• Nicky Nelson has helped reintroduce tuatara to the mainland

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  • Nigel French is investigating the source of E. coli and other pathogens in our waterways

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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

Ancient DNA: Secrets from the past, by Dr Craig Millar.
Free talk in Nelson and Queenstown. Early forensic and ancient DNA methods could only recover small amounts of DNA information from relatively large quantities of well-preserved tissue. From these humble beginnings, ancient DNA research has now developed into a well-established research field used by biologists, geologists and anthropologists. Recent advances in DNA sequencing methods have led to the retrieval of entire ancient genomes from the extinct New Zealand moa and Egyptian bird mummies. In his talk, Dr Craig Millar will outline...
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The Allan Wilson Centre invites expats living in London to contribute their DNA to Lisa Matisoo-Smith's 2000 DNA-sample ancient ancestry study. Here's the invitation for the special event at NZ House on 16 June. Places are limited to 100, and you must RSVP...
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Polynesia Migration with AWC Principal Investigator and University of Otago Biological Anthropologist Lisa Matisoo-Smith speaking with Graeme 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... >>