Current News & Events

The University of Canterbury has awarded one of two 2014 Research Medals - its highest honour for research excellence - to AWC Deputy Director, Professor Mike Steel

The Chancellor, Dr John Wood, is pleased to announce that at its meeting last week the University Council resolved to award two 2014 Research Medals to University of Canterbury researchers whose work has been recognised as world class in their respective disciplines.

The medallists are:
Professor Mike Steel of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics Professor Michael Hall of the Department of Management, Marketing & Entrepreneurship.

The Research Medal is the highest honour which the Council can extend to its academic staff in recognition of research excellence.

The 2014 medals will be presented to the recipients later this year at a Council function.

Professor Steve Weaver
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
University of Canterbury

Celebrating 50 years of rodent eradications in New Zealand

AWC Associate Investigator James Russell is organising a symposium to be held by the Centre of Biodiversity and Biosecurity at University of Auckland to celebrate 50 years of rodent eradications in New Zealand. The symposium on 10 September will be accessible to the general public and is free to register for at www.auckland.ac.nz/rat-eradication.







Liam Adrian (10), from Palmerston North, has his own special audience with his hero Dr Jane Goodall

Liam Adrian (10), from Palmerston North, has his own special audience with his hero Dr Jane Goodall, courtesy of the Allan Wilson Centre, Read his letter.







Professor Lord Winston | Where does science end and art begin?

Further information
Wellington | Monday 6pm 14 July 2014
Embassy Theatre, Kent Terrace
Tickets $20, RSNZ Members and students $10. Tickets are strictly limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
www.royalsociety.org.nz/events/lord-winston/

Research reveals New Zealand sea lion is a relative newcomer

AWC members Professor Jon Waters and Dr Catherine Collins announce findings about replacement sea lion populations, based on ancient DNA analysis.

Further information
 Sea lion is a relative newcomer

 







The Uawanui Sustainability Project in Uawa/Tolaga Bay

Nori Parata, Tolaga Bay School Principal and Peter Handford, consultant for Allan Willson Centre with Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon on the 21 March 2014 about the Uawa/Tolaga Bay Sustainability Project.

Further information
Radio New Zealand National, Friday 21 March 2014


The World's Rarest Whale and Evidence for a recent origin of Penguins

Principal Investigator Craig Millar has co-authored two recently published papers which have received a lot of attention:


 The World's Rarest Whale and Evidence for a recent origin of Penguins
 Subramanian et al 2013 Biol Letters


The results of a major study by AWC Associate Investigator Murray Cox and colleagues were published in March in the prestigious open access journal PLoS Genetics

The results of a major study by AWC Associate Investigator Murray Cox and colleagues was published in March in the prestigious open access journal PLoS Genetics.The article, entitled 'An Interspecific Fungal Hybrid Reveals Cross-Kingdom Rules for Allopolyploid Gene Expression Patterns' investigates the genetic consequences of a merger of previously separate species into a single new organism carrying both sets of the parental genomes.

Further information
An Interspecific Fungal Hybrid Reveals Cross-Kingdom Rules for Allopolyploid Gene Expression Patterns

Healthy Environment, Healthy People and Tuatara for Future Generations

What do we stand to gain from a healthy environment? Could restoration efforts include having special species like tuatara in your backyard? And what does sex determination have to do with conservation?

Nicky Nelson, a Principal Investigator with the Allan WIlson Centre based at Victoria University of Wellington will challenge you to think about the implications of having a sex determining system influenced by temperature and how that might affect conservation efforts in a warming climate. Her case study on tuatara will demonstrate why efforts to restore the mainland allow us to improve the long-term outlook for populations of treasured species like tuatara, as part of functioning ecosystems in healthy landscapes where people thrive because they are connected to their environment and culture.

Free public talk: Lawson Field Lecture Theatre, Gisborne, Thursday 20 March, 7-8pm, email: awc-lectures@massey.ac.nz

Further information
Healthy Environment, Healthy People and Tuatara for Future Generations

Trojan Females a silver bullet for pest control?

AWC Principal Investigator, Professor Neil Gemmell, University of Otago, could have the "game changer" for pest control, eliminating the need for traps and poisons.

Further information
 Trojan females 29Jan14.docx
Fertility strateg
y could revolutionise pest management
Researchers turn to Greek mythology for 'Trojan female' pest control solution

Congratulations to Allan Wilson Centre Principal Investigator Richard Newcomb

Congratulations to Allan Wilson Centre Principal Investigator Richard Newcomb, who has been promoted to Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at The University of Auckland and to Chief Scientist at Plant and Food Research.

Further information
Dr Richard Newcomb Profile



A newly discovered species of deep-water snail has been named Hortia spenceri in honour of Professor Hamish Spencer

AWC Director, Hamish Spencer, maintains a website listing the most up-to-date names for all the species of molluscs recorded from New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (www.molluscs.otago.ac.nz). Each species has a reference to the part of scientific literature recording the species from NZ, a reference for its latest taxonomic treatment and a roughguide to its geographical distribution. Keeping such a list current means keeping abreast of a wide range of journals. This work was honoured recently, when a team of scientists, one Russian and three French, named a new species of deep-water snail after Hamish. Hortia spenceri Kantor, Lozouet, Puillandre & Bouchet, 2014 occurs off the coast of the North and South Islands in water depths from ~170m to ~450m and belongs to a group that was previously known only from fossils.

Photo credit:
Kantor, Lozouet, Puillandre and Bouchet, 2014 Zootaxa 3754 (3): 239–276.

Wairau Bar Top Ten Science Story for 2013

Not surprisingly, the fascinating mitochondrial DNA analysis of the human bones at Wairau Bar - referred to as New Zealand's Stonehenge - made the NZ Science Media Centre's list of Top Ten Science Stories for 2013. The Otago University research team undertaking the DNA analyses was led by AWC investigator Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith, and was part of her ongoing work on the origins of Maori and people of the South Pacific.

Further information
Wairau Bar Top Ten Science Story for 2013
Find out about Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith’s DNA survey of 2000 New Zealanders