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Prime Minister’s Science Prizes awarded to top researchers

Posted in In the News on March 21st, 2017.

The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes have been presented in Wellington today, dishing out a total of $1 million across five categories. The University of Otago team behind the world-renown Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study has been awarded the top prize of $500,000. The Dunedin Study, led by Professor Richie Poulton, has been following the lives […]

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Kea infectious laughter – In the News

Cheeky behaviour in kea is par for the course, but new research has found that a specific squawk puts kea in a playful mood. The study, published today in Current Biology, found a certain ‘play call’ spurred other kea to engage in playful behaviour, even if no other birds had been playing. The researchers suggest the […]

March 21st, 2017 Read full Story

GeoNet takes to Facebook Live for Kaikoura update – In the News

Tuesday marked four months since the November 14 Kaikoura earthquake, which caused widespread damage and disruption along the east coast of the South Island and up into Wellington. To mark the date, GeoNet took to Facebook Live to discuss what its scientists had learnt about the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. After battling with some audio issues […]

March 16th, 2017 Read full Story

Debate over Dunedin sea level rise figures – In the News

Houses in South Dunedin are at risk of sea level rise, but there has been debate over figures suggesting thousands of homes could be affected by 2034. Emeritus Professor Jim Flynn told the Dunedin City Council on Monday that parts of the city could have just 17 years before sea level rise makes them uninhabitable. […]

March 15th, 2017 Read full Story

Flushing out Auckland’s drug use – In the News

Methamphetamine is the most commonly detected illegal drug in Auckland, according to a study that examined drugs flushed into the wastewater. Massey University-led research surveyed two wastewater treatment plants between May and June 2014 and found high levels of methamphetamine, codeine, morphine and methadone in both facilities. MDMA (ecstasy) and cocaine were relatively rare and were […]

March 13th, 2017 Read full Story

Newsroom launches and The Project features science – In the News

New spots for science in New Zealand news, with launch of Newsroom and The Project and a special climate section on NZ Geographic’s website. Newsroom.co.nz launched today, the brainchild of former Mediaworks head of news Mark Jennings and NZ Herald former editor-in-chief Tim Murphy. Its feature story for launch day was an investigation by reporters […]

March 13th, 2017 Read full Story

Otago researchers take control of atoms – In the News

Physicists at the University of Otago have found a way to control individual atoms, making them appear wherever they command. The research, led by Dr Mikkel Andersen from the Dodd-Walls Centre, follows a breakthrough in 2010 when the team isolated and captured a neutral rubidium-85 atom, which allowed them to photograph it for the first time. […]

March 9th, 2017 Read full Story

Alpine Fault interval refined – In the News

Improving on their 2012 study in Science, GNS Science researchers have refined their understanding of past earthquakes on the South-Westland section of the Alpine Fault. The additional data, published last week in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, brings the estimated average interval between quakes from 329 ± 26 years, down to 291 ± 23 years. Though the […]

March 6th, 2017 Read full Story

What would happen if a volcano erupted in Auckland? – In the News

It’s no secret that Auckland sits on a large volcanic field, but new research has modelled what would happen if there was an eruption within the city limits. The study, published last week in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, considered what could happen during a hypothetical two-month-long period of unrest and eruption near […]

March 6th, 2017 Read full Story

Environmental compliance important but overlooked – In the News

A new report examining the compliance, monitoring and enforcement of New Zealand’s environmental law highlights concerning weaknesses and calls for improvement across a range of agencies. Last Line of Defence was published this week by the Environmental Defence Society (EDS), authored by senior policy analyst Dr Marie Brown. Across different agencies, she found a range of […]

March 2nd, 2017 Read full Story


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