Media 2015


Nigel French: food and infectious disease

We are told we are facing a post-antibiotic era because infectious diseases have mutated to become resistant to antimicrobial drugs. The latest story to hit the media tells of a new superbug. Kim Hill asks Massey University professor Nigel French about the extent of this more resistant strain. Nigel French is Professor of Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health Institute of Veterinary Animal and Biomedical Sciences at Massey University, and director of the university’s Infectious Disease Research Centre, located within the Hopkirk Research Institute on the Palmerston North campus. His main research interests are molecular and genomic epidemiology and risk research on food and environmental pathogens, particularly Campylobacter, E. coli, Cryptosporidium and Salmonella.
Radio New Zealand National | Professor Nigel French – interviewed by Kim Hill, 28 November 2015


Hamish Spencer: Tolaga Bay environmental project, Uawanui

9:21 AM. Four years ago the Tolaga Bay community asked the Allan Wilson Centre for evolutionary biology to help it clean up the areas waterways and create a healthier, more collaborative community. Together they set up the Uawanui Sustainability Project - which aims to restore the local environment back to what it was when Captain Cook first arrived in 1769. However the Allan Wilson Centre is to close after losing its government funding, so has fast-tracked efforts to secure alternative funding for Uawanui and its team of scientists have just bid farewell to the community. Hamish Spencer is the director of the Allan Wilson Centre. Victor Walker is the chair of Uawanui.
Radio New Zealand National | Professor Hamish Spencer – Nine to Noon, Friday 13 November 2015


Patrice Rosengrave: salmon and sperm

Radio New Zealand National |Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Otago and AWC member Patrice Rosengrave – interviewed by Kim Hill, 31 October 2015


Patrice Rosengrave: salmon and sperm

Radio New Zealand National |Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Otago and AWC member Patrice Rosengrave – interviewed by Kim Hill, 31 October 2015


Richard Newcomb: sense of smell

Radio New Zealand National | Dr Richard Newcomb – interviewed by Kim Hill, 20 October 2015


Visiting Professor Tom Higham: Neanderthals, denisovans and humans

Radio New Zealand National | Professor Tom Higham – interviewed by Kim Hill, 1 September 2015
When Neanderthals and Modern Humans met (YouTube video) | Professor Tom Higham, 24 September 2015


Visiting Alan Wilson Centre Professor Scott Edwards, from dinosaurs to chickens and everything between

Radio Live | Professor Scott Edwards – interviewed by Graeme Hill, Saturday 22 August 2015


What ancient DNA tells us about the evolution of our native birds

For scientists like Associate Professor Craig Millar of Auckland University, finding ancient DNA is relativiely easy. All it takes is fragments of bone, hair, feathers, eggs, or even faeces.
Radio New Zealand National | Professor Craig Millar, Friday 21 August 2015


Scott Edwards: birds and dinosaurs

Curator of Ornithology at Harvard University, who will visit New Zealand in August as an Allan Wilson Centre guest speaker for a series of public talks, Bird Evolution: From Dinosaurs to DNA.
Radio New Zealand National interview by Kim Hill, Saturday 1 August 2015


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.
Prof. Hamish Spencer, Director, Allan Wilson Centre - Editorial June 2015


Russell Gray: dna and language

Professor Russell Gray, FRSNZ, is the Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany and Principal Investigator in the Allan Wilson Centre. He talks to Kim Hill in London about the evolution of language, specifically the origins of the Indo-European languages.
Radio New Zealand National | Professor Russell Gray – interviewed by Kim Hill, 22 June 2015


Males inherit more genetic flaws from their mothers than females

Certain types of mutations only have negative consequences when passed from women to their sons, according to studies. Speaking with UK’s The Telegraph (23 June) at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology's (ESHRE) annual meeting in Lisbon, genetist Prof Neil Gemmell, from the University of Otago, said: "I called it mother's curse - it's I guess an unfortunate accident of the maternal inheritance that means the male offspring are cursed, or bestowed with suboptimal mitochondrial types," because such DNA caused no problems in women.
Males inherit more genetic flaws from their mothers than females, research shows, 16 June 2015


Expert wild about Massey work with animals

Internationally acclaimed conservationist and geneticist Dr. Steve O’Brien praised Massey University's work with endangered species during a visit to the Wildbase veterinary hospital on 28 April. Wildbase director Dr Brett Gartrell showed O'Brien a tuatara and two kiwi as part of the tour of the wildlife rehabilitation facility attached to the Massey University veterinary school.
Expert wild about Massey work with animals, 29 April 2015


