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Division of Sciences news

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.

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Sarcasm and leopard seals victorious in 3MT competition

Tuesday, 10 August 2021 9:23am

PhD candidate Pradeesh Parameswaran (Computer Science) won the doctoral section of the competition, as well as the Peoples’ Choice Award, master's candidate Giverny Forbes (Zoology) won her category.

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Otago study outlines trail-blazing developments in conservation management

Monday, 9 August 2021 9:48am

Many of us enjoy the familiar surroundings of home, but what if we needed to move to a strange place for our survival?

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Dr Phil Wilcox receives Genetics Excellence in Education award

Thursday, 5 August 2021 8:45am

Dr Phil Wilcox (Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa) has been awarded The Genetics Society of AustralAsia Award for Excellence in Education. 

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“Māoritanga” not a factor in becoming homeowner

Wednesday, 4 August 2021 2:12pm

New research from the University of Otago Christchurch debunks the myth that culture is possibly tied to home ownership.

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Professor Janice Murray retires with a “retrospective reflective” IPL

Wednesday, 4 August 2021 10:17am

Professor Janice Murray delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture the same week as her retirement.

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Crawling important step in development of risk perception

Monday, 2 August 2021 4:25pm

The more crawling experience a baby has, the more likely they are to avoid falling into water, a University of Otago study shows.

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Food Science building makeover and moves

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 9:11am

A redevelopment is on the way for the Dunedin campus between the Water of Leith and Leith Walk – the home of the Department of Food Science. 

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Study strengthens argument postpartum depression different to major depression

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 10:40am

Women with postpartum depression experience smell differently to other women, a University of Otago study has found.

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Influential Chemistry researcher awarded University’s top honour

Friday, 23 July 2021 8:47am

Chemistry Professor Keith Gordon is the winner of the University of Otago’s Distinguished Research Medal for 2021.

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Journey from smoking to vaping variable – Otago academics

Thursday, 22 July 2021 9:03am

Persistence may be the key when quitting smoking using an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS), commonly known as vaping, a University of Otago study found.

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Fully renewable energy feasible for Samoa – Otago study

Thursday, 22 July 2021 9:04am

The future of Samoa’s electricity system could go green, a University of Otago study has shown.

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“Backpacking” hedgehogs take permanent staycation

Tuesday, 20 July 2021 12:00pm

New University of Otago research has been examining how alpine-based hedgehogs hibernate from a different perspective – their backs.

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Winners of the 90-second Science film competition announced

Monday, 19 July 2021 11:02am

Two students from the Centre for Science Communication have scooped the top two awards for the 90-second video competition. 

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World-first finding offers hope for psychosis sufferers

Thursday, 15 July 2021 10:03am

University of Otago scientists have opened the door to improved treatment of brain dysfunction which causes psychosis.

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Research extends length of glacier and snowline analysis

Thursday, 8 July 2021 9:30am

The timeline for end-of-summer-snowline measurements in New Zealand’s Southern Alps has been extended in new research by the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington.

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Collective battery storage beneficial for decarbonized world

Monday, 5 July 2021 10:39am

Batteries are potentially a game-changing technology as we decarbonize our economy, and their benefits are even greater when shared across communities, a University of Otago-led study has found.

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Long-serving Geology Professor retires from teaching

Monday, 28 June 2021 9:22am

Professor Ewan Fordyce joined Otago’s Department of Geology in 1982. Just shy of 40 years later he has called time on his teaching career.

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Otago’s Mountain Research Centre explores snow, ice and glaciers in our changing climate

Wednesday, 23 June 2021 9:30am

Tackling the uncertainty of how changes to snow and ice cover will impact New Zealand’s water resources is one of the goals of University of Otago’s Mountain Research Centre (MRC).

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Dam strength determined by balanced rocks

Tuesday, 15 June 2021 10:49am

Balanced rocks, poised in position for 24,000 years, have been used to assess the current seismic integrity of the Clyde Dam in a University of Otago-led study.

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Otago sports-related research leads NZ Universities in international recognition 

Monday, 14 June 2021 9:44am

Investigating the connections between sport and wider society has helped the University of Otago maintain its success in the sports-related category of the 2021 QS World Rankings.

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Otago takes lead on Policy Guidance for Ocean Acidification

Wednesday, 9 June 2021 11:24am

'A Policymaker’s Handbook for Addressing the Impacts of Ocean Acidification' has recently been launched.

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Sisters in Science

Thursday, 3 June 2021 9:43am

Between them, Dr Cathy Cole and Dr Rosie Cole have clocked up three research expeditions to polar seas, forty ascents of Mount Tongariro, thousands of hours in a Scottish coral culture lab, and organised a ton of wax to mimic an eruption.

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Family connections lead to study of singing’s strong benefits

Wednesday, 2 June 2021 3:33pm

To sing is to live well. That is the simple message of a study led by an Otago Department of Psychology researcher and recently published in Journal of Health Psychology.

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Looking at future of Antarctic through an Indigenous Māori lens

Thursday, 27 May 2021 4:29pm

It is time for the management and conservation of the Antarctic to begin focusing on responsibility, rather than rights, through an Indigenous Māori framework, a University of Otago academic argues.

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Otago study aids understanding of invisible but mighty particles

Wednesday, 26 May 2021 12:15pm

Tiny charged electrons and protons which can damage satellites and alter the ozone have revealed some of their mysteries to University of Otago scientists.

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Otago study helps explain how religious beliefs are formed

Monday, 24 May 2021 10:02am

Feeling anxious can direct our attention and memory toward supernatural beings such as gods, a University of Otago study has found.

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No cause for alarm about graduate students’ mental health

Friday, 21 May 2021 12:13pm

Talk of a graduate student mental health crisis is abundant in academic and popular media, but a University of Otago study has found no evidence of one in New Zealand.