“Healthy Seas: Drugs from the Sea, Biodiversity
and Conservation – a New Zealand Story”
Tuesday 28 February 2017, 7.30pm
National Aquarium of New Zealand, Marine Parade Napier
Admission by gold coin donation
Professor Chris Battershill, Chair Coastal Science
University of Waikato
The story of drug discovery from marine sources is not well known. The important and successful role of New Zealand science coupled with our marine biodiversity, is even less well understood. By far the most common source of biomedicinal leads comes from nature and until recently much of this has been from plants and terrestrial organisms. Aspirin from Willow being one of the most famous discoveries. In the anti-cancer drug space however, extracts from marine organisms, like sponges, produce two orders of magnitude more leads than terrestrial species.
This presentation will showcase a number of successful New Zealand drug and drug lead compounds derived from marine sources. It will explain why these leads work, and demonstrate the enormous and urgent importance of conserving our marine biodiversity for future generations.
Chris Battershill became the inaugural Professor and Chair of Coastal Science with the University of Waikato, in January 2011. Prior to that, he was Leader of the Marine Resources and Biodiversity Teams at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) for twelve years, focusing on conservation, new species aquaculture and biodiscovery.
He completed his PhD at Auckland University in 1986 then undertook a 3 year Research Fellowship funded through the National Cancer Institute (US) based at the University of Canterbury, where he led the biological program associated discovery of anti-cancer active chemicals from the sea. He did Post Doctoral work in Australia and then worked at DoC and NIWA for 11 years focusing on sustainability of marine resource use, again building capacity in research associated with drug discovery from marine sources
Thanks to the President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Richard Bedford, for his illuminating lecture on 31 January 2017 to our branch, and for supplying us with his slides:
Richard Bedford Migration presentation 31 Jan 2017
Dr Geoffroy Lamarche PhD ONM
Principal Scientist in marine geology and geophysics with NIWA in Wellington
Wednesday 15 February 2017 at 5.30pm
National Aquarium, Marine Parade, Napier
Admission by gold coin donation
Dr Lamarche will speak on the topic of marine sciences and their relevance to understanding natural hazards in Hawke’s Bay, in particular with regard to offshore earthquakes, tsunamis and submarine landslides.
Geoffroy obtained a PhD in geology and geophysics from the university of Grenoble in 1987. He has since focussed his research on the geological processes that affect the ocean floor around New Zealand and in the South West Pacific region, with the aim to improve the understanding of natural geological hazards and develop predictive geophysical methods to map submarine substrate and habitats. He has led many oceanographic voyages and international research projects with France, the UK, Australia and the USA.
Presented in conjunction with Hawke’s Bay French Association
Unpacking the contribution of international migration to population growth in New Zealand in the second decade of the 21st century
Tuesday 31 January 2017 at 7.30pm
Holt’s Planetarium, NBHS, Chambers Street, Napier
Emeritus Professor, University of Waikato and
Auckland University of Technology
President, Royal Society of New Zealand
Professor Bedford writes: On 19 October 2016, Statistics New Zealand released a new series of National Population Projections through to 2068. These projections are the first ever produced by Statistics New Zealand that I can recall in 45 years of population research that include a “high” scenario of over 7 million people in the country by the late 2060s. They are also the first for a long time to make reference to reaching a population of 5 million by the early 2020s.
In this presentation I will examine the recent net migration gains and their impact on estimated population growth. I will also comment on the recent changes to New Zealand’s residence policy and some possible implications these might have for both net migration gains as well as the contribution that international migration makes to overall population growth. In the final section of the presentation I will examine more closely projections for the population of the Hawke’s Bay and the impacts that international migration is having on the numbers of temporary as well as long-term residents.
Entrance: gold coin donation
Members’ Festive Gathering and talk
“Advances in Farming – the place of robotics”.
Wednesday 14 December 2016 from 6pm
Centre for Land and Water
21 Ruahapia Rd, Hastings
Dan Bloomer will show us the Centre, explain its aims, and talk on Farm Robotics he has seen in Australia and Europe recently and his aspirations for robotics on farms here.