Meet your newfound neighbours

New Zealand is home to tens of thousands of endemic plant, animal, insect and marine species, and new discoveries are being made every year — including some creatures we’re too late to see. Science reporter Jamie Morton looks at 10 new finds.
NZ Herald | Monday April 6, 2015


Research body loses millions in funding

A Palmerston North research institution is reeling from the news it has missed out on millions of dollars in government funding while another prepares for the next phase to secure a slice of the cash. The Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, based at Massey University's Manawatu campus, has been left off the Tertiary Education Commission's latest list for renewal as a Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE).
Manawatu Standard | March 20 2015


Polynesia Migration with AWC Principal Investigator and University of Otago Biological Anthropologist Lisa Matisoo-Smith

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.
Radio Live | Lisa Matisoo-Smith - Polynesian Migration, Sunday 1 March 2015


Penguin change stuns scientists

University of Otago and Marsden and AWC-funded postdoctoral research fellow Dr Nic Rawlence, used carbon dating and DNA analysis of penguin remains from coastal New Zealand to establish the timing of the waitaha penguin's extinction and the colonisation by yellow-eyed penguins from the subantarctic says an Otago Daily Times article on 11 February. The team who carried out the study, said the combination of ecology, archaeology and DNA in this way was new and was also being used to investigate if similar patterns exist with New Zealand sea lions, Stewart Island shags, elephant seals and fur seals.
Penguin change stuns scientists, Wednesday 11 February 2015


Old fossil 'tickled to death' at honour

When AWC Director Hamish Spencer calls his wife an old fossil, it is not the insult people might think says an article in the Otago daily Times on 11 February. In fact, his wife, Abby Smith, could throw the line right back at him, as the couple both have species named after them. French and Russian scientists recently named a deep-water snail found off the coast of New Zealand Hortia spenceri in honour of Prof Spencer's work recording mollusc species. And British scientist Paul Taylor, of the Natural History Museum in London, and a colleague decided to name a tiny bryozoa Exochella abigailae after Associate Prof Smith (her last name was too common so they used her first name, Abigail).
Old fossil 'tickled to death' at honour, Wednesday 11 February 2015


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.
 New weapons in global war - Nigel French, Monday 26 January 2015


We're all one family under the skin

Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith's article on just how closely related humans are, proved poignant following the murder of journalists in Paris.
New Zealand Herald, Friday 9 January 2015

Media 2014


Little Spotted Kiwi and Genetic Research

Researcher and AWC member Helen Taylor, who has just completed her PhD is looking at the impact of inbreeding in two kiwi populations and is interviewed by Alison Balance on Radio New Zealand's Our Changing World.
Radio New Zealand National | Little Spotted Kiwi and Genetic Research, 18 December 2014
Radio New Zealand National | Aging Males and In-bred Kiwi: Genetic Updates, 18 December 2014


Particular enthusiasm’ for islands led to expedition

The Gisborne Herald on 16 December noted that among scientists from AWC to join in a mini bioblitz at Tolaga Bay’s Puketawai Marae this month was James Russell. Dr Russell’s “particular enthusiasm for islands”, and what makes species threatened or invasive, saw him make an expedition to Motueka and Pourewa islands of Uawa-Tolaga Bay.
 Particular enthusiasm’ for islands led to expedition,16 December 2014


Mapping Unusual Genomes: Platypus and Tuatara

Geneticist Neil Gemmell, from the AWC and the University of Otago, says the genomes of both the platypus and tuatara are important for shedding light on the evolution of vertebrates in an interview on Radio New Zealand’s A Changing World.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 11 December 2014


50th anniversary of rodent eradications symposium

James Russell AWC Associate Investigator James Russell from University of Auckland has provided podcasts for the talks presented at the 50th anniversary of rodent eradications symposium held on 10 September in Auckland.
Presentation Podcasts, 9 December 2014


United we can repel alien raiders – a predator free New Zealand

Getting rid of introduced predators would save us millions of conservation dollars, deal to bovine TB and other pest-borne diseases (again saving millions of taxpayer dollars) and make real our international "clean green" reputation says AWC Director and Principal Investigator, Hamish Spencer in this Dominion Post Oped.
The Dominion Post, 5 December 2014


Uawanui Restoration Project

Bioblitzing in the Tolaga Bay Islands with AWC Associate Investigator, James Russell.
National Geographic, 2 December 2014


The Shadows of our Evolutionary Path

AWC 2014 International speaker, Marlene Zuk , author of Paleofantasy is interviewed by Graeme Hill on RadioLive on human evolution and traits.
Radio Live (video), Sunday 2 November 2014


