• 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.


Do you know the difference between manuka and kanuka? Quite a few people in Uawa/Tolaga Bay do now, following a weekend rehearsal in November preparing for the big Allan Wilson Centre Bioblitz in mid-February. Local eel expert, Mere Tamanui, shared her knowledge of the amazing life cycle of Manaaki Tuna (the longfin eel), which ends its time with an epic return voyage to its birthplace near Tonga, where it spawns and dies. See photos links, Bioblitz the islands and Bioblitz the hui.

Our People

The Allan Wilson Centre is a virtual research organisation hosted by Massey University with staff located at seven research institutions throughout New Zealand. The Centre’s operations are guided by a Governance Board with advice and support provided by an International Science Advisory Panel comprised of eminent researchers. The management team...
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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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Interview with Terry Burrell,
which includes a lesson with a class of Year 10 students at Onslow College... >>
Inspirational science teacher wins PM award
Terry Burrell of Onslow College, has won the Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize, worth $150,000, for her ‘infectious love of learning’. Terry is also the Allan Wilson Centre’s teacher advisor, and develops school resources based on our science. Peter Leggat, Principal of Onslow College, said: “She has had a huge influence on the quality of science teaching and learning.” Onslow’s NCEA achievement statistics are consistently high. Whilst acknowledging this is important, Terry feels the best outcome is that students “remain curious, see themselves as capable and stay in science longer”... >>
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... >>