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Division of Sciences news

Otago physicists grab individual atoms in ground-breaking experiment

Thursday, 20 February 2020 12:58pm

In a first for quantum physics, University of Otago researchers have “held” individual atoms in place and observed previously unseen complex atomic interactions.

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Earthquakes disrupt sperm whales’ ability to find food

Thursday, 20 February 2020 11:10am

Otago scientists studying sperm whales off the coast of Kaikōura have discovered earthquakes affect their ability to find food for at least a year.

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Three new professors for Department of Nutrition

Tuesday, 11 February 2020 1:21pm

Today’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the Department of Human Nutrition’s three new Professors.

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Testing seawater of the future? A study at Whakaari/White Island

Wednesday, 5 February 2020 1:30pm

University of Otago scientists are leading research into the possibility that the shallow submarine vents off New Zealand’s volcanic Whakaari/White Island could provide a natural laboratory to study the impacts of future climate change on our oceans.

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Scientists again highlight need for fault avoidance zone at Franz Josef town

Tuesday, 4 February 2020 2:12pm

New research has reinforced that the way the town of Franz Josef Glacier is situated and occupied could mean a very real and significant loss of life and property when the Alpine Fault next ruptures.

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Study promotes NZ open water environments for water safety teaching

Friday, 31 January 2020 8:59am

With summer water safety a key priority for the start of another school year, new research shows teaching water safety in a range of natural open water environments, in contrast to learning in a swimming pool, may be more beneficial for learning.

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2020 Harraways Visiting Professor named

Monday, 20 January 2020 11:43am

A world-class food engineering educator and researcher has been named this year’s Harraways 1867 Visiting Professor as a guest of the University of Otago.

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Aged care residents at risk of malnutrition, Otago study shows

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 3:41pm

More than half of aged care residents are not eating enough and are missing out on essential vitamins and other nutrients despite being offered a variety of food, Otago research shows.

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Scientists seek urgent action on impacts of climate change on reptiles and amphibians

Tuesday, 14 January 2020 12:01pm

World leaders in reptile and amphibian research say there is an urgent international need to acknowledge the evidence for global climate change and take immediate action to help save these vulnerable animals.

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Two awards for Ewan Fordyce

Friday, 20 December 2019 1:12pm

Geology’s Professor Ewan Fordyce has received two significant awards, honouring his contributions to his field.

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‘Shark Spy’ needs your help this summer

Thursday, 19 December 2019 3:24pm

The old catchphrase “the only good shark, is a dead shark” is something that Rob Lewis and the University’s NZ Marine Studies Centre (NZMSC) are aiming to squash this summer.

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Penguin study reveals Southern Ocean’s Ice Age history

Tuesday, 17 December 2019 11:14am

A new scientific study headed by the University of Otago has revealed important clues as to how Southern Ocean ecosystems responded to past global climate change events.

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Chemistry teacher’s excellence celebrated

Thursday, 12 December 2019 10:31pm

Chemistry may be a tough subject but Dr David McMorran’s teaching makes it accessible for his students.

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The Dunedin Study Director presents the 2019 Distinguished Research Medal lecture

Tuesday, 10 December 2019 5:09pm

Professor Richie Poulton, as Otago’s 2019 Distinguished Research Medal Award recipient and Director of The Dunedin Study, presented his public talk to a packed theatre last week.

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Otago research reveals past rapid Antarctic ice loss due to ocean warming

Friday, 6 December 2019 10:00am

New research from the University of Otago has found the sensitive West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsed during a warming period just over a million years ago when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were lower than today.

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Finding flow in adventure recreation

Monday, 2 December 2019 10:55am

New Zealand is widely regarded as one big adventure playground, and a new study by the University of Otago has shed new light on the importance of engaging with the adventure recreation opportunities.

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Otago academics new Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellows

Thursday, 28 November 2019 9:25am

Two outstanding Otago academics are among 19 new Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellows to be elected to the Academy of the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

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Otago researchers lead multi-million dollar Antarctic research projects

Wednesday, 27 November 2019 9:30am

A world-leading Antarctic project investigating how ecosystems in the Ross Sea region might respond to climate change is to be led by Otago’s Associate Professor Miles Lamare.

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Scholarship to continue psychology research

Thursday, 21 November 2019 9:27am

An Otago undergraduate student has received a prestigious scholarship to continue the work of researchers from the Psychology Department.

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Botany’s Team Motany celebrates a double Marsden success

Thursday, 14 November 2019 9:48pm

Head of Botany Associate Professor David Orlovich still has a smile on his face after receiving the good news of his team’s recent Marsden Fund grant success.

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Zoologists demand better action for 2019 “Bird of the Year”

Monday, 11 November 2019 9:47am

University of Otago Zoologists reactions to Hoiho, New Zealand’s endemic and yellow-eyed penguin winning Bird of the Year are bittersweet, and call for better management from agencies tasked with their conservation.