Thomas Buckley: insect evolution

Thomas Buckley, Research Leader at Landcare Research, Associate Professor at the University of Auckland, and a Principal Investigator at the Allan Wilson Centre, was one of over 100 researchers from 16 countries who have just published the first paper from the 1KITE study of insect evolution.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 8 November 2014


AWC Associate Professor David Bryant, makes it into Nature

AWC Associate Professor David Bryant, makes it into Nature with a discovery about the role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of primitive microbes called archaea.
Nelson-Sathi et al Nature 2014
Primitive microbes stole bacterial genes on a surprising scale, Thursday, 16 October 2014
Origins of major archaeal clades correspond to gene acquisitions from bacteria


Rare footage captured of tuatara hatching

Extremely rare footage of a tuatara hatching has been filmed at Victoria University of Wellington.
TVNZ (video), Saturday 2 August, 2014


Jon Waters: aquatic mammal prehistory

Professor in the Department of Zoology, Otago University, and a principal investigator at the Allan Wilson Centre, whose research focuses on prehistoric sea lions, penguins and other coastal species.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 28 June 2014


World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall, is the world-renowned primatologist, ethologist, and conservationist, whose ground breaking study of the chimpanzees of Gombe in Tanzania in the 1960s altered forever the accepted definition of humanity.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 19 June 2014


Jane and the chimpanzees – our closest relatives

Dame Jane Goodall is a woman that so many of us just plain admire, who showed incredible courage putting down her binoculars while observing chimpanzees and as a result, changed our view of them forever.
TV3’s Campbell Live (video), Thursday 19 June 2014


Have natural sciences missed out in latest funding round?

AWC Director, Hamish Spencer interview by Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand National’s Nine to Noon about the result of the 2014 Centre of Research Excellence funding round.
Radio New Zealand National, 9 May 2014


Dr Lee Dugatkin: evolving goodness

One of the world's leading experts on the subject of the evolution of behaviour, who is visiting New Zealand for the Allan Wilson Centre's 2014 International Speaker Series with his presentation, The Evolution of Goodness.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 19 April 2014


The Evolution of Goodness by Professor Lee Dugatkin

One of the world's leading experts on the subject of the evolution of behaviour, who is visiting New Zealand for the Allan Wilson Centre's 2014 International Speaker Series with his presentation, The Evolution of Goodness.
Allan Wilson Centre (Youtube video), April 2014


Mapping Human Migration

National Geographic's Genographic project visits Gisborne to sample DNA from members of Ngai Tamanuhiri.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 10 April 2014


The U-aw-anui Sustainability Project in Uawa/Tolaga Bay

Nori Parata, Tolaga Bay School Principal and Peter Handford, consultant for Allan Wilson Centre.
Radio New Zealand National, Friday 21 March 2014


Spencer Wells: analysing human genomes

Head of the Genographic Project at National Geographic, a study that has involved the DNA sampling of more than 650,000 people in 130 countries around the world.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 22 February 2014


Exploring New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands

An expedition to explore the ecology, glacial history and underwater world of New Zealand's subantarctic islands.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 6 February 2014

Media 2013


New research on NZ's second governor, Robert Fitzroy

AWC Director, Hamish Spencer interview by Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand National’s Nine to Noon on new research on NZ’s second governor, Robert Fitzroy, who is best known as the captain of the HMS Beagle - the survey ship which carried Charles Darwin on his five-year circumnavigation of the globe.
Radio New Zealand, Wednesday 6 November 2013


Interview on Radio Live with Paul Ehrlich

Professor of population studies at Stanford is in NZ as part of The Alan Wilson lecture series. In 1968 he published a bleak book about the consequences of human population growth “The Population Bomb”.
Radio Live (video), Sunday 3 November 2013


Genes for Smell

Plant and Food Research scientists have determined which odours have genes associated with them.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 24 October 2013


Lisa Matisoo-Smith - Africa to Aotearoa

Professor of Biological Anthropology at the University of Otago who is collecting DNA samples from New Zealanders for her genetic ancestry study, From Africa to Aotearoa: The Longest Journey.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 21 September 2013


Mike Steel: biomathematics and mountains

Director of the Biomathematics Research Centre, Professor in the Mathematics and Statistics Department of University of Caterbury, and deputy director of the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 4 May 2013


Mark Pagel: culturally wired

Leading authority on human evolution, and Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Reading. His new book is Wired for Culture: the Natural History of Human Cooperation, he is visiting five New Zealand centres to give public talks on the evolution of language.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 2 March 2013


Charles Daugherty: Argo, tuatara, cats

Conservation biologist who has played a key role in bringing the tuatara back from the brink of extinction, and expert on pest management.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 2 March 2013


