• The ecology of climate change

    Jason Tylianakis

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  • The origins of life

    Anthony Poole

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  • Evolution and culture in Bali

    Murray Cox

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  • How do marine systems function?

    Marti Anderson

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The Allan Wilson Centre, established in 2002, is one of New Zealand’s seven Centres of Research Excellence and one of two hosted by Massey University. We are a scientific network of over 100 researchers based at five universities and two crown research institutes. Following in the footsteps of the great New Zealand scientist, Allan Wilson, our researchers study the evolution of humans, animals, plants and disease. We are committed to securing the future of New Zealand’s biodiversity and improving human and environmental health.

Uawa Bioblitz Report

Two rare species discovered in Uawa/Tolaga Bay census: Students, aged 5-18, from Tolaga Bay Area School, guided by scientists from the Allan Wilson Centre, DOC, Te Papa, and Groundtruth, collected over 500 species of plants and animals in a 24-hour Bioblitz (12-13 Feb) – a survey of local biodiversity that will inform the restoration project underway there. Excitingly, they detected the presence of bats, the only native land mammal we have, and sighted the NZ Dotterel, a shorebird which is rarer even than kiwi and tigers! Full results will be posted on this site soon. Blitz opens window on species, Uawanui Bioblitz Feb 2015 PhotoGallery and Bioblitz Tolaga Bay

Our People

Ian Jamieson (02 03 1957 – 02 02 2015) was loved and respected by his many colleagues in the Allan Wilson Centre. Ian was appointed as a Principal Investigator in the AWC in 2011 and headed the Strategic Initiative Bringing Our Rarest Birds Back from the Brink. In 2012 Ian was awarded the Ecological Society of New Zealand’s top prize, the society’s Te Tohu Taiao Award for Ecological Excellence in recognition of his conservation work. On retirement in 2014, Ian was granted the status of Emeritus Investigator by the AWC Governance Board. Ian had worked at the University of Otago for almost 25 years, was an inspiring teacher and a world-renowned researcher...
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We are pleased to announce that we have secured four top scientists for the 2015 Allan Wilson Centre international speaker series: ​Steve O'Brien (St Petersburg State University); Hopi Hoekstra (Harvard University); Tom Higham (Oxford University); and Scott Edwards (Harvard University). To receive advance information on these speakers subscribe under Advanced Events below...
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Polynesia Migration with AWC Principal Investigator and University of Otago Biological Anthropologist Lisa Matisoo-Smith speaking with Graham Hill on RadioLive on Sunday, 1 March.
Lisa prises legend from fact about who went where when, and how. Some intriguing evidence is emerging of a late migration throughout Polynesia from South Asia very recently... >>
AWC Investigators in the news,
The war on infectious disease is far from over, according to Principal Investigator, Professor Nigel French, in a Dompost opinion piece (26 Jan). Analysing the genomes to gain insight into the evolution of viruses and bacteria, is key to staying ahead... >>
Interview with Terry Burrell,
which includes a lesson with a class of Year 10 students at Onslow College... >>
University of Canterbury has elevated Mike Steel, of the School of Mathematics and Statistics to the status of Distinguished Professor,
a title reserved for professors who demonstrate world-class academic leadership and achievements. This is in addition to receiving the UoC 2014 Research Medal, the highest honour the university’s council can extend to its academic staff, recognising research excellence. Congratulations to Mike - an AWC Principal Investigator and our deputy director... >>
Kim Hill talks to Associate Professor Thomas Buckley,
Principal Investigator at the Allan Wilson Centre, who was one of over 100 researchers from 16 countries who have just published the first paper from the 1KITE study of insect evolution... >>