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Taking science communication to school

Thursday, 7 November 2019 10:06am

Science engagement at school continues to decline despite global issues being increasingly informed by scientific research and a growing need for more science-related careers.

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PhD Scholarships

Thursday, 31 October 2019 10:42am

We are providing three PhD scholarships and fees to students who are interested in looking at solutions to climate change problems for Māori communities. Students would join in a multi-disciplinary team of academics, private sector and Crown Research Institute individuals, along with recent Māori social science graduates from Otago University.

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Otago scientists’ discovery leads to greater understanding of Alzheimer’s disease

Wednesday, 23 October 2019 10:00am

Otago scientists have made an important discovery in understanding the role a particular protein plays to impair memory in Alzheimer’s disease, which could lead to more effective treatment in future.

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World-class Clean Lab opens at Otago

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 9:04am

A world-class research facility producing filtered air 100,000 times cleaner than outside air, is the newest addition to the University of Otago’s Mellor Laboratory.

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Otago scientists win national outstanding research awards

Friday, 18 October 2019 9:37am

Two University of Otago scientists have received prestigious awards at the New Zealand Research Honours gala this evening.

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Otago wins at Zoomtopia Innovation Awards

Thursday, 17 October 2019 1:20pm

Otago has won a competition with its videoconference provider, Zoom, for its innovative use of videoconferencing.

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Otago researchers awarded Rutherford Discovery Fellowships

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 2:55pm

Two University of Otago researchers have been awarded Rutherford Discovery Fellowships and will receive NZD$800,000 each over five years.

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BEATS Research Team receives 2019 Otago Research Group Award

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 11:08am

A research group that is actively encouraging active transport to school by adolescents and making a contribution towards New Zealand’s growing issue of insufficient physical activity, has received the University of Otago 2019 Research Group Award.

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Chemistry teacher receives National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award

Wednesday, 9 October 2019 9:02am

The exemplary teaching skills of Dr David McMorran have been recognised with a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award by Ako Aotearoa.

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Estimating calorie content not clear-cut for all – Otago study

Wednesday, 2 October 2019 9:30am

We make food decisions several times a day – from what time we eat to how much – but a new University of Otago study has found we are not very good at judging the energy-density of what we consume.

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Centre for Science Communication welcomes new head of filmmaking

Tuesday, 1 October 2019 9:51am

Sharing the narrative of the ocean is a key driver for Dr Gianna Savoie who has recently started in her new role as the head of filmmaking at Otago’s Centre for Science Communication.

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Otago Study identifies psychology of attraction to religious deities and super-heroes

Monday, 30 September 2019 11:29am

A new psychological study published by University of Otago researchers has addressed centuries-old questions about how and why supernatural beings are worshipped.

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Dr Brigid Inder inducted to PE Wall of Fame

Friday, 27 September 2019 1:33pm

Dr Brigid Inder, OBE, a recognised global expert in women’s rights and gender justice issues, has this week been inducted to the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences Wall of Fame.

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Otago Global Health Institute (OGHI) Seed Grants: 2020 Applications now open

Tuesday, 24 September 2019 3:36pm

Applications for the OGHI 2020 Seed Grants are now open.

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National research funding for Centre researcher

Thursday, 19 September 2019 9:11am

Professor Merata Kawharu (Ngāti Whatua, Ngāpuhi) from the Centre for Sustainability, has been awarded NZ$7,248,016 over five years for an initiative aimed at empowering Māori communities to respond to climate change.This innovative research project pioneers the development of marae-based and marae-led platforms and processes to help reduce carbon emissions in the community.

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Time for law review on GM crops – leading academics argue

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 10:40am

A group of New Zealand’s leading plant scientists are calling for a law change, allowing them to use modern plant breeding technologies, which could be highly beneficial to New Zealand and the world.

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Seminar: Postcolonial Tanzania, the Dar School and Afro-Futurist Geopolitical Imaginations

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 12:01pm

Seminar: Postcolonial Tanzania, the Dar School and Afro-Futurist Geopolitical Imaginations

Prof Joanne Sharp
University of St Andrews, UK

Date: Wednesday 25 September, 4PM
Venue: Richardson 5N4


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Otago scientists awarded NZ$38.5 million in largest national research grants

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 10:28am

University of Otago scientists have been awarded almost NZ$38.5 million from the Government’s Endeavour Fund to tackle major issues from climate change to antimicrobial resistance.

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Director of The Dunedin Study recognised with Distinguished Research Medal

Friday, 13 September 2019 12:23pm

Having a clear goal to make people’s lives better has helped earn Professor Richie Poulton Otago's prestigious Distinguished Research Medal for 2019.