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Call to arms to avert climate change losses – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 12th, 2016.

A group of international scientists – including a New Zealander – is calling for a global effort to help predict how climate change will affect species. While sophisticated mathematical models can help scientists forecast outcomes under climate change, they’re only as good as the data that goes into the models, the researchers wrote in Science. […]

Moa, kiwi lost flight independently

John Kerr posted in on May 15th, 2014.

Flightless birds of a feather don’t always flock together, at least in an evolutionary sense. While the moa and kiwi are both flightless birds and part of the species group known as ratites, they may have evolved to become non-flying species independently according to genetic research from a Canadian team – including New Zealander Prof […]

Was penguin evolution driven by a cooling Antarctic? – NZ Research

John Kerr posted in on November 14th, 2013.

This article, reposted from The Conversation, is based on new research co-authored by Allan Wilson Centre researchers Gabrielle Beans-Picon (Massey University) and Craig D. Millar (University of Auckland). Was penguin evolution driven by a cooling Antarctic? By Sankar Subramanian, Griffith University Penguins are a remarkable group of flightless birds. We tend to think of them […]

Psa origins mapped – experts respond

Dacia Herbulock posted in on February 28th, 2013.

Scientists have mapped the genome of the bacteria responsible for virulent kiwifruit vine disease Psa, providing evidence for the origins and future biosecurity implications of the ongoing outbreak.  The University of Otago team’s study, preliminary results of which were released last year, are published in final form today in the open access journal PLOS ONE. The researchers analysed […]

Media Coverage: Kiwi linguists making headlines

John Kerr posted in on April 15th, 2011.

Not one, but two high-profile research articles were published this week by linguists from Auckland University, and have received extensive coverage by global media. Research from Prof  Russell Gray and colleagues challenged Noam Chomsky’s universal language rules in a paper published in Nature (a simplified explanation of the research can be seen here). Meanwhile, Dr […]

NZ Herald: Frogs take huge leap of faith

Peter Griffin posted in on July 26th, 2010.

Amelia Wade writes in the New Zealand Herald about a species of frog, discovered by University of Otago scientists, which appears to show that frogs evolved the ability to jump before the ability to land (gracefully). A primitive New Zealand frog has been found to able to jump successfully, but instead of landing on its […]

TVNZ/NZPA: Scientists discredit Moa’s Ark theory

Peter Griffin posted in on May 5th, 2010.

Scientists from Massey University are disputing the hypothesis that New Zealand’s flora and fauna have evolved without much external influence since the breakup of Gondwana some 80 million years ago. Looking at the genetics of some of New Zealand’s birds, including the moa, Haast eagle (both extinct) and some kiwi populations, they say that New […]

ODT: Tune in to ‘inner scientist’ to filter nonsense

Peter Griffin posted in on March 23rd, 2010.

John Gibb writes in the Otago Daily Times about recent talks given in New Zealand by renowed physicist and science communicator Professor Lawrence Krauss. In his talks, he urged people to use their common sense, and emphasized the importance of science in the world’s public policy issues, including those around climate change. An excerpt: (read […]

Newsletter Digest: Climate science, NZ in Nature & the Nutt affair

Peter Griffin posted in on November 9th, 2009.

SMC Climate science briefing Confused by the avalanche of climate science papers that have emerged this year? Need an update on where the next IPCC report is at? All your questions will be answered at a briefing for journalists onWednesday, November 11 at Environment House in Wellington. The briefing, held in conjunction with the Ministry […]

Bacteria hedge their bets

Peter Griffin posted in on November 5th, 2009.

Research by an international team of scientists including Professor Paul Rainey from the New Zealand Institute of Advanced Study has shown something very interesting: bacteria, much like people and many other organisms, hedge their bets against the uncertainties of the future. The paper, titled Experimental Evolution of Bet Hedging and featured as the cover story […]

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