowship recipient

Monday, 22 November 2021 11:04am

Otago-based neuroscientist Dr Olivia Harrison has been awarded a global fellowship to further her research into understanding anxiety, and how the way we perceive mental health can in-turn influence our response.

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Physics duo feature in prestigious publication

Friday, 19 November 2021 10:47am

Outstanding Otago research about the scattering of light has been published in respected international journal Science.

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Portobello Peninsula to be hub of science and sustainability

Thursday, 18 November 2021 10:36am

Scientists have planted their first tree in a project which focuses on ecological teaching, research, and environmental management of the small peninsula near Portobello in the Otago Harbour.

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New evidence reveals moa occurred naturally on Rakiura

Monday, 15 November 2021 10:09am

New research by the University of Otago and the Department of Conservation provides evidence that moa may have been indigenous on Rakiura / Stewart Island shortly after human arrival.

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The Division of Sciences successful 2021 Marsden Fund Grants

Tuesday, 9 November 2021 1:04pm

The Division of Sciences extends congratulations to the following researchers who were successful in securing funding from the 2021 Marsden Fund, Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden.

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Generous gift to establish new Chair in Freshwater Sciences

Monday, 8 November 2021 3:52pm

A new Professorial Chair in Freshwater Sciences at the University of Otago is being established with the support of a substantial gift from Emerita Professor Dame Carolyn Burns CBE.

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Otago researchers identify best water treading technique to prevent drowning

Thursday, 28 October 2021 12:46pm

Unless you’re a water-polo player, the “egg-beater” technique may mean little to you. But new research from the University of Otago has found it may be the most effective skill you can learn to prevent drowning.

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Funding in hand for German-NZ Green Hydrogen alliance

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 4:07pm

Researchers in an international alliance exploring green hydrogen technologies can now push ahead with building their relationship, with funding secured for the venture.

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University of Otago signs MOU with the Pacific Community

Monday, 18 October 2021 2:34pm

The University of Otago has formally partnered with the Pacific Community.

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New frog named in recognition of renowned amphibian researcher Phil Bishop

Friday, 15 October 2021 7:55am

A new species of endemic frog discovered from fossils in North Canterbury has been named in recognition of the late Professor Phil Bishop (1957–2021).

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New frog named in recognition of renowned Otago researcher Phil Bishop

Thursday, 14 October 2021 8:52am

A new species of endemic frog discovered from fossils in North Canterbury has been named in recognition of the late Otago Professor Phil Bishop (1957–2021) for his worldwide services to amphibian research and conservation.

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Otago researcher discovers first brain marker for an anxiety disorder

Thursday, 7 October 2021 9:35am

A University of Otago researcher has discovered a brain signal that will help improve the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders.

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Otago-led study calls for change to Building Code

Thursday, 30 September 2021 10:22am

Changing the Building Code to enforce construction of highly energy-efficient housing could help New Zealand reach its 100 per cent renewable energy goal, a University of Otago-led study shows.

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Culture and Sustainability

Tuesday, 28 September 2021 3:45pm

Professor Janet Stephenson's Inaugural Professorial Lecture: Culture and Sustainability has been recorded and is available to view.

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Research must make a difference says new Centre for Sustainability Director

Wednesday, 22 September 2021 9:10am

Newly appointed Centre for Sustainability Director Associate Professor Caroline Orchiston wants to bring her “passion for applied research that makes a difference to our society” to the role.

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Double trouble: insecticide and climate warming impact stream insect communities

Thursday, 16 September 2021 9:51am

New research highlights the impact of one of the world's most widely used insecticides on stream macroinvertebrate communities in the context of climate change.

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Sea ice history sheds light on future climate change impact on Antarctic plankton

Friday, 10 September 2021 9:38am

A 170m-long record of marine sediment core from Antarctica is yielding new insights into the complex relationship between sea ice, the productivity of marine plankton, and climate change.

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Remembering (and forgetting) the 1981 Springbok tour

Friday, 10 September 2021 10:05am

This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the history-defining Eden Park Springboks rugby match.

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After 10,000 years of inbreeding, kākāpō are in surprisingly good genetic health

Thursday, 9 September 2021 10:31am

Before humans made their way to New Zealand, the critically endangered flightless parrot known as the kākāpō likely numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

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Avatars may help elicit embarrassing information

Monday, 6 September 2021 10:06am

People would rather give information to other people, although an anonymous avatar might be preferred if the information being shared is embarrassing, University of Otago research has found.

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Should NZ limit heading in youth football?

Thursday, 2 September 2021 10:52am

New Zealand should introduce guidelines to limit youth heading in football similar to those introduced internationally, a University of Otago researcher suggests.

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Underwater learning on the Yellow Submarine

Monday, 30 August 2021 8:57am

Aimee Clark grew up by the beach in Napier and spent her time exploring the natural world, whether it was in real-life or on TV. 

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Graduate returning to Tonga as Otago ambassador for marine environment

Tuesday, 24 August 2021 9:52am

The Pacific Ocean was part Willie Naitoko’s daily life as he grew up within a stone’s throw of the sea in Tonga’s capital city Nuku’alofa. 

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Otago signs MoUs with Bay of Plenty iwi and Malaysian university

Monday, 23 August 2021 1:56pm

The University has signed Memoranda of Understanding with Ngā Iwi i Te Rohe o Te Waiariki and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

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Journey to graduation one of perseverance through health struggles

Friday, 20 August 2021 11:50am

An injury that almost ruined Brionne Fleming’s time at University could ironically be the focus of her future career. 

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Tracking COVID‑19 and variants of concern in wastewater around the globe

Wednesday, 18 August 2021 10:27am

An international team of researchers led by the University of Otago and Western University, Canada, is investigating how wastewater can provide an accurate picture of COVID‑19 cases in a population and detect emerging variants of concern.

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Research establishes possum density in NZ’s urban environments

Wednesday, 18 August 2021 3:55pm

New Zealand’s first rigorous estimates of possum density in urban areas has been published by the University of Otago, forming baseline data for predator control modelling and planning for the country’s Predator Free 2050 vision. 

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Deforestation leads to flight loss in New Zealand insects

Thursday, 12 August 2021 12:03pm

A University of Otago study has revealed new evidence of rapid evolution in New Zealand’s native insect species in response to increased exposure to wind from the loss of shelter due to deforestation.