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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.
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. The full report is now available here Or you can order a hard copy from firstname.lastname@example.org
Director, Hamish Spencer, responds to the Government decision not to refund the Allan Wilson Centre.
Some of you will be aware of the news that the AWC’s application for continued funding in the latest Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) round was unsuccessful. This result means that the AWC will close at the end of this year, and the support for our science projects and outreach programmes will cease. I have to say I am extremely disappointed by this outcome, but I am not alone. Massey Vice Chancellor, Professor Steve Maharey wrote, "The Government's decision to end funding for the CoRE is not easy to understand given the outstanding record established by the AWC...
Over 200 expatriate New Zealanders gathered at NZ House in June to contribute their DNA to Lisa Matisoo-Smith's ancient ancestry study (The Longest Journey: Africa to Aotearoa). They were spellbound by Lisa's exposition of the journey of modern humans out of Africa, and across the Pacific. Their mitochondrial DNA result will place their maternal ancestors on the deepest branches of the human family tree, going back many thousands of years...learn more. Listen to Kim Hill's interviews with Lisa and Russell Gray on Radio NZ National, 20 June. Africa to Aotearoa and Russell Gray: DNA and language