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Division of Sciences news

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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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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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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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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'Great sadness' at Queen's death

Friday, 9 September 2022 10:29am

The University expresses heartfelt condolences to King Charles and the Royal Family on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

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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.

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New technique opens swathes of shells for genetic analysis

Thursday, 25 August 2022 9:48am


A new DNA extraction method has made hundreds of thousands of shells in museum collections available for study.

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Large increase in New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions from international flights

Thursday, 25 August 2022 12:12pm

Carbon dioxide emissions from passenger travel to and from New Zealand rose by 60 per cent from 2007 to 2017, a University of Otago study has revealed.

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Surveying kaiako receives US award for innovative curriculum

Wednesday, 24 August 2022 2:47pm

For an innovative researcher and teacher like Dr James Berghan (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri), of Te Kura Kairūri School of Surveying, the challenges of two years dominated by a pandemic have fortunately come with a silver lining.

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Life's work helping vulnerable populations recognised

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 10:45am

A three-year period in the 1960s, while working as a nutritionist in Ethiopia, initiated Emeritus Professor Rosalind Gibson’s lifetime contribution to improving the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

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Alumni scholarships link Otago’s past, present and future

Friday, 19 August 2022 11:17am

After two years of cancelled events, it was great to get together to welcome this year’s alumni scholarship recipients.

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Funding secured for green hydrogen storage materials research

Wednesday, 17 August 2022 11:18am

The development of safe, low-cost, green hydrogen storage materials from New Zealand resources is now a step closer, thanks to an international research grant.

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Slicing and dicing the wicked food waste problem

Wednesday, 17 August 2022 11:14am

A love of food and cooking led Otago alumna Francesca Goodman-Smith on a journey to a career in food waste minimisation.

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Otago Chronicles podcast showcases 'world of wonder'

Friday, 12 August 2022 1:59pm

A new podcast series hosted by University of Otago Science Communication student Max Balloch promises to provide a “glimpse into a world of wonder, excitement and knowledge”.

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Members of Microbiology: Meet Olivia Paxie

Friday, 12 August 2022 10:01am

A sick grandfather, a love of science and a surprising discovery all played a part in PhD candidate Olivia Paxie’s journey from first-year health sciences to doctoral research.

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Upcycling hops into a new brew

Wednesday, 10 August 2022 1:19pm

Can hops that have already been used to make one batch of beer be upcycled to make another batch of beer?

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Art at the heart of Hei Maumaharatanga Memorial Wall project

Monday, 8 August 2022 2:44pm

Work is underway on a small Dunedin campus construction project with cultural significance beyond its size.

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Food Waste Innovation team hosts Professor Dame Juliet Gerrard

Thursday, 4 August 2022 3:55pm

When the Food Waste Innovation Research Theme launched in 2020, its director and Food Science Associate Professor Miranda Mirosa described its aim as to “tackle the wicked issue of food waste.” 

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Trial of world-first gene therapy for Batten disease

Tuesday, 2 August 2022 4:03pm

A University of Otago researcher is involved in a breakthrough trial which could improve the quality of life for children diagnosed with Batten disease.

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New Science Divisional Office opens

Tuesday, 12 July 2022 10:46am

The new Science Divisional Office has officially opened in the heart of the Science Precinct.

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3D scanner to assist in understanding of unusual creatures

Wednesday, 29 June 2022 4:05pm

A new piece of technology is enabling post-doctoral fellow Amber Coste to closely examine new species.

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Matariki heralds launch of new Centre of Indigenous Science

Thursday, 23 June 2022 8:51am

The rise of Matariki brings with it the launch of a new Centre of Indigenous Science at the University of Otago.

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Matariki heralds launch of new Centre of Indigenous Science

Thursday, 23 June 2022 3:57pm

The rise of Matariki brings with it the launch of a new Centre of Indigenous Science at the University of Otago.

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Researching sweat rates and hydration needs during menstruation

Tuesday, 21 June 2022 2:11pm

Nutrition student Michaela Rogan is contributing to a little-researched area of science - variation in sweat rates and hydration needs during the menstrual cycle.

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Wild kitten that joined field trip brings joy to family in difficult times

Friday, 17 June 2022 2:50pm

A tiny kitten that crept out of the bush has connected an Otago student with a Dunedin family in need of some “pure, uncomplicated love”.

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Centre for Sustainability Director Caroline Orchiston featured in North & South

Thursday, 16 June 2022 4:34pm

Associate Professor Caroline Orchiston recently featured in North & South magazine, discussing New Zealand's preparedness for a major earthquake on the South Island's Alpine Fault.

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Shalini Paul on researching diabetes in the midst of COVID-19

Thursday, 16 June 2022 4:14pm

Having family members with diabetes makes Shalini Paul's search for treatment to heal wounds quicker in diabetics personal.

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Biomedical Sciences student Julia Imo wins thrice

Tuesday, 14 June 2022 1:53pm

The bioengineering postgrad student won three awards at the Startup Dunedin's Audacious event recently.

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Ones to Watch: Georgia Mayor

Monday, 13 June 2022 10:21am

Dance and healthy body image have not always been the greatest of friends - a relationship one Otago student plans to improve.

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Hoiho research on Stewart Island identifies critical marine habitats

Friday, 10 June 2022 9:52am

New research tracking yellow‐eyed penguin foraging behaviour in Stewart Island has built a detailed picture of their marine distribution that could inform measures to reduce the risk of local extinction.

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Kelp connecting Southern coasts – genomics reveals

Thursday, 9 June 2022 11:20am

The DNA of kelp has enabled scientists to show just how interconnected coastal communities of the Southern Ocean are.

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Members of Microbiology: Meet Callum August

Thursday, 9 June 2022 10:41am

PhD candidate Callum August hopes his research into tuberculosis will minimise Aotearoa New Zealand's health inequalities.