Little Spotted Kiwi and Genetic Research

Investigating the effects of genetic bottlenecks on the breeding success of kiwi at Zealandia and Long Island.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 24 January 2013

Media 2012


James Russell: rat management

Lecturer at The University of Auckland who has been internationally recognised for his conservation work, and has just received the Prime Minister's 2012 MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 1 December 2012


Venus: A Quest

Shirley & Roger Horrocks from Point of View Productions are interviewed by Kim Hill about the recently released documentary, Venus: A Quest.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 24 November 2012


Science with Nicky Nelson

Hidden Treasure, a major Allan Wilson Centre project analysing the life at various altitudes on Little Barrier Island to inform conservation efforts; and the translocation of tuatara around New Zealand. With Dr Nicky Nelson, senior lecturer in conservation biology at Victoria University.
Radio New Zealand National, Wednesday 7 November 2012


Evolutionary biology and microbiology

US scientist with a wide range of expertise in evolutionary biology and microbiology, who is best known for his work on antibiotic resistance and population biology of bacteria.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 20 October 2012


Over 200 tuatara relocated across NZ

TVNZ News Tuatara Translocations.
TVNZ One News (video), Tuesday 16 October 2012


The genetic risks of trying to rebuild native bird populations

What impact will it have on the long term survival of our most endangered species?
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 4 October 2012


Neil Gemmell: sequencing tuatara DNA

AgResearch Chair in Reproduction and Genomics at the University of Otago, Director of the Centre for Reproduction and Genomics, and principal investigator at the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, leading a team that is sequencing the genome of the tuatara.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 29 September 2012


Computational Genomics

How computational genomics can shed light on the migrations and histories of human populations.
Radio New Zealand National, Wednesday 20 September 2012


Science with Hamish Spencer

The history of the eugenics movement in New Zealand.
Radio New Zealand National, Wednesday 12 September 2012


Leaf Roller Moths and Evolution

While drab to look at, leaf roller moths are offering some exciting insights into the evolution of new species.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 23 August 2012


Feature Guest - Hamish Spencer

Evolutionary biologist Hamish Spencer talks about how mathematical modeling can tell us about the genetic changes that occur in human, animal and plant populations.
Radio New Zealand National, Tuesday 19 June 2012


Feature Guest - Professor Jonathan Waters

Jonathan Waters is a zoologist at the University of the Otago who is doing an audit of prehistoric New Zealand and the immediate and severe impact of human arrival.
Radio New Zealand National, Wednesday 13 June 2012


Transit of Venus celebrations at Tolaga Bay

A special from the 2012 Transit of Venus celebrations at Tolaga Bay, covering astronomy, history and sustainable land use.
Radio New Zealand National, 7 June 2012


Tracking Kiwis

Using the latest digital technology to track kiwis and see what the bird has been up to, from snoozing to snacking. With Helen Taylor from Victoria University.
Radio New Zealand National, 12 May 2012

Media 2011


TVNZ 7: Ever Wondered

John Watt searches high and low for answers to today's most challenging scientific questions.
TVNZ, Ever Wondered, Series 1, Episode 9


Feature Guest - Lisa Matisoo-Smith

A biological anthropologist at the University of Otago who is studying ancient DNA to track Polynesian origins and migrations across the Pacific.
Radio New Zealand National, Wednesday 21 September 2011


Modelling Infectious Diseases

Evolutionary biologist Alexei Drummond explains computer models that track the spread of infectious diseases.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 15 September 2011


Rebecca Cann: out of Africa

Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology, and member of the International Scientific Advisory Panel of the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution. She co-authored the influential study which showed modern humans evolved from a single African population.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 6 August 2011


Feature Guest - Charles Daugherty

Director of the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Victoria University, Charles Daugherty speaks to the programme about the commemoration of the life and work of Allan Wilson on the 20th anniversary of his death.
Radio New Zealand National, Monday 1 August 2011


Zoonoses

Nigel French and his team are identifying and tracing zoonoses - human diseases that come from animals.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 10 March 2011

Media 2010


Hamish Spencer: cousin marriage

Professor of zoology at the University of Otago, discussing cousins and marriage.
Radio New Zealand National, Saturday 4 December 2010


Mathematical Approaches to Evolution

Mathematicians are using new tools to reconstruct evolutionary relationships of organisms with DNA from several ancestors.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 30 September 2010

Media 2009


Adelie Penguin Genetics

Evolutionary biologists ask why a high evolution rate in Adelie penguins results in few, if any, morphological changes.
Radio New Zealand National, Thursday 23 April 2009