Please come and join us for some conviviality as well: we will lay on the nibbles, cake and a glass of something to celebrate the end of a very busy and successful year for the HB Branch of the Royal Society.
Dan’s talk is open to the general public and will start about 7pm. Please RSVP to assist with catering.
For more information on the Centre and its work: http://www.claw.net.nz
Presented by: Nanogirl Labs with Spark NZ and the University of Auckland Faculty of Engineering
Join Nanogirl (Dr. Michelle Dickinson MNZM) and Boris her trusty lab assistant for science as you have never seen it before. Explosions (lots of explosions), liquid nitrogen ice-cream, hovercraft, smoke cannons – science and engineering will come to life in the coolest ways possible, right before your eyes.
Nanogirl explains the science behind each experiment in a way that’s fun and easy to understand. We start with a small experiment to explain each idea (the Little Bang) – often with the help of a volunteer from the audience – then Nanogirl and Boris take the same principle and turn it up to BIG BANG scale!
For lots more detail on this spectacular show, click here
Please note that this is not an RSNZ event. For tickets, click here
The Geoscience Society of New Zealand’s 2016 Hochstetter Lecture
Dr Colin Wilson, Professor of Volcanology at Victoria University of Wellington
Thursday 20 October at 7.30pm
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, corner Vautier and Dalton Streets, Napier
Admission: Gold coin donation
Erupting volcanoes are one of the great natural sights on the planet. There are, however, volcanoes on Earth which produce eruptions of such a size and violence (supereruptions at one extreme) that if you can see the volcano erupting you will die. Apart from being somewhat career-limiting, the chances of making useful observations are almost nil. Thus, what we understand about such eruptions and their parent volcanoes has to be gained from studying the products of past events, in a geological form of forensic science. In this talk, I outline the ways in which insights into large explosive eruptions can be gained from studying rocks in the field, then applying a variety of analytical techniques down to the microscopic scale. The information that is gained provides unprecedented details into eruptive processes, but suggests that we are still a long way from having a clear picture of how big eruptions and their parental volcanoes operate.
Colin is a volcanologist who began his career in physical volcanology, but has since strayed into the black arts of petrology and geochemistry. His research is mostly concerned with studying the products of large-scale explosive silicic volcanism, particularly ignimbrites. Trained at Imperial College in the UK, Colin has a long history of work in New Zealand, and is currently Professor of Volcanology at Victoria University of Wellington.
Presented by Dr Natalie Pickering, Focus Genetics
6.00pm Tuesday 13 September 2016
Lecture Theatre 2, EIT, 501 Gloucester St, Taradale
Natalie is an Animal Breeding Scientist (Terminal Sheep and Deer) at Focus Genetics in Napier. In her talk, she will outline current research in advancing animal breeding for NZ agriculture, including new methods e.g. genomic selection and traits e.g. methane emissions, lamb eating quality. She will describe how Focus Genetics is working with animal breeders to implement these into the sheep, beef and deer breeding programmes they manage.
Natalie comes from a farming background in the Wairarapa, and wanted a career which involved helping farmers in some way. After completing a Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours), majoring in Molecular Biotechnology at the University of Otago, she worked for AgResearch, studying DNA samples to identify the genes responsible for characteristics such as resistance to internal parasite infections, presence of horns and blindness in sheep. This data can be used to aid breeding programmes.
Natalie then enrolled in a PhD in Animal Science joint between Massey University and AgResearch, where she investigated the genetics of flystrike, dagginess and associated traits in sheep. After completing her PhD, she was employed by AgResearch on an international two-year research project investigating if it is possible to breed for low methane emitting animals (the answer is yes!).
Since 2013 Natalie has been working for Focus Genetics, where she is a member of the team of scientists using genomic technology to help sheep and deer breeders (and consequently farmers) produce more efficient, consistent quality, greater value animals to enhance profitability of the red meat sector.
Natalie was a Finalist for the 2016 Ballance Agri-Nutrients Sheep Industry Emerging Talent Award.